28 November 2014
Moscow: 17:11
London: 13:11

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PRESS RELEASES

01.03.2014

RUSSIA REACTS TO THREATS IN UKRAINE, BUT COUNTS ON A POLITICAL SOLUTION

In recent days, the situation in Ukraine has deteriorated rapidly. The agreements reached between President Yanukovych and the opposition on 21 February have been scrapped by opposition leaders: the legitimate Head of State that was supposed to remain in office has been effectively ousted from the country, an interim president has been appointed, presidential elections have been set for 25 May, no steps have been made in the area of constitutional reform or joint investigation. That the protest leaders treat their words and signatures so lightly was no surprise for us. But it is astonishing how easily those external mediators who sealed the agreement, namely the Foreign Ministers of Germany, France and Poland, have declared the deal to have been "overtaken by events".

But more importantly, rather than taking account of the numerous appeals to national unity and reconciliation, political power in Kiev has been concentrated in the hands of far-right extremist elements that do not hide their xenophobic, anti-Semitic, neofascist credentials. Not surprisingly, one of the first decisions of the new rulers was to abolish the law on regional languages, a move that has caused concern not only among Russian-speakers, but also in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. This has coincided with a widespread campaign of intimidation of ethnic Russian population and desecration of monuments celebrating Russia's and Ukraine's common historical achievements such as the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War. Russian Orthodox priests have become object of threats. Attempts were made to seize the Orthodox shrines, such as the Kiev Pechersk Laura and the Pochayev Laura.

The situation of the Russian community in the Crimea has become particularly precarious. As soon as rallies erupted to express protest against with the way the Kiev events had unfolded, the Crimeans were accused of separatism and were threatened with force. There has been a lot of speculation regarding movements of troops of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, taken as a precautionary measure in full compliance with the relevant bilateral agreements with Ukraine. During the night of 1 March, unknown armed men sent from Kiev tried to seize the building of the Crimea Interior Ministry. Only decisive actions by self-defence groups allowed to stop that provocation that has left many people injured.

Most recently, the leader of the "Right Sector" extremist group that was instrumental in the "victory of the Maidan", Dmitry Yarosh, has openly called for an alliance with Doku Umarov, the most-wanted leader of the Chechen terrorists with close links to Al Qaeda.

Within this context, it is not surprising that as many as 143 thousand people from Ukraine have applied for asylum in Russia over the past two weeks.

Faced with this situation, Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksenov appealed to the Russian authorities for assistance in maintaining peace and accord in the peninsula.

The numerous calls by the Russian authorities aimed at de-escalating the situation have been futile. Instead of addressing the situation through structures such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe that have a solid expertise in the field of human rights, including minority rights, and constitutional law, we have seen the Ukraine situation discussed by NATO, which certainly sent the wrong message. President Obama, rather than calling upon the ostensibly pro-Western "authorities" in Kiev to de-escalate tensions, has accused Russia of preparing an intervention and threatened with "costs".

Given the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of Russian nationals and our compatriots, as well as the Black Sea Fleet personnel, President Vladimir Putin has been compelled to use his constitutional powers and to seek approval of the Upper Chamber of Parliament, the Federation Council, for use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine pending normalisation of public order and political situation in that country. That request has been granted, although that doesn’t mean that the President will use his powers immediately.

Russia remains open to cooperation with all partners in order to seek a political solution to the crisis. What is needed is a clear understanding that this cooperation is honest and based not simply on the ability to hold fruitful negotiations but also on the ability to comply with agreements that take account of the interests of the entire Ukrainian people and all partners of Ukraine.




LATEST EVENTS

26.11.2014 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko meets Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the Rt Hon Baroness Anelay

On 25 November Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko met Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the Rt Hon Baroness Anelay. The reform of the United Nations and its Security Council as well international cooperation in the field of human rights were discussed.


21.11.2014 - Ambassador Yakovenko takes part in the high-level Energy Policy Event at the Royal Institute of International Affairs

On 21 November 2014 Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko participated in the high-level Energy Policy Event jointly organized by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Embassy of Switzerland, and made a presentation on the subject of “Russian Energy Policy in Europe”.


14.11.2014 - Future Culture - The expanding role of technology in cultural production, experience, and exchange (V&A Museum, London, Monday 17 November 2014, 10.30– 16.00)

The V&A, in collaboration with the Calvert 22 Foundation, invite you to a half-day conference exploring the interplay between digital technology and culture. The conference will bring together leaders from major cultural institutions, leading technologists, journalists, creative professionals, commentators and experts from the UK and Russia to discuss how technology is shaping the future direction of museums, providing greater access to audiences regardless of geography and providing new opportunities for international cultural dialogue.


13.11.2014 - On London events of the EEC Board Member (Minister) Ms Tatiana Valovaya

On 12 November 2014 the Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Ms Tatiana Valovaya, while her visit in London, made a presentation at the Russian Embassy.


07.11.2014 - SIN Russia supports RSC’ UK-Russia Chemistry week

SIN Russia worked closely with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to facilitate the Inaugural UK-Russia Chemistry Week.


07.11.2014 - Ambassador Yakovenko visits “Konstantin Chaykin” at the SalonQP

On 6 November 2014 Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko visited Russian watch maker “Konstantin Chaykin” stand at the exhibition SalonQP. Founder of the company Mr Konstantin Chaykin presented exclusive and latest models of the unique Russian brand.


03.11.2014 - Opening of the Russian national exposition at the World Travel Market in London

On 3 November 2014 Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko visited the Russian national exposition at the World Travel Market 2014 exhibition, which is one of the largest annual global events for travel industry professionals.


03.11.2014 - Ambassador Yakovenko meets academician Alexander Chubaryan

On 3 November 2014, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met with the Director of the World History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr Alexander Chubaryan at the Residence. Academician Chubaryan will take part in the Conference “Russia and Britain: Cultural Interactions in XX Century”.


01.11.2014 - On Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s visit to Northern Ireland

On 30-31 October, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko visited Northern Ireland. During the visit the Ambassador met with the Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Northern Ireland Duchess of Abercorn and presented Ushakov Medals to the British veterans of the Arctic convoys from Northern Ireland.


27.10.2014 - Third Moscow Open Innovations Forum

This plenary session will focus on an emerging global innovation map and ways to close the technological gap between countries.



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