23 October 2014
Moscow: 14:07
London: 11:07

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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

23.10.2014 - On the London Session of the Moscow Exchange Forum

The Moscow Exchange annual forum took place on 22 October 2014 in London with participation of representatives of Russian, UK and international financial institutions.


19.10.2014 - Ambassador Yakovenko meets Russian singer Valeriya

On 18 October 2014, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met with well-known Russian singer Valeriya and her producer Iosif Prigozhin.


16.10.2014 - Ambassador Yakovenko speaks at the opening of the Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design, 1913-1933 exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum (16 October 2014, London)

Dear friends, I am delighted to welcome you to this unique exhibition. It is a significant event in our cultural ties.


16.10.2014 - Russian Avant-Garde Exhibition opens in the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design, 1913-1933 exhibition was opened today in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


16.10.2014 - Russian President Vladimir Putin's interview to Politika newspaper, 15.10.2014

Ahead of his visit to Serbia, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the leading Serbian daily Politika.


16.10.2014 - President of Russia Vladimir Putin visits Serbia

President of Russia Vladimir Putin began his working visit to Serbia with a visit to the Liberators of Belgrade Memorial Complex, where together with President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic he paid tribute to the memory of World War II victims by laying wreathes at the Liberators of Belgrade Monument and the Monument to Soviet Soldiers.


15.10.2014 - Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko visits Media City UK

On October 13 the Russian Ambassador Dr Alexander Yakovenko visited Media City UK in Manchester and met Director of Communications Mr Paul Newman.


14.10.2014 - Interview by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for a film timed to the 70th anniversary of the Moscow Institute of International Relations (University), 13 October 2014

Question: You said once that 80 percent of Foreign Ministry employees are selected from among MGIMO graduates. What makes them so much in demand in your ministry? Sergey Lavrov: Each year is different, and the figure is not always 80 percent. More than half – about 60-70 percent – are MGIMO graduates.


14.10.2014 - Remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the opening of the 2nd International Forum of MGIMO(U) Graduates, Moscow, 13 October 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Torkunov, you’ve described the relationship between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and MGIMO in terms of paternal care.


14.10.2014 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at an unveiling ceremony for the Alexander Gorchakov monument, Moscow, 13 October 2014

Dear friends, Good morning. I am pleased to see so many graduates and friends of MGIMO here for this ceremony at such an early hour.



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