21 September 2014
Moscow: 06:01
London: 03:01

Consular Section:  
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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

12.09.2014 - Conference on EU Energy Security

On 11 September the Russian Embassy has participated in the Conference on EU Energy Security at the House of Commons along with the representatives of Bulgarian Socialist Party (former Deputy Minister of Energy Yavor Kuyumdjiev), a number of energy experts from UK universities (University of Surrey, Kings College, City University) and representatives of Chatham House.


12.09.2014 - Representative of the Russian Embassy visits the Conference for household and agricultural waste recycling

On 11 July 2014 Agricultural Attaché Vladimir Derbensky of the Russian Embassy took part in a London conference on the issues of urban and agricultural waste recycling.


11.09.2014 - Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko meets Foreign Office Minister for Europe David Lidington

On 11 September, the Russian Ambassador in the UK Alexander Yakovenko met with Minister for Europe of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office David Lidington.


10.09.2014 - Comment by Konstantin Dolgov, Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, on the Amnesty International report concerning the crimes of the Aidar punitive battalion in the Lugansk Region

We have read Amnesty International’s report, published on 8 September, on the crimes and abuses committed by the Aidar punitive battalion in the Lugansk Region.


10.09.2014 - Handover ceremony of a Red Star order belonging to a Soviet war hero, who died during the liberation of Kiev in 1943, and which was found during a search

On the 9 September, during a solemn ceremony, the Secretary of State, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Grigory Karasin, handed over the Red Star Order to relatives of Ivan Semyonovich Goloulin, a guard master sergeant of the tank landing squadron of the 45th guard motorized infantry machine gun battalion of the 20th guard tank brigade, who died during the liberation of the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, on the 8 November 1943.


04.09.2014 - Remarks by Alexander Kramarenko, Minister-Counsellor, at the ceremony of presentation of Ushakov Medals to British veterans of Arctic Convoys

Dear friends, We are often asked by British media, why we do it, why we care now, 70 years after the end of WWII. May I try to explain. Some reasons are on the surface. We were allies. The convoys were material and human incarnation of that alliance till the opening of the second front in Europe. But there are deeper reasons.


03.09.2014 - President of Russia Vladimir Putin sent his profound condolences to the family and friends of Andrei Stenin.

In a message sent to Mr Stenin’s mother, Vera Stenina, the President said, in particular: “We believed that Andrei would return to his family and friends, but the tragic news has crushed these hopes. He carried out his professional and human duty right to the end and did everything possible so that people all around the world would know the truth about the tragic events taking place in Donetsk.”


02.09.2014 - President of Russia Vladimir Putin sent a message of greeting to President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang on the 69th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The Russian President spoke highly of Vietnam’s success in the economy, the social sector, science and technology, as well as the country’s authority in regional and international affairs.


01.09.2014 - Ceremony to mark the joining of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline’s first section

Vladimir Putin and Vice Premier of China’s State Council Zhang Gaoli took part in a ceremony to mark the joining of the Power of Siberia mainline gas pipeline’s first section.


31.08.2014 - 2014 Judo World Championship

President of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the finals competition at the 2014 Judo World Championship and met with Russian athletes.



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