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24.03.2016 - Russia helped create conditions for peaceful process in Syria (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

In full compliance with international law and at the request of the legitimate Government of Syria, Russia launched a military operation in this country on 30 September 2015. From the very start we were very clear about its goal: support for the Syrian army in its fight against terrorist groups. Plainly, the Syrian army was our “boots on the ground”. We also had to deal with terrorists, who came from Russia. There was no intention to get involved in an internal Syrian conflict. Russia also made it clear that once a peace process were launched, we would withdraw our forces.

16.03.2016 - Russian air strikes on Syria have driven out terrorists and helped start talks (by Alexander Yakovenko for The Independent)

Since the beginning of the military operation in Syria, Russia has carried out more than 9,000 flights, and for the first time, massive strikes with both air and sea-based cruise missiles. As a result, Russia has managed to significantly hinder and, in some places, completely stop support for terrorists by intercepting oil trade, and blocking the main routes of weapons and ammunition deliveries from Turkey. Terrorists have been driven out of Latakia, land routes have been restored with Aleppo, Palmyra is under siege and combat actions are being continued to liberate it from terrorists.

11.03.2016 - Russia and the West: between old geopolitics and collective action (article by Alexander Yakovenko for The Independent)

It is unfortunate that many nowadays engage quite lightly in the new Cold War rhetoric. It does not reflect the reality, only helps distort it for those who take comfort, or rather shelter, in prejudices of the past. And Russia for centuries served an ideal scapegoat for everything that went wrong in Europe and a wider world. The very notion of “Russian threat” is revived as a symbol of business as Cold War usual in Euro-Atlantic affairs.

27.02.2016 - Is the world ready for further reduction of nuclear weapons? (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

One of the most important tasks in the field of international security is to rid the world of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Russia has been constantly advocating further limitations and reductions of nuclear weapons stockpiles along with strengthening international regimes of arms control and non-proliferation. However, further dialogue on nuclear disarmament, held both bilaterally and multilaterally, could only be successful if the core principle of international security is observed, i.e. that the security of one country should not be strengthened at the expense of the security of others. Unfortunately, what is happening now is a far cry from what the international community has been striving for. Among other things it is about global stability and deterrence, the trust between Russia and the West is diminishing. Some of the critical Russian concerns are left unaddressed.

15.02.2016 - Syria: Sorting the Mess Out (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Evening Standard)

The recent meeting of the IGSS in Munich came up with the plan to try to find ways to reach a cessation of hostilities between Syrian patriotic opposition groups and the Government, while not compromising the cause of fighting Isis, Jebhat an-Nusra and other terrorists. The urgency of this plan was brought about by the successes of the Syrian army offensive, which, in view of the experts, has gradually built up a critical mass for a potential endgame in the civil war.

13.02.2016 - Russia is not a threat to the West (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

On 31 December, 2015 President Vladimir Putin signed the update National Security Strategy 2016. It is an updated key strategic planning document. In contrast to the recently published National Security Strategy of the United States, which defines military supremacy as a main tool of maintaining their 'global leadership', the Russian Strategy emphasizes the importance of strategic stability and mutually beneficial partnerships based on the principles of international law. It reflects the objective process of a new polycentric world order taking shape, global and regional instability on the rise. The strategy confirms the continuity of Russian foreign policy, based on the respect for independence and sovereignty, pragmatism, transparency, multi-vector policy and non-confrontational protection of national interests. The use of military force to protect national interests is only possible if all other means have been exhausted.

28.01.2016 - Russia's Approach To Humanitarian Problems In Syria

The Syrian conflict has unfolded into a horrific humanitarian disaster that should be dealt with through joint effort by all parties involved. On its part, Russia has been providing humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria ever since the conflict started. We have been doing this jointly with the Syrian Government as well as through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Development Program and other authorized international agencies. We are in contact with Damascus to facilitate activities of the UN agencies and NGOs in Syria. The Russian Air Forces in Syria started on 15 January, 2016 its own humanitarian mission. Humanitarian assistance is also sent to Syria by Russia's NGOs (for more details read at: http://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/5402).

26.01.2016 - Kiev must understand there is no alternative to Minsk (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

Nearly a year has passed since the Minsk Agreements on the settlement in Ukraine were reached. However, the ongoing crisis in the South-East Ukraine and problems arising in the course of the implementation of Minsk-II are still a matter of serious concern. Kiev has been very selective with respect to its obligations, especially as regards implementation of their key political points. Here are just two examples of the Minsk agreements being grossly violated. First, on the day of the beginning of the withdrawal of artillery Kiev had to engage in a dialogue, starting consultations with Donetsk and Lugansk representatives on the modalities of the elections to be held in April on the basis of the Ukrainian law and under the OSCE oversight.

17.12.2015 - Libya: a hard road ahead (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

The situation in Libya has reached a critical point, when its very survival is in question. The situation has been significantly aggravated due to a growing presence of ISIS and activities of local extremist and terrorist groups seeking not only to implement the “jihadist project” in Libya, but also to spread its influence onto the neighboring states. The negative impact of the grave situation in Libya is felt in Europe, which faces the influx of illegal migrants from Africa. And what’s more, it has exacerbated the problems of cross-border crime, arms smuggling, drug trafficking. So the inter-Libyan conflict has long outgrown national and even regional boundaries, having become a worldwide problem. That is why there is an urgent task to help the Libyan people to put an end to civil conflict and achieve a comprehensive national reconciliation. Russia welcomes courage, civic responsibility and commitment shown by the Libyan parties to the compromise solution now on the table. The signing of a political agreement should be a starting point in the reconstruction of Libya, restoring peace and stability there.

09.12.2015 - Russia’s contribution to global efforts to contain climate change (full text of article by Ambassador Yakovenko for RBTH)

The world’s climate and weather patterns are changing. Global temperatures are rising, causing more extreme weather events, like flooding and heat waves. A potential threat of these global processes for the population and the economy of our countries remains a tangible one. Climate change is one of the gravest challenges humanity faces today. Over two weeks the world’s attention is focused on the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. We are experiencing a pivot where we should shift from words to constructive solutions genuinely recognizing that there is a trend to worsening effects of global climate change. The Paris event, started by a formidable gathering of national leaders, gives us a unique opportunity to address this challenge by achieving a new climate agreement based on the principles of the UN Framework Convention. Russia is taking active measures to address global warming. The wide range of steps in the format of national programmes, laws and regulations, administrative procedures aimed at increasing Russia’s contribution to solve the climate problem includes the Climate doctrine of the Russian Federation and a comprehensive action plan for its implementation, the Presidential Decree on measures to improve energy and ecological efficiency of the Russian economy, the Federal Law on Energy Conservation, the 2030 Energy Strategy of Russia, the Presidential Decree “On the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” and the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation for its implementation.

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