23 January 2018
Moscow: 18:32
London: 15:32

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

30.08.2013

Responding to Syrian crisis: are there shades of international legitimacy? (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for RIA Novosti)

Some western states are announcing that they have conclusive information and evidences to blame Syrian authorities for the alleged chemical attack in Ghouta. We are observing preparations for a military option, including massive build-up of armaments in the region. It is hard to understand the true motives of these states. After disastrous interventions in Iraq without consent of the UN Security Council, and then in Libya, with UNSC mandate abused, where they effectively failed to assist bringing stability and establishing interreligious and interethnic peace, they are now repeating the same scenario.

No reliable and persuasive evidence has been produced to confirm that chemical weapons have been used, let alone who did it. Neither have we seen clear legal grounds for military action.

So far the alleged use of WMD looks much like a provocation with those behind turning it into a casus belli without any proof presented to the public. Besides, one has a lot to question about in the opposition’s version of events in Ghouta. One has to ask: cui bono? We see no rationale in government forces using chemical weapons just at the very moment when the UN fact-finding mission arrived in Syria.

At the same time, it is clear that those involved in the incident wanted to sabotage the Geneva peace talks. One cannot but recall that the government has long ago declared its readiness to negotiate, while the opposition hasn’t followed suit. Today, some external players cannot help being seen deliberately undermining the very prospect of peaceful political process. We hope that common sense will prevail sooner rather than later. Russia is determined to continue efforts aimed at bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table.

The latest vote in British Parliament on Syria provides a convincing proof that the international community is tired of “constructive ambiguities” and ambivalence in matters of law and order in world politics. It is also too serious a matter to outsource it to groups of countries or coalitions of the willing. Acting outside international law at one’s own risk and expense is pretty costly. Moreover, instead of helping to solve problems, it aggravates the situation in question. It turns out to be counterproductive and self-defeating. It also looms large in domestic affairs as the weapons of mass distraction topic at the time of the War in Iraq.

Like national law and order, it is something concrete, not some abstract ideas or good intentions which the road to Hell is paved with. It is also about due process and establishing facts first, and that means gathering evidence and reporting it to the UN Security Council for consideration and decision-making. Political expediency has no place in this process underpinning international legitimacy of any action. It may sound too little or quite a lot, but this is a minimum requirement for keeping the world an orderly place.

And this is precisely what Russia demands of her Western partners as regards the presumed use of chemical weapons in Syria. We don’t ask for more, but we’ll settle for nothing short of that. Unfortunately, some drew the wrong conclusions from the end of the Cold War, which allegedly, lowered the threshold of use of force. It is high time that those people stop deluding themselves. War is serious business, and it has to be treated as such.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



all messages