22 January 2019
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324 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     316 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Ambassador's Notebook: Combating Corruption Requires International Cooperation (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for RIA Novosti)

December 9 was International Anti-Corruption Day. Ironically, it coincided
with news of an ongoing investigation into a corrupt scheme that was
reportedly used to fix football matches in the UK, demonstrating that this
evil knows no boundaries. One of Russia's priorities during its G20
presidency is combating corruption, including in sports. We proposed a
Global Alliance for Clean Sports during the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg
in September, an idea supported by the leaders of the G20. What we have in
mind is an "umbrella platform" to combine numerous anti-corruption projects
in sports currently implemented by various countries, as well as by sports
governing bodies and other international organizations. We expect that the
creation of such a mechanism will make it possible to ensure effective
coordination of relevant efforts and will contribute significantly to the
elimination of corruption in sports.

Other initiatives promoted by the G20 are: a study of the impact of
corruption and anti-corruption measures on economic growth; guiding
principles on mutual legal assistance in corruption cases; an analysis of
corruption risks during the preparation and holding of major sporting
events; a report on possible ways to counter corruption in selling
state-owned property; a comparative analysis of anti-corruption training
courses for public servants in G20 countries; and a document on the
Strategic Framework for the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, which
outlines its long-term goals and principles.

More broadly, we believe that international anti-corruption cooperation
should be conducted with a central coordinating role for the UN and on the
basis of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), a unique global
agreement providing for a wide range of measures to address corruption.
Russia stands for a comprehensive strengthening of the regime established by
the Convention and for ensuring compliance by all participating states. The
advantages of the UNCAC review mechanism, namely its intergovernmental,
non-politicized and non-intrusive character, must be used in full.

For the Russian Federation, eradicating corruption is a national policy
priority, a prerequisite for the country's successful development.
Anti-corruption activities in Russia are based on a national action plan and
a solid legal framework that is constantly improving. Control over civil
servants' major expenses and the public procurement rules are just two
examples of recent measures. It's essential to ensure the inevitability of
punishment for corruption-related crimes. Charges have been brought against
3,500 persons just this year.

However it is impossible to overcome corruption through administrative and
law enforcement measures only. It is necessary to work towards removing its
economic drivers, increasing people's legal awareness, and fostering a
culture of zero-tolerance of corruption in society. Much depends on the
stance of media, educational institutions and civil society. We see civil
society as our key ally in combating corruption and we take specific steps
to strengthen this partnership.

Another key partner is the business community. Russia has adopted the
Anti-Corruption Charter of Russian Business that Russian companies and
business associations actively use as a guide. We are convinced that
public-private partnerships in combating corruption should be among the
priorities of work in this area.

Russia's progress in its fight against corruption has been acknowledged by
the international community. In 2012, Russia successfully passed the UNCAC
review procedure and, in 2013, that of the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development. In the annual Doing Business Report of the
World Bank, Russia climbed 18 positions in comparison with the previous

But we are far from complacent and still have a great deal to do. We must
take robust and consistent action in all areas to fight corruption. The UK's
experiences as well as the UK's problems are an important source of
knowledge. We count on fruitful constructive and de-politicized co-operation
with our British partners.


09.08.2018 - Letter from Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the Guardian’s editor

In response to the Ambassador Beruchashvili’s letter, offering not so much a recollection of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus, but rather a misleading reiteration of the Georgian claims against Russia I have to refer to some of the universally recognized facts and consequences resulting from those tragic events.

24.07.2018 - Eastern Economic Forum: the East is bright (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

When talking about Russia’s Far East, you invariably remember its stunning natural beauty, abundance in natural resources and vast territories. But when one thinks of its investments prospects, you also invariably remember its harsh climate, low average population density and the lack of transport and other infrastructure. But now the situation is changing fundamentally. The region is undergoing a huge and qualitative revival. The development of the region has been declared one of the national priorities for Russia. In the last 5 years 18 advanced development zones and 5 free ports have been established in the Russian Far East. Long-term tax exemptions have been provided for large investment projects. Paperless e-visas for visitors of Vladivostok are available for citizens of 18 countries.

03.05.2018 - SALISBURY: A CLASSIFIED CASE (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

On 4 March 2018 two Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were reportedly poisoned in Salisbury, Wiltshire with the toxic chemical named A-234 under the British classification. On 12 March Foreign Secretary Johnson summoned me to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attack. He invited us to respond by the next day, whether this had been a direct act by the state or Russia had lost control over this nerve agent. The incident had international repercussions, including expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from 28 countries, notwithstanding the fact that the charges were based on assumptions and unverifiable intelligence. The Western countries lost the same number of Moscow-based staff. Meanwhile, the British government provided no evidence either to the public, its allies or Russia. Subsequent events revealed that no proof of Russia’s involvement existed. On 1 May, National Security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill confirmed that (despite a number of previous leaks) no suspect had been identified, a statement that speaks for itself.

14.02.2018 - The international community needs a unified legal base to combat information crimes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Amid the rapid advance in technologies we face a growing number of cyber-crimes: in 2016, these offences caused damage of $445 billion and by 2020, according to experts, this figure can reach up to $3 trillion, exceeding the overall income received from the Internet.

26.01.2018 - UNGA: Glorification of Nazism must stop (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In December the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the traditional resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. It was supported by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States: 133 states voted for this document, 57 became its co-sponsors, and only Ukraine and the United States voted against.

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.

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