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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

04.07.2014

RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY IN THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

In accordance with the regular rotation, Russia was presiding over the proceedings of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the month of June. Under Russian Presidency, the Council considered a wide range of international issues. Of course, the situation in Ukraine was a priority. Although this issue is still treated by some members in a one-sided manner, we were able to mobilize the UN support for a peaceful settlement of the protracted internal political crisis in Ukraine. We managed to draw attention of UN humanitarian agencies to the dire situation in the eastern regions of the country. Without immediate de-escalation of the situation and the cessation of all hostilities a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe cannot be avoided.
The Presidency proposed two draft resolutions on Ukraine, based on a common philosophy, namely to put an end to violence, to implement the Geneva Statement of April 17 and the “roadmap” proposed by the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE. Unfortunately, our repeated efforts to find a common approach met a strong counter-reaction of our colleagues. We were also surprised by the cynical stance taken by a number of delegations not to allow the UNSC to condemn the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev. The failure to respond to such an incident is an unprecedented case in the practice of the Security Council.
Meanwhile, the Council adopted a statement in connection with the death of journalists in Ukraine, appealing to the Ukrainian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy. We will monitor what action would follow from Kiev.
The situation in Syria also remains among our top priorities in the UNSC. It is symbolic that during the Russian Presidency the operation to remove all components of chemical weapons from the Syrian territory, initiated by Russia, was completed. We also put forward a fresh initiative to ease the humanitarian sufferings of the Syrians by enabling the UN to use four crossings on the Syrian border with Turkey, Iraq and Jordan for supply of relevant humanitarian goods under UN auspices and with the consent of the Syrian authorities.
Russia continued the efforts to draw attention of the international community to Afghanistan with a special focus on the task of combating the production and illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs. It is well known that this problem has acquired a truly terrifying and global reach and has in fact become a threat to international peace and stability. The UNSC agreed the statement of the President which lays a solid foundation for mobilizing the international community to address the drug problem and provide assistance to the new leadership of the country. It is also important that the international military contingent stationed on Afghan territory continues to support actions of the Afghan authorities to address challenges associated with drug production and drug trafficking.
Of course, recent developments in Iraq attracted attention of the UNSC. Russia strongly condemns the terrorists' appalling criminal acts and supports the government and political groups in Iraq as they resist the ISIL militants by all available means. It is vital to consolidate the efforts of all Iraqi factions on the basis of combating international terrorism and extremism, and preserving the Iraqi state. More generally, the Russian Presidency was encouraging the Security Council to address the wide regional dimension that terrorist challenges are gaining in the Middle East.
Among other topics the UNSC considered during the Russian Presidency was the extension of the mandates of peacekeeping operations in Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, in the Golan Heights as well as the situation in the Middle East, Yemen, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Sudan, and the prospects for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. As one of the Council’s permanent members, Russia will continue to ensure that this body lives up to its role as the main guarantor of international peace and security.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


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.



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