25 October 2020
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966 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     958 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Ufa summit: a major step forward (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

The SCO summit just held in Ufa, Russia, marked a major step forward in the development of this regional forum. For the first time in its 15-year history the decision was made to increase the number of members. The process of the accession of India and Pakistan was formally launched. It was decided to upgrade the status of Belarus to that of an observer. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal have become SCO dialogue partners. Several more states have expressed willingness to join as observers and dialogue partners. The geography is rather impressive - from South and Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. As a result of the summit, the SCO's capabilities to react to modern threats and challenges and to find regional solutions to regional problems, will grow. The organisation's political and economic potential will be significantly enhanced.

The summit adopted the SCO Development Strategy that outlines the priority areas until 2025. These include all major areas of cooperation - from creating conditions to boost cooperation in trade and economy to ensuring regional stability and prompt responses to conflicts and crises. The strategy envisages strengthening the SCO as an efficient Asia-wide organization capable of countering regional security challenges, ensuring trade, economic and investment interaction, joint projects for sustainable development, expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties, including in the areas of science and technology, health, environment and education.

This cooperation is fully voluntary and preserves the independence and sovereignty of all participants: the organization does not provide for a formation of a military-political union or an economic integration organization with supranational institutions.

The Ufa Declaration describes joint approaches to the most relevant international and regional problems and gives an assessment of the organisation's day-to-day activities. The SCO members had an in-depth discussion on the situation in Afghanistan. They noted that ISIS had stepped up its activities and spread its tentacles to that country, which increases the security threats on the southern borders of the Organisation.

The SCO members expressed deep concern over the growing threats of terrorism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime and called for a build-up of international efforts combating these global challenges and threats. The Programme of Cooperation in the Fight Against Terrorism and Separatism for 2016-2018 was adopted to tackle these issues.

The SCO member-states emphasized the importance of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism in World War II and the creation of the United Nations for drawing lessons from history and uniting all states in the cause of ensuring a safe life and human dignity for all. It is vital to maintain the existing mechanisms of global governance, first of all the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council. That is all the more important as the principles of common and indivisible security and mutually beneficial and equal cooperation gain prominence in contemporary stage of international relations. The process of reshaping the old geopolitical order is accompanied by growing instability both on global and regional levels as well as expansion of conflict hotbeds. All that makes SCO a key element of a new security and cooperation architecture that is developing in the region.


22.10.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s welcoming remarks on the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition in the British Museum

Dear ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome you all at the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition, dedicated to the history of exploration of the Far North, traditions and culture of its native peoples, as well as the problem of global climate change.

05.08.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s interview to the Daily Mail, 4 August 2020

Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to the Daily Mail newspaper, covering the Russia Report, bilateral relations with UK and a broad international agenda.

21.07.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview with Sky News, 21 July 2020

Q: Thank you Mr Ambassador for speaking to us today. My first question is have you seen the report today, have you read it, what do you think? A: Yes, of course, I’ve seen it and and I have read it this morning. My first impression is that the Shakespeare’s phrase is very much applicable to it: much ado about nothing. The report is called “Russia”. But if you put the name of any other country, it will be the same, because this report is not about Russia. It is about the relationship between different intelligence agencies inside the UK.

03.07.2020 - Open Skies Clouded by Sham and Ambiguity (by Ambassador Andrei Kelin)

Ambassador Andrei Kelin's article published on the website of Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on 2 July 2020.

02.12.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview to Sputnik News Agency

On 27 November, 2019 Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to Sputnik News Agency during the V Russian-British Business Forum.

15.08.2019 - The liberal "end of history": what's next?

Following an interview with President Vladimir Putin published by the Financial Times a month ago, the issue of the future “liberal world order” in its idealistic version has been part of London’s political discussion agenda, with the emphasis being put on moral and political leadership in the present-day world.

09.07.2019 - What has happened to Western liberal idea? (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

In the recent interview with President Putin, the Financial Times seems to have launched a discussion on liberalism only at its own peril. Inadvertently, a real problem was touched upon, whose pressing nature is no longer denied by anyone in the West. The newspaper had to admit it in its Editorial of 29 June. Its authors claim that the threat to liberalism comes from within, including President Trump and his policies, Brexit and, certainly, the rise of “populist nationalism”. They refer to voters’ disillusionment with liberalism and loss of confidence in the economic system and trust in political elites. The latter are invited to redouble their efforts to take into consideration issues raised by voters and “to renew liberalism”.

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.

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