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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

19.08.2015

Ukraine: Road to peace runs through Minsk-II (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

More than 6 months have passed since the February 12 Minsk Agreements on the settlement in Ukraine were struck. However, the ongoing crisis in the South-East Ukraine and problems arising in the course of the implementation are still a matter of serious concern.

Kiev has been very selective, not to say reluctant, with respect to its obligations under the Minsk accord, especially as regards implementation of their key political points. Even James Sherr of Chatham House concedes that. Contrary to it Kiev is stepping up its militaristic rhetoric, refusing to sign the document on the withdrawal of tanks, artillery and mortars from the disengagement line. Announcements of the Ukrainian authorities of the return of their heavy weapons and artillery systems to their combat positions escalate tensions between the conflicting sides. Media report that shelling of settlements and casualties among Donbass civilians are on the rise. At the same time, the British Government announces its intention to increase the scale and range of the Ukrainian military trainings. Yet, even The Independent in its recent report from Teterevka casts some doubt on the presumed non-lethality of such activity.

No progress has been seen on the issue of constitutional reform, aimed at a firm and reliable long-term agreement that guarantees equality for all regions and ethnic groups, and worked out by way of a comprehensive and inclusive discussion. The amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution on decentralization that have been recently discussed in Verkhovna Rada are largely prompted by considerations of political expediency and might at any time become a bargaining chip in the never-ending struggle for power in Ukraine. They have been prepared without the participation of representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk and have taken no account of the interests of Ukraine’s southeast.

The western countries, on their part, do not adequately contribute to the process of implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Rather than supporting a thorough and unbiased international investigation of crimes committed during the Ukrainian crisis, including the crash of the Malaysian aircraft MH-17, they are politicizing the matter further by promoting a creation of an unprecedented tribunal that would have to operate under immense political pressure. The current investigations are held in secret, which undermines their credibility.

However, Minsk-II has still a huge potential in putting an end to conflict in Ukraine. Russia is doing its part, notwithstanding the crude propaganda in the West. We urge the sides in the Ukrainian conflict to strictly comply with their commitments. Hope that all parties that supported the Minsk Agreements, including Germany and France, will do their best to ensure their implementation in good faith, acting jointly and severally as their guarantors. The only road to the peace in Ukraine runs through the Minsk-II.




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.



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