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1332 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1324 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



‘We definitely have to move in our relations with UK’ – Russia’s Ambassador to Britain Mr Alexander Yakovenko, for RT

While relations between Russia and Britain might not be enjoying their easiest moment, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko told RT that doors between the two nations are still open and business relations must definitely carry on.

RT caught up with Alexander Yakovenko on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg that kicked off on Thursday.

RT:What were the main ideas discussed during the session?

Dr. Alexander Yakovenko: Basically, it was very important to understand where we stand in our relations with the EU. On the political side, we see a lot of difficulties. That has been the result of the policy of the EU in recent years; that is exactly what [Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov said. But there is another part of that, this is business. And most of the business people who are on the panel urged that something should be done in order to improve relations and send the right political signals. As one of the representatives said, ‘Europe and Russia are paying a very high price for the sanctions’. So, that was the main idea.

Hubert Védrine, France’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that in Soviet times relations between Europe and the Soviet Union had been much better than they are today. And that is true. That is why for us it is very important to reestablish the dialogue. And Sergey Lavrov said that it is time to check all of the mechanisms that we have, and have elaborated on with the EU for years, and to understand which of them we need. If we need summits, let’s have a look at how many summits we will have. If we have some other commissions, whether they are still useful for us. And that is exactly what Russia is planning to propose, as Mr. Lavrov said. This is a very important message from that session to all of us: to understand that ‘business as usual’ is not possible, and we have to do something.

RT:What result do you expect out of the Brexit referendum on June 23?

AY: We trust the British people. Our position is very simple – we take any results, and this is a sovereign decision. We are not interfering in that. Some politicians in Britain stated that Brexit would be very useful and Russia would be happy about that – it is an absolutely wrong approach. We accept any outcome. And this is the will of the people.

RT:Russia-UK relations have been suffering for almost a year. What is the stumbling block there?

AY: I think the relations are not in very good shape, especially, the political ones. We have differences on Ukraine, on Syria, on sanctions. The sanctions were initiated by the British. But still, we believe that there is a need for reassessing the relations, to look at where and in which areas we can cooperate. We are urging the British side to do that. And I hope that we can do this. I am quite optimistic. And I would like to say that the British Ambassador, who is taking part in this forum on the panel, said that we definitely have to go along with the business relations, and that was supported by the others. As one of the participants said, the political cycles and the business cycles are somewhat different. And of course, the political cycles are a little bit more short-sighted. That is why we definitely have to move in our relations with Britain. It is not easy, but we are open for that kind of cooperation.

RT:Do you expect softer rhetoric from the UK towards the Syrian government and Bashar Assad in the light of recent gains made by the Syrian army? Is dialogue with Bashar Assad possible?

AY: What is important, we reached certain decisions in Syria. And by the way, Britain is part of those decisions. And with the leadership of Russia and the US, we can do a lot in Syria. We would be happy to cooperate with Britain in Syria. Unfortunately, we have some differences and different readings, especially when it comes to Assad. As I would suggest, and I strongly recommend, that the British government should stick to the decisions taken by the Group of 20 on Syria.

RT: How seriously have the sanctions hit the UK economy? Do you see a chance of them being lifted?

 Basically, what I hear from the British business circles is: it hurts. The decline in trade last year was 50 percent. We are all losing. I see strong pressure from business on the government. I hope that the British would be more constructive on that.




30.06.2021 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to the Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2021

Sir, Numerous media reports following the Crimea incident (including the Daily Telegraph piece of 28 June by Theo Merz) exploit the idea of Russian military ships “regularly visiting British waters”. This narrative, actively promoted by the Ministry of Defence, creates an impression of frequent violations of British sovereignty by Russia – but is a prime example of British state-sponsored disinformation.

28.06.2021 - Article by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “The Law, the Rights and the Rules”, Moscow, June 28, 2021

The frank and generally constructive conversation that took place at the June 16, 2021 summit meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden in Geneva resulted in an agreement to launch a substantive dialogue on strategic stability, reaffirming the crucial premise that nuclear war is unacceptable. The two sides also reached an understanding on the advisability of engaging in consultations on cybersecurity, the operation of diplomatic missions, the fate of imprisoned Russian and US citizens and a number of regional conflicts.

18.11.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s address on the occasion of the ceremony dedicated to the veterans of the Arctic Convoys

It is an honour for me to welcome you all at this very impressive ceremony dedicated to the veterans of the Arctic Convoys. Whatever the circumstances may be around us, like the coronavirus and the due lockdown today, we should never forget the much more severe conditions that our nations had experienced in World War II.

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”.

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