21 September 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

20.11.2016

Bringing peace to Syria (by Ambassador Yakovenko for "Sunday Mirror", published on 20.11.2016)

It has to be borne in mind that Russia sent its Air Force to Syria only on 30 September 2015. According to our Western interlocutors, it was a critical moment when Damascus was about to fall to the ISIS onslaught. The foreign terrorist organizations, proscribed by the UN, such as ISIS and “Nusra”, are the single most important factor that distorted the entire setup in Syria.

In fact, the terrorists are leading the opposition militarily, including in East Aleppo. Accordingly, if they call the tune on the battlefield, they’ll do the same in Syria if they prevail. Our only strategy in Syria is to allow the Syrians to decide for themselves.

The Syrian opposition, if it is to be a credible partner in the political process, should disengage from the terrorists. They are offered places at the table in Geneva. The open-ended political talks will be aided by the International Syria Support Group, of which Britain is a member.

Use of the Air Force in Syria is part of a diplomacy backed by force, which is the central point in foreign policy strategies of our Western partners. We have been trying to coordinate with this US Administration. We’ll continue doing so with the next one.

Already for a month our Air Force hasn’t been attacking East Aleppo. The Air Force operations resumed to hit terrorist infrastructure in the provinces of Idlib and Homs. No civilian infrastructure is targeted. The Russian military does what they can, based on the extensive reconnaissance, to exclude any loss of life among civilians. No lies will undermine our resolve.

Unfortunately, like in Mosul, the terrorists use civilians as human shields in East Aleppo. They also prevent delivery of humanitarian aid.

While fostering ceasefire at the grass-root level (almost 1000 villages have already signed up), our military has been delivering over 30 tons of food, clothes and medicines weekly. Some of this assistance is now delivered by rail (we helped repair the railway in Latakia).

The opposition doesn’t offer secular democracy. So far, their alternative seems to be an end of history rule by fanatics. Whatever the reasons for the dynamics of civil war in Syria, it is clear that the opposition can’t prevail militarily without outside assistance. This says a lot. Unlike, say, in the English civil war, people prefer to sit the violence out in refugee camps abroad. But most of them find refuge in the areas under government control. Syria is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious sophisticated society with a deeply ingrained business culture. The deserve peace.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


07.09.2017 - No alternative to a peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia is deeply concerned over the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where confrontation is moving into its hottest phase than ever before. North Korea continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions.


07.09.2017 - The West’s counter-ISIS efforts cost Iraq and Syria dearly (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

According to the UN, mass media and NGOs, as a result of air and artillery strikes by the US-led counter-ISIS coalition in Syria, hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians have died. The number of refugees and temporarily displaced persons from Raqqa has reached 200,000. At present, there are still 25,000-40,000 civilians in the city, which until 2013 was inhabited by almost 300,000 people.


16.08.2017 - Iran has the right to develop its missile programme (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The launch by Iran on 27 July of the missile “Simurg” caused a lot of speculations and aimed at putting additional pressure on the country under the false pretext.


05.08.2017 - DPRK tested medium-range, not intercontinental ballistic missile

The latest developments on the Korean Peninsula have become a matter of a grave concern against the backdrop of yet another launch of a ballistic missile by the DPRK on 28 July in violation of the UN Secretary Council resolutions. But the bellicose rhetoric will not produce a peaceful negotiated solution.


02.08.2017 - Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: playing with fire (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On July 7, the work on the draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (PNW) was completed in New York. Russia considers this Treaty as counterproductive and potentially dangerous, which brings humanity no closer to a world free of nuclear weapons and threatens to damage the existing non-proliferation regimes. The international community has already created universal mechanisms, based on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which allow a gradual cut of nuclear arsenals. At the same time, it provides for the strengthening of international stability and ensuring equal security for all states, including non-nuclear. We are convinced that the NPT contains all the necessary provisions in this sphere that must be applied consistently.


27.07.2017 - The role of nuclear weapons in the Russian military strategy: setting the record straight (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

We continue to see efforts to blame Russia for allegedly lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. Against the backdrop of current anti-Russian hysterics and groundless accusations of “aggression”, “destabilization”, “interference”, etc., this adds to the false picture. Let’s set the record straight.


27.07.2017 - Russia’s efforts in Syria: we invite all to join (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia continues its efforts in Syria aimed at normalizing the humanitarian situation and eliminating terrorism in the region. Along with fighting ISIS, al-Nusra Front in all its reincarnations, and other terrorist organizations, recognized as such by the UN Security Council, Russia also contributes to establishing conditions to secure the ceasefire between the Syrian government troops and the opposition. Starting from June, Russia has supported the signing of agreements on ceasefire with representatives of 508 towns and villages. Total number of reconciled inhabited areas has reached an unprecedented number of 2,043.


26.07.2017 - Khan Sheikhoun: we must establish the truth (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The question of what really happened in Khan Shaykhun on April 4 still remains unanswered. Russia’s critical attitude to the methods of work and to the conclusions of the report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in Syria on this matter is well known. For three months of work, the FFM could only prove the use of sarin, thus confirming the findings of the Syrians themselves, who managed to obtain samples onsite. We believe there are fundamental flaws in the work of the Mission, including the following: the inquiry was conducted remotely, without visiting the scene of the incident; the CWC’s basic chain-of-custody principle hasn’t been honoured; in fact, the main question remained unanswered – under what circumstances and how exactly the chemical agent was deployed.


19.07.2017 - Real actions, not sanctions, needed to save public health in Syria (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains complex. According to the UN, 13,5 million Syrians or more than half of the country’s population need help. Of the UN 2017 humanitarian appeal for Syria of $3,4 bn, so far $702 mln has been allocated by donors. The Syrian public health system, which was once considered the best in the region, has now significantly deteriorated and its state is of particular concern. There is limited access of the population to the medical and sanitary services, and the immunization from the main diseases remains at a very low level. As of the end of June, 17 cases of poliomyelitis were registered in the country. The threat of epidemic remains high. Due to the lack of clean drinking water, outbreaks of dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever are ever more possible.



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