22 November 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

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?

In June 2017 Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the latest amendments to the so-called Decommunisation Law – national law of 1 April 2016 banning propaganda of “communist or any other totalitarian regime”. The changes introduced to the legal framework in this sensitive sphere are in fact broadening the scope of purge in Polish public domain aimed at erasing symbols considered to be ideologically “wrong”. Sadly, monuments and memorial plaques are also under fire.

Russia has repeatedly drawn international attention to the fact that the new Polish measures are in direct violation of legal obligations under a whole range of bilateral treaties and agreements signed by Russia and Poland between 1992 and 1994 to maintain and preserve Soviet memorial sites.

Beyond legal aspects, this issue has a crucial moral dimension. The monuments of gratitude to the Red Army are a reminder of the Soviet Union’s decisive contribution to the Victory over Nazism and to survival of Poland as a state. The USSR paid an immense price for the liberation of Poland from the Nazi occupation – over 600,000 Soviet soldiers and officers gave their lives in that country alone. A lot of them are buried on the Polish territory, along with the thousands of Soviet prisoners of war who were kept in Nazi concentration camps.

And yet, apart from the state and municipal activities in this regard, the new law is encouraging and motivating Polish citizens to actively participate in removing “hostile” memorial objects. This atmosphere of impunity has already resulted in several acts of vandalism at Soviet war memorials in the Polish cities of Sosnowiec, Olsztyn, Warsaw, Strzegom, desecration of monuments in Lidzbark Warminski and other towns.

The policy of Warsaw is creating unnecessary additional friction in Europe, poisoning relations between our countries and peoples. Russia urged the international community and first and foremost those countries who fought with us against Nazism during the World War II to discourage Polish authorities from devoting their energy to the ignoble war with monuments and memorial sites. It is universally important to preserve the memory of those who defeated fascism, and combat glorification of Nazism. In this regard, Russia will continue to put forward at the UN General Assembly its resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. We appreciate growing support of our initiative.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


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.



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