27 November 2020
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999 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     991 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

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.

In August 2008 the Government of Georgia launched an unprovoked full-scale military operation against South Ossetia in violation of international law. That devastating aggression by the Georgian army, supported by tanks and armoured vehicles, caused numerous casualties among civilians, left 10 Russian peacekeepers in the region dead and 40 wounded, destroyed the majority of residential blocks and infrastructure in South Ossetia capital, Tskhinval.

In the light of a direct threat to the Russian citizens in South Ossetia, Russia had no choice but to launch an operation to stop the Georgian aggression and to enforce peace in conformity with the right of self-defence as stipulated in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Upon completing the operation, the Russian Armed Forces were pulled back from Georgia in October 2008 in accordance with the principles for a settlement of the conflict coordinated by the then President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.

The fact that it was Georgia who committed an act of aggression was later officially confirmed, most notably in the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia, established by the Council of the European Union and chaired by Ambassador Tagliavini. Attempts by Tbilisi with support of some of its Western partners to conceal this fact or lay the blame at Russia’s door do nothing to address the root causes of the conflict, which evolved into the emergence of two independent states on the world’s map. Russia has recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in accordance with international law.

The main lesson drawn from the 2008 tragedy is that it was senseless and counterproductive to resort to force in an attempt to settle international disputes or conflicts. The use of violence can only have the most painful and sometimes irreversible consequences for the societies involved. Russia continues its efforts to promote dialogue and comprehensive negotiations between Georgia, on the one hand, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, on the other hand, within the framework of the Geneva International Discussions. The first step on the path to reconciliation could be the signing of non-use of force agreements.

 

Alexander Yakovenko,

Ambassador




LATEST EVENTS

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”.


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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