10 April 2020
Moscow: 12:16
London: 10:16

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

768 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     760 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Article by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko published on 29 November 2011 in the Daily Telegraph (Russia Now supplement)

Fukushima has made the nuclear industry safer

Nuclear power after Fukushima is a topic being discussed on many professional forums. Several governments, facing pressure from NGOs and the public, have had to declare that they will abandon nuclear energy. But for the time being, the situation is virtually unchanged: plants are still in operation and will remain so at least through the 2020s, including those in Germany and Switzerland. And nuclear plants that were being built at the time of Fukushima are still being built. Some countries (the UK, South Korea and Saudi Arabia) plan to generate a bigger proportion of their energy through nuclear power.

A total of 29 countries have nuclear power. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) predicts that by 2030, Russia, China, India, South Korea, the United States and France will account for about 71pc of the total number of nuclear power plants scheduled for construction by 2030 (212 of 297 reactors). In its Nuclear Fuel Market Report 2011, the WNA says the world’s nuclear capacity will nearly double by 2030.

Especially notable are the 21 states that, according to WNA data, declared their intentions to build their country’s first nuclear power plants and confirmed these intentions even after the Fukushima accident. These include the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Vietnam, Jordan and Bangladesh. New nuclear power plants aren’t just an energy project, but also a huge stimulus for infrastructure development, the construction industry and job creation, as well as a major boost for science and education. They can also help to expand international partnerships, for example the export of energy to neighbouring countries.

Fukushima has had a mostly positive effect on the nuclear industry. This is because it has made the most advanced safety systems an essential requirement and virtually eliminated the supply of Generation II reactor facilities on the market (those without double containment or passive safety systems, or with incomplete systems).

The accident in Japan has also led to proposals for tougher safety rules. Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, has suggested improvements to the international legal framework for nuclear safety, as well as to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards. These were reflected in the action plan and resolutions adopted at the IAEA general conference in September.

The general conference also affirmed that nuclear power continues to play an important role in providing for the world’s growing demand for energy. Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pointed out in a recent article that a balanced approach to energy issues is needed: “Renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear are not mutually exclusive.”

In addition, any military strikes against nuclear facilities – which in recent years have been discussed in connection with Iran’s nuclear power programme – would not only violate international law, but would also run counter to the wider interests of the international community.
Russia has already taken heed of the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima accident. It conducted stress tests earlier than other countries, and Russia’s procedures proved to be even more thorough, since it has also tested stations’ physical protection systems against possible terrorist attacks. It has gained experience by searching for usable sites in earthquake zones: the Armenian nuclear power plant, for example, is in one. In addition, reassessments of seismic activity in nuclear power plant regions are currently under way in Russia. After this, each power-generating unit will work on improving the stability of key facilities. In all, Russia plans to build a total of 26 new reactors as part of its programme to develop nuclear power by 2030. Taking into account the units that will be decommissioned by that time, up to 25pc of electricity consumed in Russia will be generated by 47 nuclear power units. All of the units being constructed by Russian nuclear power plant specialists – both in Russia and abroad – are the so-called Generation III+ reactors, which use a unique mixture of active and passive safety systems to withstand any possible combination of external impacts.
Russia continues to participate in bids to build new nuclear power plants in foreign countries. Its competitive advantage is that Rosatom, the state atomic energy corporation, is prepared to guarantee client countries a supply of nuclear fuel for a station’s entire operating life. That’s because we are absolutely confident that nuclear power is still by far the safest, cleanest, and most cost-effective source of energy available today.
In general, we must acknowledge that the past 20 years have largely been lost in terms of actively preparing the global economy for a transition to clean energy. Every nation can probably be said to be guilty of this, but it is especially the fault of countries that could show foresight and afford to implement ambitious programmes in this realm.
Now we must reform our views of the immediate situation with a healthy pragmatism, and a real understanding of the world in which we now live – in the 21st century, and not in the 22nd.


07.04.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's message to Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson

Dear Prime Minister, Let me express my sincere support for you at this difficult moment. I am sure that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you defeat the illness. With all my heart, I wish you a speedy and full recovery. Sincerely yours, Vladimir Putin

23.03.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Saturday news show Vesti v Subbotu, Moscow, March 21, 2020

Question: For you, Sri Lanka is your youth. What did you feel when you came back here? We are now in the new Embassy building, while you worked in the old building. Still, what memories did it stir up from when you worked here? Sergey Lavrov: Of course, I mostly remember the old building where I worked for four years. I was an aide to Soviet Ambassador Rafik Nishanov, God bless him. We created a tight-knit group of MGIMO graduates and more experienced personnel, including first secretaries and councillors.

27.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry, the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) and the Federal Archive Agency (Rosarkhiv) on information coverage of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Moscow, February 26, 2020

We have just signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS on covering the events that will be devoted to and are already being held to honour the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Our Foreign Ministry has established very close, collaborative and friendly relations with our colleagues – the Federal Archive Agency and ITAR-TASS. We are combining the capabilities of federal executive bodies and our media on a very topical theme.

21.02.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's welcoming words at the reception to honour the Russian Armed Forces

Excellences, Ladies and gentlemen, We have gathered today to honour the Russian Armed Forces. Our Army has seen many glorious victories. Those who liberated Europe and all humanity from fascism on the battlefields of the World War II are still among us. After that terrible war, 75 years ago, the leaders of the USSR, United Kingdom and United States agreed to create the United Nations Organisation designed to prevent such devastating tragedies.

19.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the joint news conference following Russian-Italian talks between foreign and defence ministers in the two-plus-two format, Rome, February 18, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express my gratitude for the hospitality we traditionally receive in Italy. I completely agree that the fourth joint meeting between the Russian and Italian foreign and defence ministers was held in a constructive manner. The last time we met in this format was in 2013. We find that resuming work in this format is timely and important.

18.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following the 56th Munich Security Conference, Munich, February 17, 2020

The Munich Security Conference is over. You have seen all the speeches. Our media have already made assessments. I will be glad to answer your questions. Question: Did you discuss with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo President Donald Trump’s participation in the meeting of the UN Security Council permanent members proposed by Russia? Is the US position now clear? Did you discuss extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)? Did you manage to reach any agreement?

17.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during the 56th Munich Security Conference, Global Disorder – Other Opportunities for a New Agenda, Munich, February 15, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, This year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in WWII. Sadly, there are attempts to brazenly distort history and to equate the liberators of Europe with Nazi murderers. These attempts will remain on the conscience of those behind them. No one and nothing can belittle the decisive role of the Red Army and the Soviet people in defeating Nazism. At the same time, we will always keep in our minds the spirit of Alliance during the War and the ability of the states to unite and fight the common threat regardless of ideological differences.

10.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from Rossiyskaya Gazeta editorial office and its regional partners during a business breakfast, Moscow, February 10, 2020

Question: There are numerous reports in the media about preparations for the upcoming Defender-Europe 20 military exercise, due to take place this May in a number of Eastern European countries. This will be the largest US military exercise in the past 25 years. Given the considerable cooling in relations between Russia and NATO, are we witnessing the birth of a new Cold War?

06.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, February 5, 2020

Question: What is your opinion of the new US punitive measures to toughen the embargo against Cuba that has been in place for almost 60 years? Sergey Lavrov: We can see that US attempts to reformat the Latin American region in line with its geopolitical interests aim to overthrow the “undesirable regimes” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The archaic Monroe Doctrine serves as the ideological foundation. In the run-up to the presidential election, the White House continues to ratchet up sanctions against those states which preserve their national independence, sovereignty and identity. This openly anti-human policy runs counter to the generally accepted principles of international law, including the UN Charter.

03.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 1 television channel for the documentary Antarctica: 200 Years of Peace, Moscow, February 2, 2020

Sergey Lavrov: Antarctica, which was discovered 200 years ago by the first Russian expedition of Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev, is a continent where international relations, as it was decided after long disputes, are guided by the Antarctic Treaty signed 60 years ago. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty sets out the principles that regulate the activities of all countries in Antarctica. First of all, the contracting parties pledged to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes only, preserve its biological resources and prohibit all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research (the latter provision was confirmed by the contracting parties for at least 50 years at their meeting in Madrid in 1991). The treaty also bans any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases, the carrying out of military manoeuvres, as well as the testing of any type of weapons. There is also a provision on cooperation based on mutual respect and conducted in the interests of the whole of humankind.

all messages