26 April 2018
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World politics in 2012: Guided by civilisational identities

The year 2012 has confirmed the trends that we have been witnessing over recent years. The world is becoming more interconnected and more turbulent. It is changing fast. Those changes do not follow a certain scenario, but rather defy all plans and forecasts. Fundamental transformation and, probably, upheavals, lie ahead.

Twenty years ago, it looked like the Western economic and political model would become a universal beacon meeting aspirations and defining development of all nations. The reality has been quite different. The Western model is itself in a state of systemic crisis. Developing countries seem to be the main beneficiaries of globalisation, while the developed world has seen economic crises, de-industrialisation and growing social inequality.

What is probably even more important, maintaining the quality of life achieved in developed countries is impossible without major economic restructuring and creating a new technological structure. Global competition is growing, focusing not only on natural resources such as oil or metals, but on human development in the first place. Nations that will not be able to live up to these new challenges risk being marginalised, losing their economic, and even political, independence.

This leads to a comprehensive balancing of the international system within the next 20 years. Once readjusted to the new reality, this system will surely be a multipolar one. The question is what shape it will exactly take and what it will take to make it sustainable and functional. In some areas, we may have to start from ground zero.

Assisting in establishing a truly fair, democratic and, ideally, self-regulating international order is a major long-term priority for the Russian foreign policy. But this can only be achieved through concerted actions by all the leading international players.

A major issue in current international relations is the increased role of civilisational identities. There is no ‘clash of civilisations’, but people around the globe, including the Islamic world and Asia, are more and more guided by their cultural civilisational roots. This may lead either to an increased conflict potential, or to an understanding of the need for all to cooperate on the basis of sovereign equality.

The global competitive environment simply acquires a civilisational dimension extending to developmental models and systems of values. It is, indeed, a radical change in the global landscape. Everyone will have to get over it and act on the assumption that business as usual, i.e. the way things were in the 20th and 19th centuries and earlier, is no longer an option.

A lot will depend on the behaviour of our Western friends. History has shown time and again that imposing political, social and economic models does not work and often leads to a backlash from conservative and even extremist forces. This only delays genuine democratic development. Moreover, forcible spread of democracy increases the risks of a global governance crisis.

We believe that rather than imposing one particular pattern, it is time that we agree on a set of fundamental values capable of underpinning the future partnership of civilisations. Shared values mean an inclusive and reasoned debate and a break with Messianism. Those values may be based on the timeless traditions, on the shared moral foundations of the major world religions, such as peace and justice, dignity, freedom and responsibility, integrity, mercy and compassion.

Of course, the more immediate task is to overcome the economic difficulties. Let economists lead the process, but for policy-makers it is crucial not to yield to the temptation to try military solutions, something we have seen so many times in history. This is all the more important now that we see force again becoming a major factor in international relations.

I am convinced that, understanding these challenges and focusing on cooperation rather than confrontation, we will be able to collectively overcome the current turbulent period, thus laying the foundations for a future world of partners. Hopefully, the year 2013 will see steps in this direction.

Information source: Ambassador Yakovenko Column on RT


21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.

17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.

26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.

17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.

13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.

08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)

25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.

20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.

16.10.2017 - Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times (sent 12 October)

Sir, If British MPs are free to speak out, wherever they wish, on any issue, why try to block their freedom of speech (“Helping Putin”, 11 October)? If a TV channel wants (and is legally bound) to present different points of view, why slam those who express these views? If the mere act of giving an interview to foreign media amounts to high treason, why does The Times interview Russian politicians without fear? And finally - while MPs critical of Russia are welcome guests on the Russian TV channel RT, does your paper give the same treatment to those critical of the paper’s owner? Konstantin Shlykov Press Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation

25.09.2017 - PRESENTATION by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Christian Future of Europe Conference 22 September 2017, London

Your Eminences and Your Excellencies, dear Mr. Ambassador, conference organizers and participants, I cordially greet all of those gathered today at the Russian Embassy in London to partake in this conference dedicated to the question of the future of Christianity in Europe. This topic is not only not losing any of its relevance, but is resounding ever anew. Experts believe that today Christianity remains not only the most persecuted religious community on the planet, but is also encountering fresh challenges which touch upon the moral foundations of peoples' lives, their faith and their values. Recent decades have seen a transformation in the religious and ethnic landscape of Europe.

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