15 January 2019
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317 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     309 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Ambassador's Notebook: Bilateral Relations in 2012: Highlights

This past year has been very fruitful in terms of developing broad political dialogue between Russia and Great Britain. President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met Prime Minister David Cameron at the G8 and G20 summits and during the Olympic Games in London.

Our Foreign Ministers have been in regular contact. In May 2012, William Hague visited Moscow, where an agreement was reached on establishing a new bilateral mechanism for high level strategic dialogue and on holding seasons of culture in 2014. Both ministers have been regularly exchanging views on topical international issues, last time at their meeting in Dublin early this month. We also saw a number of consultations and other forms of contact between departments in the MFA and the FCO.

It has been a difficult year in international affairs, with crises in various parts of the world reflecting the transitory and transformational nature of our time. Russia and Britain have been busy cooperating on a host of international issues in various international fora, including the UN Security Council, G8 and G20, OSCE and Council of Europe, the Middle East Quartet, and the “3+3” on the Iranian nuclear program. Britain is also a party to Russia’s relationships with the EU and NATO.

We witnessed an increase in the levels of parliamentary contact. Lord-Speaker of the House of Lords Baroness D’Souza visited Russia in autumn. Her visit was followed by a series of exchanges between Russian and British MPs. There has been a rise in the traffic between our legal communities, judiciaries and law-enforcement bodies.

This renewed political dialogue has provided active support for the further strengthening of our economic co-operation. On October 29, the 9th Session of the Russia-UK Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Investment took place in London, with a broad involvement of the business communities. It addressed new trade and investment opportunities opening up within the framework of the Russia-UK Declaration on a Knowledge-Based Partnership for Modernization of 2011, that provides for the further diversification of our economic partnership and its stakeholders through the wider engagement of small and medium-sized businesses supported by credit and export guarantees, an expansion of the regional dimension, joint hi-tech projects in production and research, as well as strategic initiatives in gas and nuclear energy.

According to the understanding reached between our leaders in 2011, British and Russian veterinary authorities have worked together, and thanks to this cooperation British meat exports could resume by the end of the year.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Rusnano Corporation, Skolkovo Innovation Center, and Russian regions have been advancing their co-operation with their British partners throughout the year, concluding new agreements and investment deals. The Joint Liaison Group on Moscow as an International Financial Center continued its expert work, holding two meetings in Moscow and London. A landmark strategic partnership was agreed between Rosneft and BP in November that would allow them to expand their co-operation in Russia and in third countries.

Overall, the trade and investment ties between our countries are on the rise. Bilateral trade grew to pre-crisis levels last year, and reached $ 19 bln over the 10 months of this year, an 8.3 percent increase. Accumulated British investment also recovered and stood at $ 25.7 bln, or 7.7 percent of the total accumulated foreign investment in Russia as of July 1, 2012.

Cultural cooperation has also enjoyed an upswing. This eventful year saw a rich exchange in various cultural missions, such as the British exhibition “The Golden Age” of the English Court: From Henry VIII to Charles I” at the Moscow Kremlin and the Russian exhibition “Catherine the Great: An Enlightened Empress” at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Specialists from the State Hermitage and the National Gallery worked jointly on a unique restoration project on Titian’s Flight into Egypt. The masterpiece was then exhibited in London. That was the first time the work has been on display outside Russia since 1768. World famous Russian maestros Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev were also regular guests in Britain.

Our national teams performed extremely well at the London Olympics and Paralympics. The Olympic legacy is a major area of our partnership, particularly in view of the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi in 2014.

In 2012, London saw a series of events commemorating the Bicentenary of Russia’s victory over Napoleon. They were organized by the Russian Embassy, with support from British enthusiasts and members of the Russian community in the UK. These events emphasized our shared legacy of being on the right side in European and world history at critical junctures. On December 19, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the Arctic Convoy Star would be awarded to the surviving British participants of that heroic chapter of our alliance in WWII.

Overall, the year’s events hold the promise of our moving towards a fuller use of our two nations’ potential in a genuine partnership that rises to meet the requirements of our time.


28.11.2018 - Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference

Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference in response to the USA, United Kingdom and Canada accusing Russia of not observing its obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention. Distinguished Mr. Chair, We consider absolutely unacceptable the groundless accusations voiced in the statement of the United States that Russia is in violation of its obligations under Article I of the CWC pertaining to alleged involvement of Russian nationals in use of a nerve agent in Salisbury. Such statements have absolutely no bearing on the facts and are effectively aired to influence the international community. The refusal of the United Kingdom to cooperate in any form with Russia on the “Skripal case”, which would be in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article IX of the CWC only underlines the emptiness of the accusations. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom has addressed the Technical Secretariat with a request to confirm the outcomes of its own national investigation, which contradicts the goals and objectives of technical assistance provided to a State Party under subparagraph e) of paragraph 38 of Article VIII of the CWC. As follows from the presented materials on the assistance provided in connection to Salisbury and Amesbury cases, we have to state the politically motivated nature of the undertaken measures.

30.10.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with ''Moscow. Kremlin. Putin'' TV programme Moscow, October 25, 2018

Question: Why did US National Security Adviser John Bolton come to Moscow? Sergey Lavrov: To talk. There are many matters we need to discuss. We appreciate it that it is US National Security Adviser John Bolton who is especially proactive regarding ties with his colleagues in Moscow. Question: Is this a joke? Sergey Lavrov: Not at all. Actually, we have meetings with Mr Bolton more often than with our other colleagues. He was here in July, and now he is back again. In between, he met with Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva. We believe that it is important when such a high-ranking official takes interest in the practical matters on our bilateral agenda.

24.10.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's introductory remarks at the opening of the 2nd Russia-UK Raw Materials Dialogue, 24 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, To me as Russian Ambassador to the UK, it is a privilege to address such an important Russian-British conference. The 2nd Russian-UK Raw Materials Dialogue has a great meaning for the professional community in our countries, for it covers a broad range of different topics from mining technologies, new material development and use of natural resources to international academic and scientific exchanges.

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.

07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.

06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.

22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.

16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”

24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.

20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.

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