25 April 2018
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

21.01.2013

Is there a solution to the Syrian crisis?

The situation in Syria remains difficult. What’s more, the ongoing humanitarian crisis continues to deteriorate. The opposition still refuses to sit down at the negotiating table with Damascus. The death toll is rising. Is there a solution to the Syrian crisis, or are we about to witness a cruel civil war drag on into 2013?

The Syrian crisis has continued for over a year with no prospects for peace. Last week, Geneva hosted another trilateral meeting on Syria: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and the UN/Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi all took part.

Russia has responded positively to a proposal to continue consultations in group format, convinced that no effort should be spared to achieve a political settlement in Syria. Currently, the Geneva Communique adopted at the Action Group Ministerial meeting on June 30, 2012, is the only document that offers a consensus for achieving this goal.

It is worth mentioning that its provisions and principles have, for some reason, not been covered by the British press.

The final Communique of the Action Group for Syria sets forth the following clear steps in the transition:

• “The establishment of a transitional governing body, which can establish a neutral environment in which the transition can take place. That means that the transitional governing body would exercise full executive powers. It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”

• “It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country. All groups and segments of society in Syria must be enabled to participate in a National Dialogue process. That process must not only be inclusive, it must also be meaningful – that is to say, its key outcomes must be implemented.”

• “On this basis, there can be a review of the constitutional order and the legal system. The result of constitutional drafting would be subject to popular approval.”

• “Once the new constitutional order is established, it is necessary to prepare for and conduct free and fair multi-party elections for the new institutions and offices that have been established.”

• “Women must be fully represented in all aspects of the transition.”

However, so far there are no alternatives to the Geneva Communique in overcoming this dangerously protracted crisis. Russia is of the view that the immediate cessation of all violence and bloodshed – and urgent humanitarian aid to the Syrians, including internally displaced persons and refugees – is absolutely crucial.

It is also important that any political transition provide guarantees of equal rights for all ethnic and religious groups. As always, Russia strongly believes that the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrians themselves, without any external interference or the imposition of ready-made recipes. As to the key external players, they should provide maximum support to the Syrians, guided by the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter.

Russia fully supports the mission of Special Representative Brahimi, who is committed to providing the necessary assistance to all factions in Syrian, both the opposition and the government, guided by the provisions of the Geneva Communique. Russia expects the same from its international partners.

Speaking at a January 13 press conference in Chernovtsy, Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed: “The Geneva Communique should be implemented without any preliminary conditions. So far, there has been no accord to that effect among all the Syrian sides and external players. Our partners insist that, as a preliminary condition, President Assad must be excluded from the political process. However, this condition is absent from the Geneva Communique and is impossible to implement, for it depends on no one.”

“The President of Syria took the initiative to invite all opposition to a dialogue,” Lavrov said. “Perhaps, these steps may not be very far-sighted and one might consider them futile, but still, the proposal has been made. Were I in the opposition, I would put forward a counter-proposal on the ways of establishing a dialogue.”

Information source: Ambassador Yakovenko Column on RT




LATEST EVENTS

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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