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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

16.10.2013

Syria’s chemical disarmament opens way to political settlement (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian ambassador to UK, for Russia Today)

The Russian-American agreement on placing Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) under international control with their subsequent elimination, achieved in Geneva
a month ago, the decision of the OPCW Executive Council on that matter, supported by UNSC resolution 2118, provide an opportunity for launching a political process to settle the crisis in Syria. The endorsement by the UN Security Council of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation on overseeing the destruction of Syria’s CW, which resulted in establishment of a first-ever joint UN/OPCW mission, is an important step in this direction. This will enable countries, including Russia, to assess in more detail the parameters of their participation in chemical disarmament of Syria. We strongly believe that only immediate and concrete actions by the international community in support of the joint effort of Syria and the OPCW will successfully help solve the task of eliminating chemical weapons in the first half of 2014.

However, there should be no illusions that the process of chemical weapons destruction will be a cakewalk. Not only because a number of storage facilities might be located in battle zones. Reports about some third countries illegally using uncontrolled territories of Afghanistan to train militants to fight against the Syrian Government, including handling chemical warfare agents, prove once again that not all of those involved are interested in success of Syria’s chemical disarmament. The resolution 2118 places responsibility for ensuring the safety and full implementation of the OPCW and UN Security Council decisions not only on the Syrian Government, but on the Syrian opposition, as well as other actors, including neighboring countries.

As Mr. Ban Ki-moon rightly stated in his proposal to UNSC, the only way to bring peace back to this country and to its people is through an inclusive Syrian-led political process. The very same UNSC resolution provides for convening international conference in order to give the Syrians an opportunity to agree on how to fully implement the provisions of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012. The apparent logic is that the clear and timely destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons create conditions for the launch of Geneva-2.

Meanwhile, it is critical, as Russia believes, to set a date of convening the conference as soon as possible, since the delay plays into the hands of radicals and terrorist groups, which are increasingly gaining ground among those fighting against the Syrian Government. Threats associated with the strengthening of the positions of the extremists, with many foreigners among them, are clear. For one, they are not interested in any political settlement.

The chief obstacle now is the failure of the Syrian opposition to say “yes” to the conference and negotiate with the Syrian Government. Russia has long warned that there would be a lot of hurdles on the road to Geneva-2 on the part of those opposed to any political process and trying to create any excuse to provoke outside military intervention for a regime change. And yet we expect that the countries having an influence over various opposition groups are aware of their responsibility for doing their part of the job of getting Geneva-2 started.

 




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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