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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

22.10.2013

Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s talking points at Diplomacy in the Middle East Round Table (Global Diplomatic Forum, 22 October 2013)

- The conflict in Syria has no precedents in modern history given its complexity and scope. The crisis has gone beyond Syria and is destabilizing the entire region. Killings, destruction and human rights abuses are escalating. Russia is seriously concerned over increasing reports of murders and acts of violence based on ethnic and religious grounds in Syria, attacks on civilians in the areas populated by certain ethno-confessional groups. Huge foreign presence on the opposition side is destabilizing and distorting the stakes in the civil war.

- We welcome the accession of Syria to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the agreements reached by the ORCW and the UN Security Council on chemical disarmament. This Russian-American initiative determined a long-sought after common denominator for the international community on Syria and, what is more, provides an opening for launching a political process to settle the crisis in Syria. So, it’s not about changing the topic.

The Syrian chemical issue has several dimensions:

1) Syria getting rid of its poisonous weapons per se.

2) Successful elimination of the largest chemical arsenal in the region may cause other countries in the Middle East to follow suit.

3) A new political atmosphere had emerged due to the restored international consensus over Syria, which has revitalized international effort to convene Geneva-2 meeting on the basis of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2013, now endorsed by UNSC resolution 2118.

- It is critical, as Russia believes, to convene the international 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. At the same time, there should be no illusions that Geneva-2 itself will be a cakewalk. No doubt, there will be attempts on the part of those opposed to any political process to disrupt this effort. The opposition’s representation still needs to be sorted out. The UNSC resolution 2118 says that the Syrian sides at the conference should be as broadly represented as possible in terms of reflecting the broad cross-section of Syrian society. It is a hard task, given the fact that it is disunited and split. But still we hope there are people on the opposition’s side, who think about the well-being of their country, who want it to remain united, territorially integral and for all sectarian and ethnic groups to live in safely.

- It is fundamentally important that the conference launch a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them to determine their own future. It is for the Syrians to agree how to implement the provisions of the Geneva Communiqué.

- We need to ensure the participation in Geneva-2 of all those who influence the situation in Syria in any way. It is welcome that argument against the participation of Iran have been replaced by a more realistic approach recently. Positive prospects for negotiations on INP contribute to this, since it is all about the same regional context, where all the elements are intertwined. The same holds true for the Saudi Arabia, although their decision not to take up their seat at the UN Security Council is a bad sign.

- It has become clear for everybody that in the Middle East there are no alternatives to the political settlement of the Syrian conflict. If something goes wrong and a peaceful process does not materialise, we will feel the consequences far beyond this region. All of this is directly related to the way the global community may deal with settlement of internal conflicts in future. International rule of law and the central role of the UN are mandatory in such a situation. It establishes an important precedent.




LATEST EVENTS

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”.


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.



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