17 July 2018
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Ambassador's Notebook: Combating Corruption Requires International Cooperation (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for RIA Novosti)

December 9 was International Anti-Corruption Day. Ironically, it coincided
with news of an ongoing investigation into a corrupt scheme that was
reportedly used to fix football matches in the UK, demonstrating that this
evil knows no boundaries. One of Russia's priorities during its G20
presidency is combating corruption, including in sports. We proposed a
Global Alliance for Clean Sports during the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg
in September, an idea supported by the leaders of the G20. What we have in
mind is an "umbrella platform" to combine numerous anti-corruption projects
in sports currently implemented by various countries, as well as by sports
governing bodies and other international organizations. We expect that the
creation of such a mechanism will make it possible to ensure effective
coordination of relevant efforts and will contribute significantly to the
elimination of corruption in sports.

Other initiatives promoted by the G20 are: a study of the impact of
corruption and anti-corruption measures on economic growth; guiding
principles on mutual legal assistance in corruption cases; an analysis of
corruption risks during the preparation and holding of major sporting
events; a report on possible ways to counter corruption in selling
state-owned property; a comparative analysis of anti-corruption training
courses for public servants in G20 countries; and a document on the
Strategic Framework for the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, which
outlines its long-term goals and principles.

More broadly, we believe that international anti-corruption cooperation
should be conducted with a central coordinating role for the UN and on the
basis of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), a unique global
agreement providing for a wide range of measures to address corruption.
Russia stands for a comprehensive strengthening of the regime established by
the Convention and for ensuring compliance by all participating states. The
advantages of the UNCAC review mechanism, namely its intergovernmental,
non-politicized and non-intrusive character, must be used in full.

For the Russian Federation, eradicating corruption is a national policy
priority, a prerequisite for the country's successful development.
Anti-corruption activities in Russia are based on a national action plan and
a solid legal framework that is constantly improving. Control over civil
servants' major expenses and the public procurement rules are just two
examples of recent measures. It's essential to ensure the inevitability of
punishment for corruption-related crimes. Charges have been brought against
3,500 persons just this year.

However it is impossible to overcome corruption through administrative and
law enforcement measures only. It is necessary to work towards removing its
economic drivers, increasing people's legal awareness, and fostering a
culture of zero-tolerance of corruption in society. Much depends on the
stance of media, educational institutions and civil society. We see civil
society as our key ally in combating corruption and we take specific steps
to strengthen this partnership.

Another key partner is the business community. Russia has adopted the
Anti-Corruption Charter of Russian Business that Russian companies and
business associations actively use as a guide. We are convinced that
public-private partnerships in combating corruption should be among the
priorities of work in this area.

Russia's progress in its fight against corruption has been acknowledged by
the international community. In 2012, Russia successfully passed the UNCAC
review procedure and, in 2013, that of the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development. In the annual Doing Business Report of the
World Bank, Russia climbed 18 positions in comparison with the previous

But we are far from complacent and still have a great deal to do. We must
take robust and consistent action in all areas to fight corruption. The UK's
experiences as well as the UK's problems are an important source of
knowledge. We count on fruitful constructive and de-politicized co-operation
with our British partners.


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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