23 April 2018
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

06.01.2014

Russia, UK kept up a positive momentum in 2013 (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for Russia Today)

The events of the last year have confirmed the normalisation of political dialogue between Russia and the UK has become a steady trend.

Our relationship has been developing in a sustainable way, moving in the right direction to serve our mutual interests, notwithstanding irritants, inherited from the past, which remain to be resolved.

The political leaders set the right, results-orientated tone. Over the past year and a half, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister David Cameron have met six times and had regular telephone conversations.

A new mechanism, the Strategic Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers, has been launched. The first “2+2” meeting was held in March in London, while the second is scheduled for next spring in Moscow.

Russia and the UK have maintained an active dialogue at other levels, including consultations between the foreign ministries. There was agreement on some topics and serious differences on others. But wherever the interests of the international community required and the situation allowed, the differences did not prevent us from reaching an agreement, in particular, on the Iranian nuclear programme and the Syrian crisis.

Our positions are especially close on such pressing international issues as safeguarding stability and security in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign troops, and the Middle East peace process.

As permanent members of the UN Security Council, Moscow and London pursued an agreed policy on the reform of the UN and it's Council. Russia’s G20 presidency and the UK presidency of the G8, as well as Russia’s G8 presidency in 2014, have provided another dimension to our cooperation.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5, 2013.(Reuters / Grigory Dukor)

There has been dynamic growth in trade and economic cooperation. The UK is one of Russia’s leading trade partners. In three quarters of this year, trade reached $17.5 billion (£10.7 billion), with UK cumulative investment in Russia at $24 billion, and Russia’s investment in the UK $9 billion.

Considerable attention has been focused on energy co-operation. The first meeting of the Russian-British High-Level Energy Dialogue, was held in London on June 10. On the agenda is a possible increase in the direct supply of Russian natural gas to the UK, and the enhancement of nuclear energy cooperation with the potential entry of Russian advanced technology into the UK market.

On September 18, Vice President Arkady Dvorkovich and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, endorsed our veterinary services’ agreement to lift the temporary ban on the import of UK beef and lamb by-products to Russia. The ban on beef and lamb had been lifted earlier.

Both parties recognise the potential for co-operation in technology and innovation. A programme of co-operation for the near future was endorsed by the 11th meeting of the bilateral Committee on Scientific and Technical Co-operation held in October in London.

Financial co-operation is another important area. It includes creating a Moscow International Financial Centre, as well as the participation of British firms in preparations for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Summer Universiade in Kazan and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Traditional cultural exchanges are to be brought to a higher level. In March, the two foreign ministers issued a joint statement on holding a Russia-UK Year of Culture in 2014. There are plans for more than 250 events.

The historical and emotional dimension of our relationship is of crucial importance. Having established the Arctic Star medal, Britain granted permission for its veterans of the Arctic Convoys to be awarded the Russian Ushakov Medal. In 2014 our countries will take part in events to mark the centenary of the First World War, in which we were also allies.




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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