21 January 2019
Moscow: 01:38
London: 22:38

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

323 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     315 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Interview by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Alexander Lukashevich, to “RIA Novosti” regarding the IV session of the Russian-Turkish Joint Strategic Planning Group

Question: On the 27 May, the IV session of the Joint Strategic Planning Group (JSPG) will be held under the co-presidency of the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu. What is the agenda for the forthcoming event?

Answer: During the session, there will be a profound exchange of opinions on a wide range of topical bilateral, regional and international problems. The ministers will discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the situation in the Middle Eastern region, including in Syria, and the situation in North Africa. They will continue their dialogue on the issue related to Iran’s Nuclear Programme, the situation in Transcaucasia, the situation in Central Asia and on the Balkans and the interaction of the two countries in international bodies. Russia and Turkey have very similar or matching positions on many global and regional problems and intend to continue their constructive exchange of opinions.

An important item on the agenda is the set of issues of further development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the Black Sea region, including the prospects of interaction within the framework of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Here Moscow and Ankara believe that they need to increase the effectiveness of counteraction to global and regional challenges, as well as ensure sustainable development.

The discussion of topical issues in trade and economic ties will take a significant place in the negotiations.

Russia is convinced that the forthcoming JSPG session will make a significant contribution to the further strengthening of the relations of trust and partnership between Russia and Turkey.

Question: How would you characterize the current state of Russian-Turkish relations?

Answer: In recent years, ties between Russia and Turkey have been developing in a spirit of multifaceted advanced interaction, but in a range of sectors, primarily in the energy sector, they have reached the level of strategic partnership. The High Level Cooperation Council, which was created in 2010 and is co-chaired by the President of the Russian Federation and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, has withstood the test of time and is functioning stably. The Joint Strategic Planning Group, which deals with issues of interaction on the international stage, the Mixed intergovernmental Russian-Turkish commission for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation and the Community Forum for Social and Humanitarian Ties all actwithin this Council.

Our interparliamentary ties are developing. On the 26-27 February, the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin, made an official visit to Turkey. Contacts within the ambit of parliamentary groups of friendship have been scheduled.

We are seeing mutual interest in the further reinforcement of bilateral ties and the aspiration to extend our dialogue in the interests of reinforcement and development of the positive trends, in which Russian-Turkish relations are currently inherent.

Question: What can you say about Russian-Turkish interaction in the trade and economic area?

Answer: In general, we are satisfied with the current level of trade and economic cooperation, although a drop in the mutual turnover of goods was observed last year – it totalled 32.7 billion US dollars, which was 4.5% less than in 2012. We believe that this is a temporary phenomenon related to the reduction in Russian exports of energy carriers – because of the warm winter in Turkey, as well as food and agricultural products – because of the unfavourable climate on the global market for these goods.

Turkey is in 8th place amongst Russia’s foreign trade partners, including 5th place based on exports and 13th place based on imports. Turkey’s share in the foreign trade turnover of Russia totals 3.9%. As at the end of 2013, Russia is in 4th place amongst the countries to which Turkey delivers its products (after Germany, Iraq, and the United Kingdom).

The task of bringing our bilateral turnover of goods to the level of 100 billion US dollars is a topical task for the coming years. Energy carriers (70.8%), metal and metal items (15.2%) prevail in Russian exports, and cars, equipment and vehicles (32%), food (24.1%) and textiles (10.8%) prevail in imports from Turkey.

Our contacts in the banking sector are developing actively, which is an important aid to the mutually beneficial partnership between Russian and Turkish companies. OAO Sberbank holds the leading position in the swiftly growing banking sector of the Turkish economy.

Question: What results were reached in the bilateral partnership in the investment area? Could you provide specific examples of cooperation in this direction?

Answer: There is significant potential to build-up the level of investment cooperation reached. The amount of accumulated Turkish investments totalled 956.4 million US dollars last year. The main industries for Turkish investments in Russia are textiles, food, chemicals, wood processing, the electronic and electrotechnical industry, the production of construction and finishing materials, car building and the production of car components, the services sector, trade, tourism and the banking sector. The volume of Russian investments inTurkey in 2013 reached 953.9 million US dollars. Total Russian investments in the Turkish economy total 1.747 billion US dollars.

The interest of Russian investors in capital investments inthe growing Turkish economy is increasing. The largest Russian investment project in Turkey is the construction of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. Its total cost is about 20 billion US dollars. This project is at the stage of practical implementation. Russia is planning to widely involve Turkish companies in the construction works. In 2011-2013, three groups of students were sent from Turkey – about 20 people in total –to Russia for training. They will work in the nuclear area. This year, another 100 Turkish students are scheduled to arrive. Negotiations regarding the organisation of training for “nuclear” professions based on Russian programmes are being held.

The implementation of another strategic project, the construction of the South Stream gas line, is being implemented according to plan. Russia has generally completed complex engineering and geological exploration in the exclusive economic zone of Turkey in the Black Sea and sent a report on the environmental impact assessment to Turkey.

Russian-Turkish trade and economic ties are not limited to energy. A good example is bilateral interaction in the high tech area, – the launch of a Turkish telecommunications satellite Turksat-4A by a Russian carrier vehicle, which was implemented on the 15 February.

Turkish contracting companies perform a lot of works in the territory of Russia. They actively participated in the projects which are related to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and other large-scale international events, which will be held in our country in the coming years.

Question: How are bilateral ties between regions developing?

Answer: Interregional cooperation is one of the most important areas in Russian-Turkish relations. It is organised mainly on account of trade and economic ties between economic entities of the two countries. In March-April, a session of the bilateral workgroup for regional cooperation acting within the intergovernmental Russian-Turkish commission for trade and economic cooperation, as well as presentations of the trade, economic and investment potential of the Astrakhan Region, Republic of Marij El, Tatarstan, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karelia, Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Region were held. This year, there are plans regarding visits to Turkey of delegations from the Volgograd, Tomsk, Omsk Regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, Tatarstan, Dagestan, and the Chechen Republic, North Ossetia, and Karachayevo-Cherkessia.

Question: What is the place of cooperation in the humanitarian area in bilateral relations?

Answer: The extension and improvement of contacts in the areas of education, science, culture and art, information, tourism, within the ambit of the institutes of civil communities of the two countries contribute to an increase in the level of mutual trust between the people of Russia and Turkey.

The opening of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture on the 27 February was an important event.A Centre of Turkish Culture named after Yunus Emre will open in Moscow in the near future.

On 20 November 2013, the first session of the Community Forum was held in Kazan. A joint statement was adopted, as well as specific areas of work of the forum were determined, as a result of it. Its second session should take place in Turkey in the second half of the year.

Question: Turkey is frequently associated with travels of our nationals, in Russia. Could you tell us about the development of this sector of bilateral cooperation?

Answer: Turkey is indeed one of the most popular places for recreation with Russians. Last year 4.3 millionRussian tourists visited Turkish resorts. In 2012, this number was 3.5 million people.

We hope that practical implementation of the proposition made by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, in St Petersburg in November 2013 regarding the organisation of bilateral Years of tourism will contribute to further growth of the flow of tourists not only from Russia to Turkey, but also in the opposite direction.

Russia and Turkey devote increasing attention to the comfortable and safe recreation of our nationals in the Republic of Turkey. The set of issues related to necessary measures was reviewed during the session of the expert sub-group for travel security of the Russian-Turkish Work group for tourism in Antalya on the 12-13 May. The Memorandum on mutual understanding about cooperation in the area of health care of travellers and the fight against infectious diseases was coordinated and almost ready to be signed between the Federal Supervision Agency for Customer Protection and Human Welfare and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey.


28.11.2018 - Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference

Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference in response to the USA, United Kingdom and Canada accusing Russia of not observing its obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention. Distinguished Mr. Chair, We consider absolutely unacceptable the groundless accusations voiced in the statement of the United States that Russia is in violation of its obligations under Article I of the CWC pertaining to alleged involvement of Russian nationals in use of a nerve agent in Salisbury. Such statements have absolutely no bearing on the facts and are effectively aired to influence the international community. The refusal of the United Kingdom to cooperate in any form with Russia on the “Skripal case”, which would be in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article IX of the CWC only underlines the emptiness of the accusations. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom has addressed the Technical Secretariat with a request to confirm the outcomes of its own national investigation, which contradicts the goals and objectives of technical assistance provided to a State Party under subparagraph e) of paragraph 38 of Article VIII of the CWC. As follows from the presented materials on the assistance provided in connection to Salisbury and Amesbury cases, we have to state the politically motivated nature of the undertaken measures.

30.10.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with ''Moscow. Kremlin. Putin'' TV programme Moscow, October 25, 2018

Question: Why did US National Security Adviser John Bolton come to Moscow? Sergey Lavrov: To talk. There are many matters we need to discuss. We appreciate it that it is US National Security Adviser John Bolton who is especially proactive regarding ties with his colleagues in Moscow. Question: Is this a joke? Sergey Lavrov: Not at all. Actually, we have meetings with Mr Bolton more often than with our other colleagues. He was here in July, and now he is back again. In between, he met with Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva. We believe that it is important when such a high-ranking official takes interest in the practical matters on our bilateral agenda.

24.10.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's introductory remarks at the opening of the 2nd Russia-UK Raw Materials Dialogue, 24 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, To me as Russian Ambassador to the UK, it is a privilege to address such an important Russian-British conference. The 2nd Russian-UK Raw Materials Dialogue has a great meaning for the professional community in our countries, for it covers a broad range of different topics from mining technologies, new material development and use of natural resources to international academic and scientific exchanges.

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.

07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.

06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.

22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.

16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”

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”.

all messages