17 March 2018
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The situation around the investigation of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash raises serious questions. The preliminary report conducted by Dutch experts under the agreement with Ukraine can hardly be considered a truly comprehensive, thorough, independent and international one, and does not shed light on the true causes of the tragedy. It is not informative and does not contain convincing data about the details of the crash. It does not lift our concerns and gives reasons for new questions to add to those formulated by the Russian Ministry for Defence in the aftermath of the incident. Full transcripts of air traffic control communications haven’t been published, no follow-up has been given to witnesses’ reports on another airplane seen in the sky at the time of the crash, Ukraine has shown no willingness to share full data on its anti-aircraft systems deployments.
Surprisingly, world mass media, including the British press, have virtually forgotten the issue, though most of those who died were Western nationals. It is in the interest of all to find and bring to justice those responsible through a comprehensive, independent and international investigation, as is required by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166. There is a reason to believe that the real purpose of the investigation is not to determine the cause, but rather to make up a case that puts all the blame on and gives arguments for building-up sanctions against Russia. The delays in preparation and publication of the preliminary report point to a deliberate procrastination and soft-pedaling of the investigation process.
It is also disappointing that ICAO has adopted a passive position in relation to the investigation. A growing number of doubts arise as to the compliance by the investigation with the organisation’s norms and standards. It is regrettable that ICAO might be subject to outside political pressure. The initiative to convene a “task force of international experts” under the auspices of ICAO to assess risks for civil aviation in conflict areas, rather than focusing on establishing the truth in that particular case, seems to be another attempt to impose a biased and politicised version of the crash on the international community.
Russia insists that strict adherence to the UNSC resolution 2166 is the only way to a comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation of the crash. This resolution contains a list of problems that have to be solved in order to allow for a proper investigation. They include the cessation of violence as a basic condition, the preservation of the crash site, the provision of unhindered access thereto, role of ICAO in ensuring that the investigation meets international standards, etc. A detailed report by the UN Secretary-General on each of these matters should be submitted to the UN Security Council according the para 13 of the resolution with the view to taking additional measures to promote international investigation. We believe that it is highly important to enhance the role of the United Nations if the investigation process is to be credible. In this context, it is worth looking at a possibility of appointing a UN special envoy for MH17 crash probe and sending a mission to the crash site in collaboration with the OSCE, ICAO and other relevant organizations.
It is important to remember that this tragedy took place against the background of the attempt at a military solution of the Ukrainian crisis. That is why it is incumbent upon the parties to the conflict to transform the current ceasefire into a permanent one to set up a peaceful negotiation process on the basis of the Geneva statement of 17 April and the Berlin Declaration of 2 July.


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.

23.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at presentation of the book "The Mystery of Repentance" held at the Russian Embassy

I’m glad to welcome you here to a discussion of two prominent hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, on Christian future of Europe.

12.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the exhibition opening (“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” 12 September, British Museum)

Today the British Museum and the State Hermitage of Saint-Petersburg are once again proving their unique world class by bringing a whole new civilization to London. Ancient, and almost mythical, but creative, powerful and very different from what we have all known about antiquity – the Scythians.

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