21 March 2018
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Address by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko at Russia Day reception, 12 June 2015

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

I am glad to welcome you today to mark Russia’s National Day.

We live in the world of new challenges and new opportunities. We live in new economic and political realities, new regional unions and new economic institutions. Russia is an active part of these new realities.

Foreign policy of Russia is based on international law. And as permanent member of the UN Security Council we bear responsibility for the world order and development of international relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A month ago we celebrated with all the world 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. We have had the incontestable evidence of that at the numerous ceremonies to present the Ushakov medals, our naval honour, to British veterans of the Arctic Convoys. I can assure they do know the difference between the matters of real moral and existential value and the things that come and go.

Unfortunately, the world is still not safe. And it is very important to work together on real issues, including the menace of terrorism and finding ways to sustain development of our societies. I am sure that Russia and Britain have got a lot to contribute to achieving these worthy goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure for me to present the Pushkin medal to Alexandra Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn, great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Pushkin, famous Russian poet, after whom this silver  medal for contribution to Russian culture is named.

The Duchess is the founder of the Pushkin Prizes. She already has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Pushkin Trust. The Duchess is the Honorary Secretary of the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma & Transformation in Omagh, County Tyrone, the patron of the Omagh Community Youth Choir, the House Patron of Abercorn House at Cambridge House Grammar School in Ballymena.

Now Sasha Abercorn is also a Honorary Consul of Russia in Northern Ireland.

She is widely known for her public and philanthropic activities.

In fact, she has just returned from her trip to Russia where she launched the project “Talented children”.

And now, by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin Alexandra Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn is awarded the Pushkin Medal.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Especially for the 70th Anniversary of Victory a jubilee medal was struck in Russia on the order of President Putin and we have already presented this award to more than 1500 to British veterans of Arctic Convoys. We continue this mission and many more British heroes will be soon proud recipients of this medal. Some of these brave men are among us today and you can easily recognise them by their famous white berets. We salute to them and wish them good health and long life. We own you ours!

I have another mission to accomplish. I would like to present a special medal struck by the Victory Organising Committee to a number of distinguished persons who played significant role in establishing the Soviet War Memorial in London which was unveiled on 9 May 1999. The memorial commemorates the sacrifice of 27 million lives of the citizens and Red Army of the former Soviet Union in the common struggle with the United Kingdom, the United States and France to defeat fascism in World War II. It is the only monument of its kind in the UK. Since its unveiling these persons have been active in organising regular remembrance ceremonies on Holocaust Memorial Day, Victory Day and Remembrance Sunday.

I would like to start with Philip Matthews - Chair of the Soviet Memorial Trust

Jean Turner - was Honour  Secretary of the Trust for quite a long time

Ralph Gibson is current Honour Secretary of the Trust

Also we have a special medal for the Trust itself which I am presenting to William Skelly, ex-Mayor of Southwark at the time of the establishment of the Memorial.

I have a medal for yet another person - Roman Firsov – an independent historical researcher, the author the Group 9 May Internet resource – the research aimed at studying the facts of our bilateral relationship.

I congratulate all of them!


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.

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.

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