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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

19.10.2015

Why Russia had to intervene in Syria (article by Ambassador Yakovenko published in The Independent)

Combating international terrorism has long been one of the top priorities of Russia's foreign policy. We have been consistently advocating genuinely global efforts in countering that evil. The fight against terrorism must be conducted on a universal legal basis, starting with the UN Charter. That is why Russia has been unable to join the US-led “global coalition” against Isis. The coalition was established in circumvention of the UN Security Council, and its operations in Syria violate the sovereignty of that country.

The fight against Isis can gain legitimacy only through a UN Security Council mandate. So far the Security Council has been blocked by attempts of a group of states to impose an ideological approach to this direct common threat. The Russian draft resolution on combating terrorist groups in the Middle East, while respecting the independence of countries of the region, remains on the table. 

 

Russia calls for establishing a broad counter-terrorist front. Robustly addressing the threat of Isis and other terrorist groups in the region requires a joint and coordinated action by all those who are already fighting Isis on the ground. Those include the Syrian and Iraqi armies, the Kurdish and Shia militias, and groups of patriotic opposition in Syria. The recent meetings at the UN General Assembly have shown that nobody is enthused at the prospect of destruction of the regional architecture and replacement of secular states with an extremist “caliphate”.

While those diplomatic efforts are gaining momentum, Russia remains the only international player whose military actions in Syria have a legal basis in the form of the request of the government in Damascus. Our air strikes in Syria are solely focused on the elimination of the terrorist threat in that country. As regards the choice of targets, the Russian Defence Ministry has shown an unprecedented openness, providing comprehensive and detailed information on every single operation of the Russian Air Force, on a daily basis. Yet any information that our partners can share regarding potential Isis targets to be hit, will be highly appreciated. So far we haven't had any responses to our respective requests.

Russia's actions are already bringing tangible results on the ground. Several hundred air strikes have allowed to degrade significantly Isis command and logistical infrastructure. This is in stark contrast with the widely recognised and admitted inefficiency of the US-led coalition. After more than a year of bombing, Isis' ranks have swollen, their control over some regions has strengthened, and financial flows have been steady. 

As we said, Britain can have its fair share of the bombing pie in Syria. We’d rather know what resources Her Majesty’s Government is willing to commit to this joint endeavour. As year-long bombing campaign by the US-led coalition showed, the lack of healthy competition and mutual control benefited the terrorist. Hopefully, that is changing now. In terms of legitimacy, the British participation could be part of the operation of the quadripartite coalition, acting at the request of Damascus.

Indeed, while solving the problem of terrorism, we certainly must facilitate the launch of a UN-led focused and comprehensive political process based on the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012. Defeating terrorists will help create the right conditions for a lasting political settlement. It will be the best way to put an end to the civil conflict and achieve а “peace without victory”, something that the Entente powers couldn’t stomach in 1918.  After all, it is peace all the Syrians are longing for.







LATEST EVENTS

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.


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone's sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone\'s sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?



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