18 January 2020
Moscow: 11:44
London: 08:44

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

685 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     677 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



UNESCO resolution on preserving Palmyra - approved 8 April

1.In the light of the recent expulsion of ISIL (Da’esh) from Palmyra –the city of priceless cultural heritage, the Russian Federation herewith submits this draft decision of the Executive Board, guided by the following considerations:
2.Resolution 38 C/48 “Reinforcement of UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict”, adopted by the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, is aimed at developing the capacity of the Organization in relation to conflict situations, particularly in the Middle East, where monuments of cultural heritage have been deliberately destroyed.
3.The expulsion of ISIL (Da’esh) from Palmyra, which was welcomed by the international community, took place practically on the eve of the 199th session of the Executive Board and calls on Member States to respond to it promptly and adequately on behalf of UNESCO.
4.It is time to take necessary concrete steps to provide effective assistance for the restoration of damaged and looted cultural properties.
5.Measures for restoring Palmyra and other damaged World Heritage sites due to armed conflict or disasters should be a priority in the forthcoming Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy for the reinforcement of UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict.
6.In practical terms, UNESCO needs to monitor the situation at World Heritage and other significant sites in Syria in order to send, as soon as security conditions allow, UNESCO mission of international team of experts to assess the damage with a view to developing a concrete plan of necessary restoration and rehabilitation works.
7.We assume that the Steering Group will undertake the implementation of these tasks for Emergencies of the UNESCO Secret ariat in close cooperation with the Group of Friends of the Coalition “Unite4Heritage”.
8.A decision “UNESCO’s Role in the Safeguarding and Preserving Palmyra and other Syrian World Heritage sites” would be a worthy response of UNESCO to safeguard and preserve Syria’s heritage.
9.We count on the support and co-sponsorship by a wide range of Member States.
10.In the light of the above, the Executive Board may wish to adopt a decision along the following lines: The Executive Board,
1.Recalling that the purpose of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in
order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights
and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations,

2.Recalling the provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970), the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995), the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) and other relevant international agreements, 199 EX/28 – page
3. Recalling 38 C/Resolution 48 of the General Conference, and 197 EX/Decision 10 and 196 EX/Decision 29 of the Executive Board,
4.Recalling also Resolution 2199 of the United Nations Security Council,
5.Recalling further decisions 39 COM7 and 37 COM8C.1 of the World Heritage Committee,
6.Taking note of the Bonn Declaration on the World Heritage of 29 June 2015 and the St.Petersburg Declaration on the Protection of Culture in Armed Conflict Zones of 16 December 2015,
7.Noting with appreciati on the efforts of the international community to safeguard and preserve the world’s cultural heritage in danger,
8.Condemning the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria particularly by ISIL (Da’esh) and ANF, whether such destruction is incidental or deliberate, including targeted destruction of religious sites and objects and noting with concern that ISIL (Da’esh), ANF and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, are generating income from engaging directly or indirectly in the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites in Iraq and Syria, which is being used to support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks,
9.Welcoming the expulsion of ISIL (Da’esh) from the Site of Palmyra,
10.Paying tribute to cultural heritage experts and professionals at risk,
11.Requests the Director-General to ensure the inclusion of safeguarding and preservation of Palmyra and other damaged World Heritage sites in Syria such as Aleppo in the forthcoming Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy for the reinforcement of UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict;
12.Urges the Director-General to promote broad participation in and coordination of the efforts among States, United Nations and its agencies, as well as other partner organizations, in restoring damaged Syrian World Heritage and other significant sites in accordance with the relevant provisions of international law and when the security situation allows;
13.Calls on Member States to provide voluntary contributions and assistance through UNESCO for as sessing the damage, and restoring and preserving Palmyra monuments and other World Heritage sites of Syria when the security situation allows;
14.Invites the Director-General to send a UNESCO mission of international experts to Palmyra and other damaged significant sites in Syria such as Aleppo when the security situation allows, to be funded by voluntary contributions from Member States and the Emergency Heritage Fund, as appropriate, so as to assess by means of documentation and inventory the extent of damages and to identify urgent needs in terms of conservation, restoration, and safeguarding with a view toward the long-term sustainability and integrity of Palmyra and other significant sites, such as Aleppo, and to ensure the presentation of a preliminary report on the situation at an information meeting of the Executive Board to be convened for this purpose, upon completion of the mission.


16.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020

Good morning and bon appetit to those who have some food on their tables. I would like first of all to thank the organisers of this conference for the invitation. I understand this is a young forum, but it managed already in a few years to acquire importance, popularity and reputation. It is indeed very appropriate that we get together more often than in the past to discuss where we are in international relations and which way we are heading.

15.01.2020 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Times of India newspaper, published on January 15, 2020

Question: What areas of cooperation will be in the focus of your visit to India and will determine the strategic partnership between the two states in 2020? What do you think about the Indian-Russian cooperation in general? Sergey Lavrov: This is a special year for our countries. Twenty years ago, India and Russia signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership.

14.01.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to the Times in response to the Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki on World War II

Sir, Polish Ambassador Rzegocki, in his letter published on 9 January, proposes to “question the USSR’s status as liberator”, claiming that Molotov-Ribbentrop pact “sparked the war and a double totalitarian invasion of Poland”. Let me suggest to my Polish colleague to look deeper into the history of that time.

14.01.2020 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Daily News Sri Lankan newspaper, published on January 13, 2020

Question: Since the end of the Cold War and the inception of the multipolar world order, you have spent many years engaged in international affairs and geopolitics. Are there any peculiarities in the relations between Sri Lanka and Russia originating in that period? Sergey Lavrov: The relations between our states have always been intrinsically valuable and independent from international developments. They have always been and continue to be based on the principles of equality, trust, mutual respect and consideration of one another's interests. The peculiarities specific to certain periods of history are of marginal significance, since they do not affect the inviolability of the bonds of friendship uniting our peoples.

19.12.2019 - President Vladimir Putin replies to a BBC question during his annual press conference Moscow, 19 December 2019

I know what the interests of my country are. And whatever somebody might say about me, this has no importance whatsoever when compared to the fundamental tasks that Russia is interested in solving. But of course, we see, we hear, we understand and we take those views into consideration in our work.

18.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article Neighbours in Europe. Russia-EU: Thirty Years of Relations for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 18, 2019

Thirty years ago, on December 18, 1989, Brussels hosted the signing of the Agreement on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation between the USSR and the European communities. This date became the point of departure for official relations between Russia as the successor state of the USSR and the European Union. Symbolically, the Agreement was signed slightly over a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that came down in history as a landmark signifying the end of the Cold War, a period, when the continent was divided into two opposing ideological blocs. The founders of the Russia-EU partnership knew that it would be impossible to erase the centuries-old divides on the continent unless a broad framework for cooperation was created in Europe. Both sides intended to make it mutually beneficial, long-term, and resistant to economic and political fluctuations.

06.12.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 26th OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, Bratislava, December 5, 2019

Mr Chairperson-in-Office, Mr Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, allow me to thank Slovakia’s Chairmanship for its hospitality. Here in Bratislava, where Western and Eastern Europe meet, we are reminded that the purpose of our organisation is to facilitate the emergence of shared security through cooperation, as well as the removal of dividing lines and the growth of mutual trust. The goal adopted at the 2010 Astana summit of building a community of equal, comprehensive and indivisible security should remain our utmost priority. Today, CSTO foreign ministers adopted a statement to this effect, reaffirming their commitment to this objective.

29.11.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s speech at the opening of the V Russian-British Business Forum in London, 27 November 2019

Ladies and gentlemen! I am pleased with the opportunity to deliver my first speech as Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the Russian-British Business Forum. Over the five years, the Forum has become a solid platform for open and direct dialogue and exchange of views, involving both business community and officials. The number of participants has been growing annually. Together, we have managed to create a constructive atmosphere of partnership.

28.11.2019 - Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov’s reply to a media question concerning the recent statement of the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff

Q: How would you comment on the statement made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Carter that the UK is in a state of cyber war with Russia? Has London raised this matter with Moscow? Has the British side provided any evidence? A.: This is not the first statement of this sort made by the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Carter, and it certainly needs to be considered in the context of the large-scale anti-Russian propaganda campaign launched by the British government.

21.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Moscow, November 20, 2019

We have had very good talks with my Bahraini colleague and friend, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and we have reached agreements on all the issues we discussed.

all messages