22 September 2020
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933 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     925 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.


18.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like? Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.

15.09.2020 - Excerpt from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI TV channel, Moscow, September 14, 2020

Question: You have been the Foreign Minister of Russia for 16 years now and had to deal with the most serious challenges of this century. Sanctions were imposed. We began to adapt to them and survived them. Germany announced that it has received the results of Alexey Navalny’s tests. France and Sweden confirmed the presence of the Novichok agent in them. Do you think Navalny’s case may become the driver of new anti-Russia sanctions?

14.09.2020 - Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from the Moscow, Kremlin, Putin programme Moscow, September 13, 2020

Question: Given the serious tensions in the world today, differences sometimes can also arise between the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Can the SCO format help smooth over these differences?

12.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, Moscow, September 11, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Today’s talks with my colleague and friend, member of the State Council and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust and were very substantial.

11.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the press conference following the SCO Foreign Ministers Council Meeting, Moscow, September 10, 2020

We have completed the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States. It was very fruitful. We approved a press release expressing our views on general political matters, so I will not elaborate too much on these subjects.

10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Moscow, September 9, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, We have had very constructive talks as part of the regular communications between our countries’ foreign ministers. Back in June, we held several in-depth meetings via videoconference, but today we had an in-person meeting in order to prepare for the large-scale bilateral events scheduled for this year. These are to be held during the Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum and the 65th anniversary celebrations of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is our shared pride, as well as during the preparations of the upcoming meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation and subsequently during the plenary meeting of this important structure.

10.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the official reception for the SCO Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 9, 2020

We have gathered here and will start our work now. Our main task is to prepare for the meeting of the Heads of State Council, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin just said. The summit is bound to become the key event of Russia’s chairmanship. In our work, we are primarily guided by the Russian chairmanship’s action plan, which was endorsed by the President of Russia and approved by the other heads of state.

09.09.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the situation around Alexei Navalny

In connection with the demarche undertaken by the Group of Seven on the ‘Alexei Navalny case’, the Foreign Ministry has issued the following statement. Russia insists that Germany provide data on Alexei Navalny’s medical examination, including the results of the biochemical tests, as per the official request for legal assistance submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on August 27, 2020. Berlin has not been willing to respond to our repeated requests in a prompt and constructive manner.

08.09.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Borisov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic Walid Muallem following talks, Damascus, September 7, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The current visit of our delegation is primarily devoted to discussing the prospects for the further development of cooperation between Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic in the new conditions that have developed within the country, in the region and in the world as a whole. The key aspect of the current stage is based on the fact that Syria, including with the support of the Russian Federation, has withstood the fight against international terrorism and the forces that hatched the plan to destroy Syrian statehood.

07.09.2020 - Press release on ASEM Ministerial Statement on COVID-19 by Russia, EU, Germany, Singapore and Cambodia

On September 7, 2020 the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Statement on COVID-19 was adopted by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, EU, Germany and Singapore as ASEM Regional Coordinators and Cambodia as the Host of the 13th ASEM Summit with support of all ASEM partners. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused unprecedented damages to life, health and well-being of ASEM nations, the Ministers reaffirmed commitment to continue joint steps to fight the disease and experience sharing in order to control and prevent its further spreading. They commended healthcare personnel and volunteers working in the frontline of the outbreak.

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