17 January 2020
Moscow: 23:01
London: 20:01

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684 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     676 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



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.

1. Special attention was reserved for maintaining stability and developing integration processes within the Commonwealth of Independent States. Russia’s CIS presidency in 2017 contributed to further strengthening economic, law enforcement, cultural and other forms of cooperation between our countries, as well as foreign policy coordination. Significant achievements of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)include completing work on the Customs Code, approving the roadmap of actions to promote integration, and adopting an action plan to implement a coordinated transport policy of the member states for 2018−2020.  Completing talks with Beijing on an agreement on trade and economic cooperation was an important stage in the process of harmonising the EAEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

2. The truly allied nature of relations between Russia and Belarus was reinforced by the joint strategic exercises of the two countries' armed forces, Zapad (West) 2017, in September. Relations with other allies under the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, such as Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have been developing dynamically. The adoption by heads of member states of the Declaration on the 25th Anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 15th Anniversary of the Organisation in November was the main political outcome of CSTO activities.

Our ties with Uzbekistan have become noticeably more active. The signing of the bilateral Treaty on Strategic Partnership opened a new page in our traditionally close relations with Turkmenistan. The draft Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was finally agreed during a December meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian States with an eye to signing it during the Big Five summit in Kazakhstan in 2018.

3. Russia pursued a constructive policy in efforts to settle the intra-Ukrainian conflict by way of implementing the Minsk Agreements. In September, the President of Russia proposed deploying a UN mission in that region in order to protect OSCE SMM observers. In December, Russia facilitated a prisoner exchange between Ukraine, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic.

4. On the European track, active political contacts were maintained with Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Serbia. Russia reinforced its leading role in promoting international Arctic cooperation, having held the 4th Arctic: Territory of Dialogue forum in March in Arkhangelsk.

The upturn in high-level and top-level political dialogue and sectoral cooperation was a positive outcome in our cooperation with the European Union. There were no opportunities to constructively develop contacts with the North Atlantic Alliance, which pursues a confrontational policy with regard to Russia. The OSCE platform was actively used to assert Russia’s view of a wide range of pan-European problems. Russia participated in the work of the Council of Europe’s bodies. Russia supported the efforts of its representatives in the CoE Parliamentary Assembly to restore this body to a healthy mode of operation without any discrimination.

5. Russia's active involvement in the affairs of Syria contributed to the elimination of the main forces of the Islamic State terrorist group in that country and the formation of prerequisites for a political settlement of this conflict under UN auspices. In conjunction with Iran and Turkey, Russia acted as the guarantor of the ceasefire agreements between the government forces and the armed opposition, and worked out the parameters for holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress with the participation of a wide range of representatives of the Syrian people.

6. Our bilateral relations with other states of the Middle and Near East, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, received a major boost. In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on April 7, Russia reaffirmed its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, recognising West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in this case.

7. With a proactive role played by Russia, India and Pakistan have become members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In order to intensify the search for ways to achieve an Afghan settlement, Russia initiated the resumption of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group’s activities and held a meeting of the group in October. In February and April, consultations on Afghan issues were held in the Moscow format in an effort to facilitate the process of national reconciliation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

8. Two visits by President Putin to China (the May meeting as part of the Belt and Road initiative and the September BRICS Summit) and the visit by President Xi Jinping to Russia in July reflected the positive dynamics of Russian-Chinese relations that are characterised by comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.

Advancing a joint initiative for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsulawas one example of the strengthened mutual understanding between Moscow and Beijing on international security issues.

Dialogue and cooperation with Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines advanced at a good pace.

9. Relations with most countries of the Western Hemisphere retained their traditionally constructive quality. There were summits with Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Contacts were established with the new US administration. Personal meetings between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump took place on the sidelines of the July G20 summit in Hamburg, as well as during the APEC forum in Danang. Interaction with Washington on the bilateral agenda and the resolution of pressing international issues was carried out to the extent that coincided with Russia’s national interests.

10. Russia met its commitments in the sphere of supporting WMD nonproliferation regimes. The process of liquidating Russia’s stockpiles of chemical weapons has been completed. Support for full implementation by all parties of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme has remained a policy of principle.

11. In the context of work to preserve the historical truth about World War II, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in his speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, put forward an initiative to create an international legal framework against the destruction of memorial heritage.

12. Russia hosted major international forums, such as the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students (October), the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (October), the 21st St Petersburg International Economic Forum (June), the Eastern Economic Forum (September), the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security (April), and the 8th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues (May).

The FIFA Confederations Cup (June−July 2017) in Russia was the prologue to the FIFA World Cup. This major international sporting event will be held in our country in 2018.


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.

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