7 August 2020
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887 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     879 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



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.

 Q: What is your response to the claims by the British Government that the attacks were timed to boost Mr Putin’s popularity on the eve of the election in Russia?

 A: So far they have only boosted the popularity of Mrs May, as polls show. The Government has seized the opportunity to present itself as robust and competent to the public opinion. And if you look at the media, the attack is being exploited to undermine the popularity of Mr Putin and the prospects of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

 Q: What is your message to Prime Minister Theresa May?

 A: Highly likely the Cabinet views the crisis as a "short, victorious war" to score points at home - but it's not going to be like that. Russia has strategic patience. So the message is - Investigate before you accuse. Sabre rattling does not solve the major challenges like Brexit talks but it makes "Global Britain" less global if you cut dialogue with Russia. 

 Q:What is your message to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn?

 A: Same.

 Q:What is your response to British commentators who say that Russia has become a ‘rogue state?’

A: Russia's record is cleaner than Britain's. We didn't invade Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya. And in Syria we have helped the government to destroy ISIS (which makes no distinctions between Russian and Britons - we are all targets for them) and now work for a political solution. We don't tell other nations how to vote. We support UN peacekeeping effort around the globe and build successful alliances with most countries of the world: in Asia-Pacific, Central Asia and Middle East, Latin America, Africa, much of Europe. We have excellent relations with China and India. This is not something you would call a rogue state, right?

Q: Theresa May indicated today she is to take further steps in response to Russia’s expulsion of 23 British diplomats and other measures against the UK. What is your response?

A: In case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures – this is what the British Ambassador was told on Saturday.

 Q: She said ‘there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable’ for the attempted assassination of the Skripals. What is your response?

A: If she says that, this means she is based not on facts but on artificial conclusions, and not very logical ones. The Russian state has neither a motive nor means to commit such an act. Why should the Russian state attempt to poison an entire city with a substance it doesn’t even have, on the eve of the World Cup?

 Q: She said: ‘Russian aggression is the very antithesis of the liberal and democratic values that define the UK.’ What is your response?

A: Russia shares democratic values. This is why we have a presidential election this Sunday – and despite the expulsions the polling station at the Embassy will work as planned. We are not living in Cold War times, and while interests and policies do differ there is no ideology that separates Russia from Britain.

Q: Do you fear this dispute is escalating out of control?

A: This dispute is indeed escalating dangerously and out of proportion. Restraint is needed, and cooler heads.

Q: Some people in the UK worry that you may cut off energy supplies to the UK because of this dispute. Can you reassure them you will not do this?

A: Russia is a reliable supplier, it has never broken its contracts. The supplier depends on the customer as much as the other way round. 

 Q: Can you give an assurance you will not launch cyber warfare against the UK?

A: UN Charter forbids threat or use of force – this is an obligation for both Russia and Britain. During his visit to Moscow last December, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson received an offer from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to hold consultations on cybersecurity, like we do with China, India and many other countries. We are keen to talk to other international players to establish rules of behaviour in cyberspace: what is allowed and what is not, what constitutes aggression, how to respond to incidents etc. No reply so far. So while Russia is being constructive, British MPs and media, and with implied connivance of the state, are suggesting cyberstrikes against Russia. You won’t hear this language in Moscow. 

Q: What do you say to those who argue that Mr Putin is acting like a gangster?

A: “Gangster” is not a Russian word. As I said, we have a different dictionary.  

This interview is published, in abridged form, in the 18 March 2018 edition of "Mail on Sunday"


04.08.2020 - Statement of the Federation Council of the Federal Essambly of the Russian Federation regarding discrimination of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine

The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation expresses deep concern that as soon as September 2020, when provisions of new Ukrainian legislation on education enter into force, teaching in educational institutions (except for pre-school and elementary levels) in Ukraine – country, in which Russian is a mother tongue for millions of people – will be almost solely in Ukrainian.

04.08.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 25th anniversary of the Russian Federation’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime

August 4 marks the 25th anniversary of Russia's accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the only multilateral missile export control mechanism.

22.07.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Moscow, July 21, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif and I have held talks. We appreciate the fact that this is his second visit to Moscow this month amid the known problems that the coronavirus infection is creating for diplomacy. Prior to our talks, the minister conveyed a message from President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The message was transmitted during a telephone conversation, and then we held talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Mansion.

14.07.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement on the fifth anniversary of concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Five years ago, on July 14, 2015, the foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Iran, China, Russia, France and the United States, with the participation of the EU, concluded settlement agreements for the Iranian nuclear programme that were unique in their scope and reach. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action driven by the common political will of the countries participating in its development and reinforced by UNSC Resolution 2231 was a major achievement of multilateral diplomacy. It showed the benefits and effectiveness of the decisions made during the talks that prevailed over approaches based on threats, pressure and brute force.

09.07.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference following political consultations between the foreign ministers of Russia and three African Union countries (South Africa, Egypt and the Congo) via videoconference, Moscow, July 8, 2020

Colleagues, Today, we held the first political consultation meeting at the foreign minister level between Russia and three members of the African Union. This mechanism was established after the first Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi last October. These countries are the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are the former, current and next presidents of the African Union.

24.06.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's speech at the military parade marking 75th anniversary of Great Victory, 24 June 2020

People of Russia, Our dear veterans, Foreign guests, Soldiers and sailors, sergeants, warrant officers and ensigns, Officers, generals and admirals, I wish you all the best on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. A victory that determined the future of the planet for decades to come and went down in history as the grandest in its scale, significance and moral value. This year, the traditional Victory Day celebrations are being held in Russia on June 24. Exactly 75 years ago, the legendary victors paraded right here, along the Kremlin wall, to commemorate the end of the Great Patriotic War. That parade went down in history as a triumph of unprecedented scale, the triumph of good over evil, of peace over war, and life over death.

19.06.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Minsk, June 19, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Belarusian friends for the warm welcome accorded to our delegation.

18.06.2020 - Article by President of Russia Vladimir Putin '75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future'

75 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Several generations have grown up over the years. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union that claimed an epic, crushing victory over Nazism and saved the entire world is gone. Besides, the events of that war have long become a distant memory, even for its participants. So why does Russia celebrate the 9th of May as the biggest holiday? Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump rise in their throat? They usually say that the war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are fates of millions of people, their sufferings and the pain of loss. Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.

18.06.2020 - Article co-authored by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Serbian Kurir on June 18, 2020

Public discussions about possible outcomes of the Kosovo knot have become noticeably livelier recently. The United States and the EU are striving to make themselves an indispensable part of the settlement and are competing for the leading role in this process. In addition, as it happened before, they often disregard the opinions of other stakeholders, which fact calls into question the very possibility of finding a fair solution. Looking back into the recent past and analysing the regrettable consequences of external interference in the region’s affairs is something that must be done if we want to avoid making more mistakes. We also believe it is important to provide a general assessment of the current state of affairs and to outline our fundamental approaches to the Kosovo settlement.

17.06.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US Officials’ Statements on Russia's manipulation of the International Criminal Court

Last week, Washington announced more unilateral sanctions. Unfortunately, this has already become common practice for the United States. These sanctions are directed at an unusual target - not one of the many countries that are out of US favour, but the International Criminal Court and its staff. This event was the subject of a joint briefing by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, the Attorney General and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

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