16 June 2019
Moscow: 22:06
London: 20:06

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

469 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     461 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Statement by Amb. Andrey Krutskikh, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the Field of Information Security at the First Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, New York, 3-4 June 2019

Distinguished colleagues,

I would like to congratulate everyone on the opening of the first-ever session of the UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on International Information Security (IIS) and express gratitude to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and, personally, to Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for its organization.

We congratulate Switzerland on its election as the Group's Chair. This places an important and responsible burden on its shoulders. Switzerland will undoubtedly leave its mark in the history of the United Nations as a country that led the work of the first OEWG. Russia wishes the Chair success in this challenging work and expresses its full readiness to contribute to the effectiveness of the Group's activities.

I regret to note that, while the international community is trying to establish an effective dialogue on IIS within the United Nations, the situation in the use of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) is becoming more and more tense.

Malicious use of ICTs poses a threat of violation of states' sovereignty and interference into their internal affairs.

The greatest danger is that incidents online can lead to a full-scale war offline. The doctrine of so-called preventive cyber strikes promoted by a number of countries poses a real threat to international peace and security. This doctrine considers the use of force a legitimate response to potential cyberattacks. In our view, such an approach is inadmissible. We need to avoid the situations when a state independently and without any evidence determines a potential source ofthreats stemming from the use of ICTs and carries out a devastating punitive strike as it deems fit.

Unfortunately, some states have already put this concept into practice. They do so without appropriate authorization of the UN Security Council, bypassing the UN Charter. The accused party has no chance to protect its rights through legal action. Is this what the applicability of international law to information space is about? On the contrary, such steps lead to the establishment of a dictate and rule of force in digital field and undermine trust between states.

Today the social and economic progress is totally dependent on the ICTs. They set the pace for the development of almost all innovative industries: digital economy, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, unmanned vehicles, smart cities, telemedicine and other products of the technological revolution. However, all of these achievements are nowadays critically vulnerable in the face of IIS threats and remain hostage to this unsolved political problem.

Yet these days technological progress in the field of ICTs is a privilege of the developed countries. Others get not its profits but its residue. For instance, developed countries, concerned about their environment, take their electronic waste to the developing countries for disposal, instead of rendering them real assistance in building their own digital potential. Thus, the developing states basically become hostage to the cyber neocolonialism policy. At the end of the day, this limits their capacity to protect their citizens, businesses and sovereignty as a whole.

The use of ICTs for criminal purposes is another acute problem. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in 2017 the world economy's official losses resulting from actions of carried out by criminals with the use of ICTs amounted to 1.5 trillion US dollars. As estimated by the World Economic Forum, by 2022 this figure could reach 8 trillion US dollars and exceed the total income from the use of the Internet.

We believe that the above-mentioned challenges should be addressed under the UN auspices with an active involvement of all members of international community. Thanks to the efforts of more than 100 countries, today we have a real chance to bring the IIS negotiation process within the UN to a qualitatively new level.

We welcome the fact that, starting from this year, the IIS discussion within the UN will be held in two formats instead of one. We see no obstacles to the OEWG and GGE productively working in parallel.

It is important to ensure that this process is complementary, non-confrontational, constructive and based on cooperation. We think it is necessary to harmonize the efforts on the two platforms. To achieve this, discussions should be pragmatic, non-politicized and produce results that would be mutually reinforcing rather than conflicting. We would like to underline that we are looking forward to a fruitful and peaceful dialogue.

We approached the American side with these proposals as early as last autumn. And though there has been no response thus far, we hope that the US share our vision on constructive collaboration between the OEWG and the GGE.

As for the OEWG, it has an extensive agenda to work on. The Group's mandate encompasses more issues than have ever been included in the traditional mandate of the UN GGE on IIS. Some of them will be addressed within the UN for the first time ever. Though the essential feature of the OEWG is that it is not just a forum for an expert exchange of views but a General Assembly body for achieving concrete solutions. Besides, it is currently the most representative IIS mechanism within the UN.

This entails particular responsibility for the Group. If it proves incapability to reach an agreement on fundamental issues related to ensuring IIS, demonstrates itspassive position or limits itself to strictly formal approach to its mandate, this will mean a failure not just for individual countries but for the entire international community.

One should not cherish hope that they can wait out the storm in their safe harbor, which will be unaffected by global IIS challenges. This is but a dangerous illusion. Unlike traditional security challenges, IIS threats are "the great equalizer", which makes all international players equally vulnerable, regardless of their political stance and level of technological development. We call on all states to exercise their sovereign right and most actively engage in the OEWG-led negotiations, adopting a constructive approach and showing commitment to reaching a compromise.

I would like to elaborate on the OEWG priorities as we see them. The Group will launch its discussion on IIS issues not from scratch; therefore, it will undoubtedly have to consider the results of previous pertinent GGE efforts. Russia, when submitting the draft resolution together with other co-sponsors last year, proposed to focus the OEWG mandate on the issues that had already been discussed by the GGE, and suggested that all countries which had never participated in the GGE would be invited to join the discussion.

I am talking of four traditional issues.

1. Rules/norms of responsible behavior of states in information space. This is an absolute priority on the international agenda. Last year, the General Assembly for the first time approved by a vast majority the initial list of such rules/norms. This is a real breakthrough for the international community. Nothing like that has ever been approved anywhere. The list provides for measures to prevent conflicts in the digital sphere and enshrines the principles of the non-use of force, respect for state sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs of other states, and fundamental human rights and freedoms. Once again, these rules/norms have been supported by the majority of UN Member States.

We believe that as a next step in line with the OEWG mandate we should continue our work on this list so as to make it comprehensive and search for ways to put it into practice. This would allow us to make these rules/norms universal. We seek for reaching consensus while discussing these issues consequently adopting a UNGA resolution on IIS in 2020.

2. Confidence-building measures in the digital sphere. Drawing on the regional experience, particularly that of the OSCE and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on security issues, the Group could consider ways to develop a global set of such measures. We may also wish to think about unifying under the UN umbrella the confidence building measures agreed at the regional level and adopt universal criteria for their further elaboration.

3. Future discussions on IIS within the UN. Today, it is clear that this issue has become an integral part of the UN agenda. It is high time we discussed ways of giving it a new status – as an idea, establishing a permanent entity under the UN auspices.

4. Digital capacity building. By failing to provide necessary support to countries affected by the digital divide, we basically leave them to stand against IIS challenges on their own. How can we expect them to engage in resolving global IIS issues to the same extent as other, more technologically advanced states? Issues of technical assistance should become a priority in our discussions.

More specifically, Russia proposes the following concept for the OEWG's work.

It should focus on preparing a substantive final report containing recommendations to the UN Member States with regard to the above issues and reflecting all opinions expressed in the course of discussions within the OEWG.

In order to make these recommendations universal, consensual and politically meaningful, we propose to draw up on their basis an updated UNGA draft resolution on IIS as an annex to the report that will be recommended for adoption by the General Assembly at its 75th session in 2020.

The basis for these documents is already in place, including the GGE's reports on IIS for 2010, 2013 and 2015, as well as annual UNGA resolutions ("Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security"). Regional platforms (OSCE, ARF) can also provide valuable inputs.

To implement these objectives, we should launch an intensive negotiation process to be completed within a short timeframe.

We propose that, at its second session in September 2019, the OEWG hold a general discussion on issues that fall within its mandate.

We believe it advisable to distribute a zero draft of the report, including the abovementioned draft resolution, on behalf of the Chair of the OEWG by October 2019. It will allow Member States to work on these drafts in between sessions (between the 2nd and the 3rd sessions of the OEWG) to finalize the text at the Group's third session in February 2020 and “polish it” and to sum up the results of the meeting at its last session in July 2020.

If we follow this scenario, in the fall of 2020, the Chair of the OEWG, on behalf of the Group's member states, could present the report and the draft resolution for adoption at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

We believe that such tactics will allow us to take into account the experience of previous GGEs on IIS and the UN General Assembly First Committee, where there were too many disagreements and too little time to find consensus and get to working on the text.

By doing so, the OEWG will be able to demonstrate tangible practical results of its work. This will not only provide basis for the General Assembly to adopt universal decisions in this field but, in fact, launch a continuous negotiation process on IIS within the United Nations.

Certainly, the proposed tactics will require great effort on the part of all participants, especially the Chair. But we should walk this path if we really want to achieve results. For our part, we are ready to do everything possible to facilitate this work.

Thank you.


05.06.2019 - Article “On Victory Day” by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for International Affairs magazine, June 4, 2019

The month of May and the fireworks are now behind us. The country and the world celebrated Victory Day, which is a holiday of war veterans, home front workers, and all the people of Russia and other victorious nations. There was a grand parade on Red Square and a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The march of the Immortal Regiment – a civil initiative that has acquired a truly global dimension – took place again not only in Russia, but in many other countries as well, with the participation of hundreds of thousands of Russians, our compatriots abroad and citizens of other countries – all people who cherish the memory of Victory and the memory of those who worked to bring it closer.

28.05.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Moscow, May 27, 2019

Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei and I had a substantive discussion on bilateral issues of cooperation. We focused on major items on the international and regional agendas. Our countries are time-tested allies and strategic partners. Our fraternal peoples are linked by a common history, as well as cultural and spiritual roots. This year is special in Russian-Belarusian relations.

15.05.2019 - State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Grigory Karasin’s interview with Izvestia, May 14, 2019

Question: How do you assess the results of the presidential election in Ukraine? What do you think caused such an advantage in favour of a candidate without any political experience, which played a historic role? Grigory Karasin: The presidential campaign that has ended in Ukraine can hardly be described as a model of democratic, free and independent expression of will. Numerous violations and falsifications were mentioned in reports from international monitoring missions and in comments by the campaign participants and local observers. The authorities in Kiev used this campaign as just another chance to whip up the anti-Russian hysteria. Most of the candidates, including the current head of state, Petr Poroshenko, made use of frantic Russophobic rhetoric in an effort to divert voter attention from serious problems inside the country.

09.05.2019 - Ambassador’s speech at the Soviet War Memorial

Every year on 9 May we gather here to honour the men, women and children who fought heroically in World War II, protecting home soil and sacrificing their lives in the fight against Nazism. We remember those who fought on the frontlines and those who selflessly toiled in the rear. 74 years ago the Nazi atrocities were stopped, criminal plans of world domination – suppressed and the Third Reich – defeated. The Soviet Union made a decisive contribution to this Victory, but at a great cost. 27 million people perished, thousands of entire towns and villages were destroyed.

26.04.2019 - Briefing for representatives of mass-media by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on the issues of preparation to the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Moscow, April 26, 2019

On Monday, April 29, one of the most significant events of this year in the field of non-proliferation and arms control will begin in New York: the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (2020 NPT RevCon PC-3, April 29 - May 10).



05.04.2019 - Opening of Memory Watch 2019 national event

Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Memory Watch 2019 national event at the Victory Museum on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Gora.

01.04.2019 - Welcoming letter on behalf of H.E.Mr. Alexander Yakovenko Russian Ambassador to the UK for Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 (London, 31 March 2019)

Dear guests! Today we are celebrating the most exciting date in the ballet lovers’ calendar. Established in 2006, Russian Ballet Icons Gala has become the great London tradition and one of the most expected highlights.

28.03.2019 - Welcoming remarks on behalf of H.E.Mr. Alexander Yakovenko Russian Ambassador to the UK at Airline Total Networking Conference (London, 27-28 March 2019)

Ladies and Gentlemen! It is my honor and pleasure to welcome the participants of today's Airline Total Networking. Let me express my deep gratitude to all present companies and organizations for their efforts in ensuring interconnectivity within national boarders, between countries and continents and, ultimately, among all the nations and people.

28.11.2018 - Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference

Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin at the Fourth OPCW Review Conference in response to the USA, United Kingdom and Canada accusing Russia of not observing its obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention. Distinguished Mr. Chair, We consider absolutely unacceptable the groundless accusations voiced in the statement of the United States that Russia is in violation of its obligations under Article I of the CWC pertaining to alleged involvement of Russian nationals in use of a nerve agent in Salisbury. Such statements have absolutely no bearing on the facts and are effectively aired to influence the international community. The refusal of the United Kingdom to cooperate in any form with Russia on the “Skripal case”, which would be in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article IX of the CWC only underlines the emptiness of the accusations. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom has addressed the Technical Secretariat with a request to confirm the outcomes of its own national investigation, which contradicts the goals and objectives of technical assistance provided to a State Party under subparagraph e) of paragraph 38 of Article VIII of the CWC. As follows from the presented materials on the assistance provided in connection to Salisbury and Amesbury cases, we have to state the politically motivated nature of the undertaken measures.

all messages