28 May 2022
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1546 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1538 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 address to the press conference on the occasion of Russia’s participation in the London Book Fair as Market Focus country.

Russia is very pleased to be welcomed as Market Focus and Guest of Honour at The London Book Fair 2011, in recognition of Russia’s rapid growth in the publishing field in the past two decades, and following the success of the Russian Pavilion and SLOVO festival, held in conjunction with The London Book Fair. This will be an opportunity for us to present the contemporary Russian literature to new international audiences.

We are grateful to the London Book Fair for providing this opportunity. We are also grateful to British Council for their immensely generous support of this project.

This project is a result of close collaboration of the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication and Academia Rossica from the Russian side and the London Book fair and British Council from the British side.

It took nearly 2 years to prepare. We very much look forward to this unprecedented event – 50 best Russian writers will spend a week in the UK presenting their books, participating in debates, meeting with their readers. The programme includes more than 100 events at the Book Fair and other venues, not only in London but also around the country. This programme is made possible thanks to participation of nearly 50 supporting partners.

Literature has always been at the heart of Russian culture. The classics of the 19th and 20th centuries are renowned around the world. In Russia literature has always been an important vehicle for political and social debate and comment. We hope that this wonderful project will open contemporary Russian writers to British audience.

You will meet both internationally established authors, such as Vladimir Makanin, Ludmila Ulitskaya and Dmitry Bykov, and new and exciting writers at London Book Fair. Participants in the cultural programme will include Russian Booker Prize winners Mikhail Shishkin, Alexander Illichevsky, Ludmila Ulitskaya and Olga Slavnikova; Dmitry Bykov, one of Russia’s most prominent and admired writers and public intellectuals; Andrei Bitov, President and co-founder of the Russian PEN Club and Vice-president of International PEN; National Bestseller Award winning author Zakhar Prilepin; multi-award winning novelist, Dina Rubina; Russia’s most successful crime author, Polina Dashkova; Eureka Prize winning author German Sadulaev; foremost Russian science-fiction writer Sergey Lukyanenko. 

Important representatives from the government will also come to London, including:

  • Mr Sergei Naryshkin, Head of the Administration of the President of Russia Mr Dmitry Medvedev;
  • Mikhail Seslavinsky, Minister of Press and Mass Communications;
  • and Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation. 

What makes this project even more special is that it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight into space by Yury Gagarin on 12 April 1961. At the Book Fair it will be marked by a very special celebration – with recorded video link with cosmonauts at the international Space Centre. The cosmonauts will answer questions posted to them by participants of the Fair and will talk about the importance of literature in space.

I have to say that this spring in London can be truly called a Russian Spring. Russia Market Focus is only one in a series of projects presenting Russian culture. On the same week we have Russian ballet at the English National Opera, Russian films at the British Film Institute and celebration of Gagarin’s flight at the Science Museum and other venues.


18.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during a meeting with the New Horizons educational marathon participants, Moscow, May 17, 2022

We are ready to address humanitarian issues, as happened yesterday, when thanks to the initiatives of the Russian military on the ground it proved possible to evacuate hundreds of wounded soldiers from the Azovstal plant. These are the principles that form the basis of the Russian army’s ethos.

17.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, May 14, 2022

Western politicians should accept the fact that their efforts to isolate our country are doomed. Many experts have already recognised this, even if quietly and off the record, because saying this openly is “politically incorrect.” But this is happening right now. The non-Western world is coming to see that the world is becoming increasingly more diverse.

12.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman Badr Albusaidi, Oman, May 11, 2022

We had a busy day today in our meetings with His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers of Oman Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, as well as talks with my colleague and friend Foreign Minister of Oman Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi. We discussed the entire range of Russian-Omani relations and expressed satisfaction with the intensive political dialogue and cooperation in trade, the economy, culture and education.

07.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial plaques in the Foreign Ministry building dedicated to the 77th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Moscow, May 6, 2022

According to tradition, today we are conducting a ceremony dedicated to the most sacred holiday in the history of our country: Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War. By tradition, we honour everyone who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of our country and Europe and for delivering the entire world from the Nazi threat.

04.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Al Arabiya television channel, Moscow, April 29, 2022

We have provided many proposals. During all these years we have been initiating draft treaties, draft agreements with NATO, with countries of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Lately, in December last year, we proposed another initiative to the United States and to NATO to conclude treaties with both of them on security guarantees to all countries in the Euro-Atlantic space without joining any military alliance.

04.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Mediaset, Italian television network, Moscow, May 1, 2022

Russia has never ceased its efforts to reach agreements that would guarantee the prevention of a nuclear war. In recent years, it was Russia who has persistently proposed to its American colleagues that we repeat what Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan did in 1987: adopt a statement reaffirming that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and therefore it must never be unleashed.

04.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Xinhua News Agency (China), April 30, 2022

When we talk about the Ukrainian crisis, first of all we need to look at the destructive policy of the Western states conducted over many years and led by the United States, which set a course to knock together a unipolar world order after the end of the Cold War. NATO’s reckless expansion to the East was a key component of those actions, despite the political obligations to the Soviet leadership on the non-expansion of the Alliance.

28.04.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Channel One’s The Great Game political talk show, Moscow, April 25, 2022

What we deem necessary has been announced by President Vladimir Putin. I am referring to the need to destroyUkraine’s military infrastructure in the context of demilitarising it. To quote President Putin, Ukraine has been turned into an “anti-Russia” and a direct threat to this country. But the Russian military must meet very strict requirements to minimise damage to the civilian population.

20.04.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with India Today television channel, Moscow, April 19, 2022

The real reason is the complacency of most countries of the world after the end of World War II, when our Western colleagues, led by the United States, declared themselves winners and in violation of the promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership started moving NATO eastward.

13.04.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya television network, Moscow, April 11, 2022

President Vladimir Putin explained in detail the reasons for the decision on the special military operation. These include eight years of sabotage of the Minskagreements accompanied by the daily bombing of Donbass; the flooding of Ukrainewith Western weapons; and the sending of instructors that trained the most extremist units that were later sent to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They formed the backbone of the groups that are now resisting our operation to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine.

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