22 September 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

16.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement on Syria

We have taken note of the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made on March 14 at a high-level thematic discussion on Syria at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Having appropriated the role of international arbiter, the high commissioner claims that the situation in Syria is “the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II” and that as a result of the armed conflict, “ the entire country has become a torture-chamber.”

We have first-hand experience of attempts to rewrite history to suit the political situation of the moment. This phenomenon is characteristic of many Western countries. The high commissioner is in effect trying to do the same thing: blame the Damascus authorities for fueling the war in Syria. According to him, vetoes at the UN Security Council have repeatedly pushed back hope for an end to “this senseless carnage.” Meanwhile, he turns a blind eye to the fact that right from the start, this conflict was fomented and fueled by outside forces. He does not use the term “terrorism” at all, and tries to portray terrorists as “victims of circumstance,” which is completely unacceptable.

It is telling that Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s politicised and biased evaluations came almost at the same time as the remarks of UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien at the UN session, where he described the situation in Yemen, not in Syria, as the worst humanitarian disaster. It is regrettable that the Yemen conflict, as well as the situation in a number of other countries requiring urgent attention, in particular around Mosul in Iraq, for some reason drop off the high commissioner’s radar or are commented on indirectly. How is that for his so-called “objectivity”?

We must say that Mr Hussein’s remarks at the 34th session of the UN Security Council are certainly not the first example of his comments or public evaluations that are not befitting of a UN official and that run counter to the professional work ethic of a UN Secretariat official, as defined in the UN Charter. Previously, he took the liberty of making inappropriate comments on the work methods and decisions of a UN intergovernmental agency – the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – making personal attacks on the actions of public politicians and even insulting heads of state in his statements.

This raises the question: Does Mr Hussein’s behaviour measure up to the authority and the high international status of the post that he holds? What goal is he pursuing by antagonising states that have been set on constructive cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms? Perhaps his superiors at the UN Secretariat should also pay attention to this.




LATEST EVENTS

20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, New York, September 19, 2017

Once again, I would like to thank you for the hospitality you showed us several months ago. We also look forward to your visit.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto, New York, September 19, 2017

As you know, we have always advocated the unity of the European Union, so we wish you all the best.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during talks with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, New York, September 19, 2017

We value any opportunity to hear your views on developments in the region, as well as to coordinate our further steps regarding the issues of concern to us in the interests of stability in the Balkans and the development of the region’s countries in accordance with the will of their people.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, New York, September 19, 2017

Sorry for a small delay. Very nice to see you again. We believe that our dialogue is important. After your visit five years ago, this would be a good occasion to check where we are and what we get to do together to promote our very good relations and friendship.


20.09.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS and The Associated Press, New York, September 20, 2017

Question (in English): After your meeting with Secretary Tillerson, how would you evaluate the relationship with the United States? And has Russia given up on hopes of a significant improvement under the Trump administration? Sergey Lavrov (in English): The relations are at a very difficult and a very low point, which is the legacy of the Obama administration. We certainly noted what President Trump was saying when he was running for president about the relations with Russia and what he continues to say. Basically, that he wants to have good relations with Russia, understanding that this would be in the American interests and the interests of solving quite a number of important and most acute world problems. And what I feel talking to Rex Tillerson is that this is the position of the administration. They are not happy with the current state of relations, and we are not happy at all. And I believe that the understanding is that we have to accept the reality which was created, as I said, by the spiral of unfriendly steps started by the Obama administration, but this reality is with us. And being responsible people, I believe the Russian Government and the US administration should exercise this responsibility in addressing the bilateral links as well as international issues. We are not yet at a point where this would become a sustained trend but understanding of the need to move in this direction is present, in my opinion.


19.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov

On September 18, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.


18.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 16, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the initiative of the US side.


18.09.2017 - Joint statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in Astana 14-15 September 2017

reaffirming their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic; guided by the provisions of UNSC resolution 2254 (2015);


15.09.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On September 14, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the US initiative.


15.09.2017 - Press release on Alaska delegation’s visit to Russia

On September 4-10, Russia was visited by a group of public figures from Alaska, including representatives of the academic community and non-governmental organisations, members of the Alaska Historical Society and prominent figures of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America.



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