30 May 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

29.05.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Cairo, May 29, 2017

Let me once again express my condolences over the deadly terrorist attack in Minya Province. We know Egypt’s firmness in the fight against terrorism, and we are united in this struggle. I hope that we will strengthen our joint efforts here and expand the counterterrorist fight, which must be a common cause in which all stand united against this evil without applying double standards.


29.05.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the Syrian "chemical dossier"

On May 23, the UNSC held its successive discussion on the state of affairs around the so-called Syrian "chemical dossier". The Western "troika" of permanent members of the UN Security Council sought to give an anti-Assad and anti Russian pronounced spin to this event. It was reconfirmed that these "exposers" of Damascus were not interested in establishing the truth in a crucial issue of who actually stood behind the alleged use of sarin on April 4, 2017, in the Syrian province of Idlib. Representatives of the United States, Great Britain and France have desperately resisted any attempt to figure out to what extent their verdict delivered "in absentia" about the allegedly undeniable responsibility of the Bashar Al-Assad Government for this chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun was justified.


29.05.2017 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the continued hunger strike of Palestinian inmates in Israeli prison

Recently Palestinian-Israeli relations have been further strained by the negative developments concerning Palestinian inmates in Israel. Over 1,200 prisoners have taken part in an indefinite hunger strike since April 17. (According to the media, there are about 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.)


27.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko takes part in Russo-British Chamber of Commerce Business Forum

On 25 May Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko took part in the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC) Business Forum in London. The event gathered a large number of Russian and British companies.


26.05.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 25, 2017

Over the past few days, we have noted with satisfaction the consolidation of positive trends in the military-political situation in Syria. This is directly related to the implementation of the memorandum on creating de-escalation zones in Syria, which was signed by Russian, Iranian and Turkish representatives at the international meeting on Syria in Astana on May 4.


26.05.2017 - Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, May 25, 2017

The situation in Ukraine is escalating. The domestic political struggle is intensifying, which takes the nation further away from settling the conflict and aggravates the contradictions in society. Such measures as the blockade of Donbass, the so-called de-communisation, rewriting history, the hunt for “separatists,” restrictions on information through banning Russian-language TV channels, websites and social networks are working against the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The list of such measures continues to expand.


25.05.2017 - Press release on the exchange of greetings between foreign ministers of Russia and Slovenia on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations

On May 25, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Slovenia Karl Viktor Erjavec exchanged greetings on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two states.


24.05.2017 - Meeting of Vladimir Putin with FIFA President Gianni Infantino

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Infantino, we are glad that you have a positive view of Russia’s efforts to prepare for the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup.


23.05.2017 - Condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May

President Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Theresa May over the tragic consequences of the terrorist attack at the Manchester stadium.


23.05.2017 - Press release on the arbitral tribunal on the law of the sea (claim of Ukraine against the Russian Federation)

On 12 May the arbitral tribunal established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the request of Ukraine claiming violation by the Russian Federation of this Convention held its first meeting. The arbitral tribunal presided by Judge Jin-Hyun Paik (Republic of Korea) considered, with the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the principal procedural documents that will govern the work of the tribunal.



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