25 May 2017
Moscow: 06:11
London: 04:11

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

19.04.2017

"Diplomacy of Plants" Article by Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov and Regius Keeper of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Mr Simon Milne in "the Herald" newspaper, published 12.04.2017

The key commonality between plant science and diplomacy it is the sensitivity towards passing seasons. Both must learn to adapt to withstand good times and bad.

In an unsettled period for world politics and diplomacy some respite is sorely needed. When diplomatic relations are strained, innovative and creative approaches to building bridges between nations is even more in demand.

Plants recognise no boundaries and, as such, botanists are frequently granted leeway in their pursuit of plant science. Against this backdrop the Moscow Main Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) have established a new partnership in conservation and public engagement. Included in this is an exchange of native of plants between the two to bring a piece of Russia to Scottish soil and vice versa.

RBGE is passionate about its role in delivering international and national plant science and conservation. Much is still to be learned. Knowledge already acquired is being used extensively by medics and scientists, and now by diplomats. In hospitals our plant dependence is evidenced from knowing cancer patients have been treated with an extract of taxus – the yew tree – while atropine, from deadly nightshade, is administered before operations and a compound from daffodil bulbs is dispensed for Alzheimer’s disease. More routinely, our days are supplemented through direct contact with products from plant species, from cotton sheets to wooden floors, food stuffs and beverages of all kinds.

What we don’t know is which plants are yet to come to our rescue or if they are being destroyed before we learn of their existence. Already two thirds of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the USA are derived from plants and fungi. Yet over one third of the world’s plant species are under threat of extinction. Estimates suggest native forest is being lost at a rate of between 45,000 and 55,000 square miles every year – an area about the size of Greece. If this loss of our natural resources continues new solutions to pressing economic and health problems will vanish.

Botanists and horticulturists from RBGE are working in partnership around the world to better understand and protect our flora and fungi. The future depends on alliances in plant diplomacy, transcending political boundaries in the name of conserving our fragile environment.

The organisation’s newest partnership, with Siberia, is significant. As every Russian knows, this region is a very special place. It is a vast land of untouched wild nature, an essence of everything dear to all Russians, an unforgiving yet a noble land. It is held in the hearts of Russians in the same way the Highlands touch the soul of the Scots.

Russia is the largest country on Earth and has the planet’s biggest expanse of forest. Its three distinct climate regions and diverse landscapes are home to thousands of plant species. Many popular UK garden plants such as Dianthus superbus, Erythronium sibericum  and Rhododendron ledebourii and Pulsatilla turczaninovii originate from Russia.

The recent opening of the new Siberian Section of RBGE’s Rock Garden is noteworthy. It coincides with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the leading botanical institutes of both countries “to promote cooperation between the two institutions in education and in academic research in plant resources.” Now, specimens collected on fieldwork over the last six years will be on public display. In return, plants native to Scotland will be displayed in Moscow in a celebration of research without borders. Working to advance plant research, combat the loss of biodiversity and inspire the public.

RBGE is a global scientific asset, a national treasure and community resource of infinite worth. The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh is keen to contribute  by means of diplomacy and botany. Both parties consider it a significant honour and privilege to work together in enhancing such collaboration. In so doing, a lasting legacy of historic and cultural ties is created.

The Siberian Section of the Edinburgh Garden is a Gateway to Russia using the universal language of nature to communicate and foster cooperation through which a synergy can be created to yield the best harvest.

We are confident the Siberian Section and the upcoming Scottish Section of the Moscow Main Botanic Gardens will be a symbol of mutual understanding and friendship and serve as a timely reminder that the things we have in common outnumber our differences.

 

Andrey A.Pritsepov is Consul General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh

Simon Milne MBE is Regius Keeper, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

 

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/15218398.How_plants_can_play_a_vital_role_in_building_bridges_between_nations/




LATEST EVENTS

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.


22.05.2017 - Press release on a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East

On May 20, a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East was held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian party was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov (co-chairman of the committee) and Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Foreign Minister’s Special Representative for Middle East Settlement and Director of the Ministry’s Middle East and North Africa Department. The Palestinians were represented by Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian President’s advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations and a member of the PLO Central Council (co-chairman of the committee), and Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal.


19.05.2017 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov’s meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee

On May 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov held a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (Riyadh Group). There was an exchange of views on the progress and prospects of the inter-Syrian talks under UN auspices, in particular, in the context of the latest proposals by the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.


19.05.2017 - Press release on the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department meeting with NGO delegates and researchers

On May 18, senior officials from the Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department held an annual meeting with delegates from the concerned Russian NGOs and the research and expert communities. They exchanged opinions on a wide range of current international security and strategic stability issues.


18.05.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides, Nicosia, May 18, 2017

We have held very useful talks. Cyprus is our reliable and time-tested partner in Europe. Our ties are based on sincere feelings of friendship and the sympathies of our peoples, on their spiritual and cultural affinity.


18.05.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 127th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

On May 18−20, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the 127th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Nicosia, which concludes Cyprus’ six-month chairmanship of the Council’s Committee of Ministers (CECM). The main theme of the upcoming ministerial session is Reinforcing Democratic Security in Europe.


16.05.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the latest application of the so-called “Law on Occupied Territories” in Georgia

We took note of the announcement by Georgian authorities that former Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov would be added to the list of “persona non-grata” due to his past visits to the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia. As we can see, official Tbilisi continues its systematic provocations, undermining the process of improving relations with Russia. It is difficult to provide rational explanations for this behaviour, because Russia-Georgia normalisation brings with it tangible benefits for the economy and citizens of Georgia.


15.05.2017 - Excerpts from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with Channel One’s Vremya weekly news and analysis programme, Beijing, May 14, 2017

Question: The meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only lasted forty minutes, compared to the Moscow meeting which was took one hour longer. Nevertheless, it seems that you had enough time to achieve the needed results. Specifically, you said that you talked about Syria at length, and the Americans were people of action. Could you be more specific about the action you were referring to here? Could you share some details about this meeting? Sergey Lavrov: Firstly, Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow was important because of the mere fact that it provided an opportunity for the first face-to-face meeting at foreign minister level and a meeting took place with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Since this was the first contact of this kind, we spent quite a lot of time going through all the subjects on the agenda related to bilateral ties and international and regional issues. The visit to Washington was a follow-up to the conversation already started in Moscow. Rex Tillerson and I had a meeting that lasted about two hours, and a little less than an hour in the White House, where we talked at length with US President Donald Trump about Syria (as I have already said at the press conference in Washington), primarily focusing on the groundwork that was laid last year, and further efforts along these lines by the new administration.



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