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

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

21.04.2017

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published April 19, 2017

Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump?

Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in.

We confirmed our willingness to organise such a meeting during our contacts with our American colleagues. Last week’s visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow has strengthened our belief that the new US administration is also willing to move towards this goal. However, for a meeting of our leaders to be successful, we need to prepare for it, which is what we are doing.

Question: When can it be held?

Sergey Ryabkov: The tenor of our relations with the United States is such that any premature announcements or any information planted ahead of time will play a negative role. So, I will end my answer by repeating that we are working towards this.

Question: Several weeks ago, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the meeting could be possibly held before the G20 summit, which is scheduled for July in Hamburg, Germany. Is this still possible, or is there too little time left to prepare for this meeting?

Sergey Ryabkov: Anything is possible. Overall, the issue concerns the coordination of our leaders’ schedules, as well as our expectations of such a meeting.

Question: What do you expect from it? Will it be just a chance to feel each other out, or do you expect practical agreements to be reached at it?

Sergey Ryabkov: We have formulated a series of priorities, which we believe should be discussed during preparations for this meeting. Our American colleagues also have practical and clear issues they plan to raise. We cannot say that our priorities coincide always or on all issues. However, this is normal, especially considering the low level of our relations with the new US team, the obstacles that have been deliberately erected by the previous US administration, and the efforts taken by certain forces to hinder the normalisation of Russian-US relations.

Question: Talking about priorities, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a news conference in Moscow that Russia has handed the US some cooperation proposals, including on cybersecurity. In what other areas did Moscow propose cooperation to Washington?

Sergey Ryabkov: I would probably be disloyal to my profession if right here and now I provided you detailed information about what was or was not done in this respect. I can only say that specific ideas and proposals can be presented in various forms. In particular, there is a non-paper format.

Question: This sounds paradoxical…

Sergey Ryabkov: This does not refer to tweets or emails. Such proposals are typically presented on paper. The non-paper format makes it possible to send a less official signal than, say, a message or a diplomatic note. It is rather an invitation to dialogue, to sharing comments. Overall, the status of this kind of document is lower than of any other written form.

Question: Why did Russia choose this format for making its proposals to the US?

Sergey Ryabkov: We don’t want to do anything that would inconvenience the other side. We understand that everything related to Russia or relations with Russia is, unfortunately, a source of controversy in the US today, especially in Washington, where the concentration of political thought, which is not always conducive to normalising bilateral ties, is the highest. Far from everything that comes from us is taken neutrally, in a business-like manner by the Americans. On the contrary, much of what we say, write or ask about becomes – to use a word that is common in the US today – toxic.

On the whole, however, I believe we have found a form in which we can get our ideas across to the US side. And we received some comments from it. Now our priorities have become clearer.

The information security issue that you’ve mentioned is multi-dimensional. It includes fighting cybercrime in the classical sense of the word (say, bank card scams) and encroachments on intellectual property. The Americans have brought in the issue of “political hacking.” It is not a taboo to us, either, even though it was “overheated” by the Obama team’s efforts. We are willing to discuss the entire range of these issues with the Americans. We proposed this dialogue to the previous administration but got no response. Now we have renewed this proposal and hope that the response will be more positive.

Question: Following Mr Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, the creation of a Russia-US working group to normalise relations was also announced (it has been dubbed the “impasse-busting group” in the media). Do I understand it right that you will head it on the Russian side? Who else will be there, and when will it start working?

Sergey Ryabkov: No decision has been made yet, including on the group’s composition, and it would be irresponsible of me to say that I could head this group on the Russian side.

There were various forms of dealing with controversial issues. Under George W. Bush, there were so-called check lists. The sides exchanged lists of issues that caused tension or irritation. And then those issues were addressed, with different degrees of success, in an effort to reduce the number of items on those lists.

Under Barack Obama, there was a bilateral presidential commission where issues were analysed and addressed by issue-specific groups. This work was coordinated at the level of Foreign Minister and Secretary of State. However, this format is history now.

Today it seems some compact mechanism will be put in place. Not a top-heavy structure with the participation of representatives of numerous agencies but a fairly flexible structure that will be able to change its configuration depending on specific issues. However, we have yet to reach the point of finalising this effort to announce officially who will be in charge of this mechanism on both sides – above all, because not all vacancies have been filled on the US side yet. This process is not going smoothly, but we take an understanding view of it. The most important thing is that as a result of the talks with the Secretary of State in Moscow, a firm decision was made to establish such a group. It is expected to work without excessive rhetoric or historical digressions (although it is impossible to do without that completely), and its participants are expected to focus on specific issues. I believe they will be making proposals for the leaders – ideas that would help clean up the “mudflow” that was generated under the previous US administration.




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.



all messages