23 January 2018
Moscow: 18:27
London: 15:27

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Meeting of President Vladimir Putin with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, friends,

It is a pleasure to welcome you to Russia, this time to St Petersburg. I am happy that we are meeting in this city. As far as I know, you have not been to St Petersburg before. I hope you will have time to tour the city and its landmarks, including the Hermitage and the collection of oriental manuscripts at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

 Mr Prime Minister, this year we will mark a significant date, 70 years of our diplomatic relations. There were great many events and many things have changed in that period, but the main thing that has remained unchanged in our bilateral relations is a special, trust-based friendly relationship between our nations.

I am happy to have this opportunity to meet with you to discuss the entire range of our bilateral relations and also international issues.

Regarding our cooperation on the international stage, I would like to single out that next week we will formalise India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a full member. The process began in 2015 in Ufa, Russia. As you know, Russia has always supported and provided all-round backing to this process. Hence, we will meet again very soon, in a week, in Kazakhstan.

Welcome to St Petersburg and Russia.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (retranslated): Your Excellency, thank you for a warm welcome.

I am truly glad to have this opportunity to meet with you in your hometown and to visit your city as a prime minister.

India and Russia enjoy trusted relations that go back in history. Our two countries have always stood side by side on all international issues. Soon, India will become a full member of the SCO thanks to your active support. Let me express my gratitude once again for the backing you provided to India so it would become a full member of the SCO.

We can see that in international relations there may be a decline and there may be progress. We see changes. But based on our history, we see that for a prolonged period, our relations have been stable, with no setbacks. We have been moving forward together step by step. I am not only talking about our bilateral relations but about our contacts on the international agenda, the work for the benefit of the entire world.

This morning, I visited the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery. The people of Leningrad sacrificed their lives to defend their city and their Motherland. I had a chance to honour their memory and lay a wreath. The people of Russia and the people of Leningrad gave their lives to make Russia the remarkable country it is today.

I saw the graves of all those who sacrificed their lives. I saw the grave of your older brother and learned about your family history, which was also related to the siege of Leningrad and the defence of Leningrad. I think it is very important that ordinary people and politicians are involved in defending their country.

Thank you again for such a warm welcome, particularly for the invitation to the St Petersburg forum, which I will attend tomorrow.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.

Thank you especially for visiting the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery. Such places have special significance for the Russian nation.

Thank you.




23.01.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, Russia

Q: What is the purpose of the forthcoming Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, Russia, and was UK invited to participate?

22.01.2018 - Travelling on Russian Railways during 2018 World Cup

Click here for the Russian Railways guide to free rail travel for fans during the FIFA World Cup

22.01.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, January 21, 2018

Question: Everyone is looking forward to reading two US administration reports: the so-called Kremlin report on high-ranking Russian officials and business leaders who are allegedly close to the government, and a report on the expediency of new harsh economic sanctions against Russia. What will Moscow do if these reports lead to the adoption of harsher sanctions? Sergey Lavrov: This is a hypothetical question. We have said repeatedly that we do not want confrontation. We believe that the sanctions are unreasonable in that there are no grounds for them. As for their goals, they are futile because, as their authors can see, several years of these sanctions have been unable to change Russia’s honest, open and constructive policy. Our independent and non-partisan position on the international stage is based on our national interests and cannot be changed by external pressure. Our position is determined by the President of Russia based on the interests of the Russian people. I believe that broad public support for our foreign policy is the best proof of the futility of any attempts to put pressure on our elite and individual companies in order to force the authorities to change our foreign policy.

21.01.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on FCO comments regarding the arrest of Oyub Titiev

Q: On 18 January Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan raised doubts over the arrest of Oyub Titiev, the director of Russian NGO Memorial’s office in Chechnya, questioning its legitimacy. Can you comment on it? A: First of all, we are surprised by such distrust demonstrated by the British authorities towards the Russian legal system. It is worth noting that Mr Titiev was detained on 9 January 2018 after a police patrol during a routine check found a bag in his car containing approximately 180 gram of plant substance, allegedly marijuana. On 11 January he was charged with illegal acquisition and storage of narcotic substances in accordance with Paragraph 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. On the same day the Shali Town Court decided to detain pending trial him for 2 months. If the court determines that Mr Titiev is not guilty, he will be released immediately. Otherwise, he will be prosecuted in full accordance with the Russian criminal legislation. Public appeals by foreign officials on this case, including those made by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on 11 January and by Minister Sir Alan Duncan are no less than unlawful political pressure on the court aimed at influencing its final decision. Given all that, we consider FCO reaction an unacceptable interference in Russia’s internal affairs.

19.01.2018 - Special screening of the Russian film "Attraction" in Edinburgh

Russian science-fiction film "Attraction" directed by Fedor Bondarchuk has been released in the UK. On the day of the premiere on January 18 a special screening of the film and an expert discussion took place with the participation of representatives of the Universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews at the "Cineworld IMAX". It was organized by the Consulate General of Russia in Edinburgh together with the Princes Dashkova Russian Centre with the financial support of the Embassy of Russia to the UK. A welcoming address of the Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko was read out.

18.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko meets British parliamentarians

On 17 January 2018 Alexander Yakovenko had a meeting with members of both Houses of British Parliament, initiated by the British side under preparations for a short debate on the UK government strategy towards relations with Russia (scheduled for 29 January in the House of Lords).

18.01.2018 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Vancouver meeting on North Korea

The results of the Vancouver meeting on the DPRK held on January 16, which are included in the statement of its co-chairs - the United States and Canada - reinforced our doubts about the usefulness of this event. We were perplexed to see Russia and China mentioned in the document, especially given the fact that the foreign ministers of the two countries were not invited to the meeting that was supposed to focus on the Korean issue. We were particularly impressed by a passage on the importance and special responsibility of Russia and China in finding long-term solutions to Korean Peninsula issues. I would like to note that our countries have been offering such a solution and urging others to join it for a year now.

17.01.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference on Russian diplomacy in 2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference on Russian diplomacy in 2017, Moscow, January 15, 2018

17.01.2018 - Response of the Embassy’s press-secretary to the media question on North Korea nuclear issue

Q: Speaking to the Guardian ahead of an international conference on North Korea in Vancouver, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that North Korea is “a threat of the kind the world has not known since the dawn of the atomic age”. What is Russia's position on the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem in general and on Vancouver’s conference in particular?

17.01.2018 - Russian Embassy’s press secretary responds to Reuters question

Q: Do you have any comment on the Ministry of Defence statements on interception of Russian planes near UK airspace, prominently featuring in the media in the recent days?

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