24 January 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

27.06.2017

Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s answer to a question from Rossiya Segodnya news agency

Question: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently commented on a change in Russia\'s position on North Korea. Did Moscow really change its policy? Is Russia ready to try to influence Pyongyang, possibly together with China, to make it stop the moves that violate the UN Security Council resolutions?

Answer: Russia\'s principled position on ways to resolve the North Korean issues remains unchanged and consistent. We support a comprehensive resolution of all the problems on the Korean Peninsula exclusively by peaceful means, through dialogue of all parties involved without preconditions, and above all, the main antagonists – the United States and North Korea. It is our strong conviction that any military provocations, any saber rattling, bellicose statements, from whatever party, only exacerbate the situation, bringing it to a critical point that might be followed by a slide towards a large-scale armed conflict, even with the likelihood of using nuclear weapons.

To avoid this scenario, we have developed a set of practical measures, a sort of roadmap with the ultimate goal of building a lasting peace in Northeast Asia while addressing the peninsula’s problems, including its denuclearisation. We are ready to discuss this with our partners. We need to ensure that all countries in this subregion feel equally safe, and as far as North Korea is concerned, guarantees are needed that would make Pyongyang discontinue its nuclear missile programmes. We propose to advance in this direction without preconditions, step by step, from simple to more complicated moves, starting with obvious things – manifestations of mutual restraint, refraining from mutual provocations, the start of negotiations on the general principles of relations such as non-aggression, and non-use and non-threat of force.

In promoting our initiative, we are acting in coordination with our Chinese partners who have similar concerns about what is happening on the Korean Peninsula. They have put forward a proposal of a “double freeze” – of Pyongyang\'s nuclear tests, and of joint US–South Korean military exercises – and “parallel progress” towards the denuclearisation and creation of a peace and security system in the region. We support these ideas.

An important element of Russia’s position is the requirement for all parties to strictly observe the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Russia was involved in drawing up these international documents and voted for their adoption based on the unacceptability of North Korea having a nuclear status. At the same time, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that these UN Security Council resolutions state that there is no alternative to resolving the existing problems by political and diplomatic methods.

As for the international sanctions against North Korea, they are aimed at inducing Pyongyang to abandon its missile and nuclear programmes rather than intended to “punish” the North Korean people. We are against the broad interpretation of the UN sanctions regime and, moreover, against the introduction of unilateral restrictions by individual states, aimed, in fact, at North Korea’s economic strangulation.




LATEST EVENTS

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

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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

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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

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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?



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