15 January 2019
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317 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     309 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

28.06.2017

Speech by Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko at the opening of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference (ASRC) in Vienna, June 27, 2017

Mr Chairman,

Colleagues,

I am grateful to you for the opportunity to speak at such an important forum.

As you know, there are two eternal Russian questions: who is to blame and what is to be done. It is impossible to answer the question of what is to be done without understanding the causes of the current crisis, and Helmut Kohl’s departure simply obliges us to do this.

Looking back it is impossible not to see all the missed opportunities. The legacy of the Cold War – primarily mental and political – has not been overcome. Western countries have proved to be unprepared for equitable cooperation with Russia in areas of common interest and in the construction of a European security architecture without dividing lines. The OSCE has not been institutionalised. The corner stone of European security – arms control in Europe – has been destroyed for purely political reasons.

When we suggested signing the European security treaty several years ago, our initiative was perceived as an attempt to destroy NATO, and an encroachment on the convention that legal security guarantees can only be received by countries that join NATO. This was further evidence of the failure to overcome the NATO-centric mentality. It would be appropriate to ask why only NATO members should be entitled to enhanced security.

We have long felt growing resistance to the consolidation of Russia’s role and the dynamics of its intertwining with Europe. The European Union got scared by its own project of four common spaces, including external and internal security, and impeded the projects that played a key role in ensuring quality relations with us – talks on the basic agreement, movement towards visa-free travel, formation of a mechanism for joint decision-making in the area of security and anti-crisis response. The Eastern Partnership became an instrument for driving a wedge between Russia and its historical neighbours. NATO and the EU demonstrated a high-handed attitude to the EAEU and the CSTO, which emerged in post-Soviet space.

Throughout all these years, NATO has been conducting a systematic, creeping expansion eastwards, which has led to deeper dividing lines in Europe and fuelled the habitual “Cold War” instincts. Meanwhile, Russia was not “moving” anywhere. Militarily, it was “contracting:” in the early 1990s, it pulled out all former Soviet contingents from East European countries and massively reduced its military capacity along its western borders.

After failed interventions in breach of international law and its commitments within the OSCE framework, NATO, having found itself at a new fork in the road of history, chose to return to its roots, to the search for a big “enemy,” in order to prove its relevance in the new security conditions. And this fell on fertile soil. The Ukrainian crisis was used by the alliance to justify its transition to deterrence schemes dating from an era of confrontation. If there had been no coup in Ukraine, something else would have been worked out. The alliance’s ex-leaders were saying it frankly and openly. Consequently, the bet was made again on military force and on gaining military superiority.

Things have reached a point where some Western officials regard geographical proximity to Russia as an “existential threat” to NATO. The question of who created this “proximity” is, of course, being left aside. Western media, taking their cue from the RAND Corporation, are speculating in a businesslike manner how many hours – 60 or less – it would take Russian tanks to reach Tallinn.

 




LATEST EVENTS

08.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on the latest media publication on the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the Daily Telegraph publications alleging that British authorities have established full details of the assassination attempt of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and describing their current life in England? Answer: We are dealing with yet another media leak, unofficial and unverifiable. It provides no new facts on the Salisbury incident, let alone evidence. The circumstances of the incident remain as confusing as ever.


05.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements on Russia by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Question: How would you comment on Jeremy Hunt’s speech in Singapore, in which he named Russia’s actions on the international arena as the prime example of a threat to the rules-based international system? Answer: Such rhetoric of British officials is not new. It again combines manipulation of international norms with distortion of facts. As stated repeatedly, Russia does not accept the concept of a “rules-based international system”. The international order is based on international law, i.e. legally binding norms that have been agreed on and accepted by all states. By substituting “international law” with obscure “rules”, the UK and other Western countries aim to shed the responsibility for their unlawful behaviour, while assuming the right to randomly blame other countries of breaking “rules” to which they had never signed up.


04.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Syria

Question: How could you comment on the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a “Sky News” interview on President Assad’s future and the role of Russia in the Syrian peace settlement? Answer: We have taken note of Mr Hunt saying that “regretfully” Bashar al-Assad “is going to be around for a while and that is because of the support that he’s had from Russia” and “Russia may think that it’s gained a sphere of influence [but] you’ve also gained a responsibility”.


31.12.2018 - Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov for the show, Moscow. Kremlin. Putin, Moscow, December 30, 2018

Question: What is the main outcome of the year for you? Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to highlight something specific. If we speak about foreign policy, I cannot make an evaluation myself. We have tried to do everything that is necessary in order to fulfill the instructions of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, to implement the foreign political course set by him. It is not for me to judge how successful we were. This should be left to the people to decide, of course, and to the leadership of the Russian Federation.


28.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the situation with the staffing of the Russian and British diplomatic missions

Question: Could you comment on the statement by Ambassador Yakovenko regarding the forthcoming restoration of the number of Russian and British diplomats, which was subsequently denied by the UK Foreign Office? Answer: We saw the rebuttal by the British side. Here are the facts. In December Russia and the UK have, for the first time since March, issued a number of visas for future employees of the diplomatic missions of the two countries, on the basis of reciprocity.


25.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the Prime Minister’s 2018 Christmas Message to the Armed Forces

Question: How would you comment on Theresa May thanking the UK Armed Forces for “protecting our waters and our skies from Russian intrusion” in her Christmas Message? Answer: We were utterly surprised by the Prime Minister’s rhetoric. An uninitiated reader may fall under the impression that Russia has made attempts to violate the UK air space or territorial waters. This has never been happened.


24.12.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya Segodnya

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, December 24, 2018


24.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the calls to apply pressure against the Sputnik bureau

Question: Today’s publication by the “Times” contains personal information of 8 employees of the Sputnik bureau in Edinburgh, as well as calls to seize their assets in UK as belonging to the“Kremlin propaganda machine” by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP. How can you comment on that? Answer: Despite being a member of an opposition party, Mr Cole-Hamilton seems to understand intimately the political strategy of the Conservative Government towards Russian media in the UK. Pressure from all sides, ranking from ungrounded accusations to visa and banking problems is the new reality. Few opportunities to hinder the work of our media in the UK have been missed, in defiance of the UK international obligations and the civilized rules of media freedom.


22.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the UK support for the formation of so-called “army of Kosovo”

Question: How do you assess the UK Government position regarding the creation of so-called “national army” of Kosovo? Answer: The decision by Pristina to transform the Kosovo Security Force into full-fledged “armed forces” is a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which is the fundamental international legal act defining the modalities of the Kosovo settlement. Let me remind you that the resolution only allows the deployment of only international contingents in Kosovo.


19.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning recent statements by the UK Ministry of Defence

Question: How would you comment on the publication by “Bloomberg” claiming that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the UK would adopt a strategy it had not used since the Cold War to combat the threat from Russia? Answer: In this particular case the media have referred to a statement that Mr Williamson did not actually make. However, this whole situation shows that a certain part of the British establishment is determined to treat Russia as its main adversary for the years to come.



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