22 January 2018
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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

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?


15.01.2018 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, January 12, 2018


12.01.2018 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

On January 12, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif.


12.01.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veteran

On 11 January 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medal to the Arctic Convoys veteran Mr Bernard David DAVIES who was awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for his personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.



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