23 January 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

28.06.2017

Remarks by Andrey Rudenko, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second CIS Department, at the Special Session on ensuring security and stability in the OSCE region in light of developments with respect to Ukraine at the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, Vienna, June 27, 2017

Colleagues,

I would like to join our colleagues in expressing condolences to the family of Joseph Stone. His death is a heavy loss for his family and friends and a severe blow to the peace-making efforts of the Special Monitoring Mission and the OSCE. We hope the truth in this case will be established soon and those responsible will be held accountable.

The internal Ukrainian crisis that began more than three years ago was provoked by contradictions that had accumulated in the European security system after the Cold War. The Ukrainian tragedy is the result of Western attempts to retain their tottering global leadership and to dominate the post-Soviet geopolitical space, including through direct interference in the internal developments of the emergent states. The foreign-inspired state coup in Ukraine has split the nation and pushed the country into the abyss of permanent instability and a fratricidal war. This has created a serious source of tension in Europe and buried the dreams and hopes for a common European home. The litany of Russia’s responsibility for this tragedy is nothing more than cheap propaganda and an attempt to avoid responsibility. We know very well now how it began, who paid whom, who sent weapons to Ukraine and, as they say in Ukraine, who waged an all-out hybrid war.

Nobody in Russia, Ukraine or Europe needs this conflict, which has resulted in huge human and material losses. But some forces are stoking instability in Ukraine in a bid to attain their geopolitical goals – to reinforce their waning influence and beef up their military presence in Europe, to maintain NATO’s decreasing relevance, and ultimately, to uphold their economic interests, including their energy interests. An additional goal is to settle their internal political problems.

Despite Kiev’s anti-Russia hysterics, hostility and efforts to sever all relations with Russia and root out the memory of our shared history, we still view Ukraine as a close neighbour with family ties to Russia. To us, Ukraine is a country with which we continue to develop trade and from which millions of ordinary people go to Russia in search of a living. Russia probably feels the consequences of the internal Ukrainian crisis better than anyone else, partly because it has accepted over a million Ukrainian refugees, which is more than any other country has done. This is why we are advocating the early restoration of peace and stability in Ukraine – and hence on our borders – and also the resumption of pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries.

Despite this, we have attained the main goal in the two years since the signing of the Minsk Package of Measures – we have stopped an all-out war in Donbass. Permanent channels of communication between the conflicting parties have been created, including the Trilateral Contact Group where a permanent dialogue is maintained between Donbass and Kiev, even though it is not as productive as we would like. Intensive contact is also maintained at different levels within the Normandy format.




LATEST EVENTS

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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