22 January 2019
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London: 21:18

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324 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     316 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

29.06.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the opening ceremony of the 14th Conference of Russian and German Partner Cities, Krasnodar, June 28, 2017

Mr Minister,

Mr Kondratyev,

Mr Pervyshov,

Colleagues, friends,

First of all, I would like to thank the Krasnodar Territory authorities for the hospitality and warm welcome they have accorded us. I am pleased at this opportunity, together with the leadership of this territory and this city, to welcome my German colleague Sigmar Gabriel.

I am greatly honoured to take part in the opening ceremony of the 14th Conference of Russian and German Partner Cities. This forum, which took over from Karlsruhe, is an important event in the vast array of bilateral interregional and people-to-people contacts. Considering the current situation in Europe, when relations between our states – to put it bluntly – are going through hard times, such depoliticised cooperation is an important element in fostering an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding between nations and countries. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I would particularly like to note the contribution made by the Sister Cities international association to preparing this event and fostering Russian-German cooperation in general.

We have always sought and will continue to seek to build our relations with Germany on the basis of equality and consideration for each other’s interests. History and recent experience show that deviating from these principles causes serious damage to both our countries and the stable development of the European continent as a whole. We are still open to close coordination of efforts in the interest of strengthening European security, for which our countries bear special responsibility, and we are ready to work together to counter global threats and challenges, primarily international terrorism and extremism.

Lately, our ties have acquired a more constructive and pragmatic nature. The top-level dialogue is moving forward. On May 2, President Vladimir Putin had talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sochi. We will be happy to host the German president in Russia.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier has received an invitation. Interparliamentary and interministerial exchanges continue, including between our diplomatic services. The high-level working group on security issues is resuming full-scale activity.

We welcome the positive trends in the trade and economic sphere. In the first quarter of this year, trade was up by one-third, year on year. A lot was said recently at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in which our German partners took a very active part, about the interest of German business circles in expanding their operations in Russia. Major joint projects are under way and mutual investment activity is expanding. The interagency working group on strategic cooperation in the economic and financial sphere, which will next meet in July, makes a valuable contribution to efforts in this area.

Cultural, humanitarian, scientific and educational cooperation, as well as cooperation in historical and memorial activities, is expanding. Contacts between civil societies, including as part of such influential discussion forums as the St Petersburg Dialogue and Potsdam Meetings, are as relevant as ever. The bilateral year of youth exchanges was a great success. Mr Gabriel and I plan to attend its closing ceremony in Berlin on July 13.

Today, my colleague and I are giving the go-ahead to a new joint initiative – the bilateral year of regional and municipal partnerships, which will be held under our patronage. Its extensive programme in Russian regions and German federal lands includes numerous activities in various fields – from the economy and business to culture and sport. I am inviting the heads of Russian and German regions and cities to take an active part in it. We will mark the anniversaries of the establishment of ties between Moscow and Düsseldorf, St Petersburg and Hamburg, and other cities and regions.

Overall, we have many positive examples of joint efforts. They should lay the groundwork for a new unifying, forward-looking bilateral agenda, which would not depend on the political situation of the moment, and for returning our relations back to the path of strategic partnership for the good of our nations, Europe and the world as a whole.

Obviously, Russians and Germans must not be allowed to become alienated from each other. The path of postwar reconciliation and subsequent rapprochement was far too long and hard. It may be recalled that many prominent statesman have consistently advocated for friendship and neighbourliness between Russia and Germany, including such an influential, thoughtful and farsighted politician as Helmut Kohl, who, unfortunately, died recently. President Vladimir Putin recalled his meetings with Mr Kohl, stressing that he had urged everyone to renounce phobias and look to the future.

I would like to wish the conference organisers and participants success in your important and much-needed work.




LATEST EVENTS

22.01.2019 - Embassy press officer’s response to a media question concerning possible further EU sanctions against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the news that the EU has adopted further sanctions against Russian nationals allegedly involved in the Salisbury incident, upon British initiative? Answer: Russia’s political assessment of this decision has been made clear in a commentary of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To add to what has already been said, this is yet another example of bloc decision-making based on the ill-conceived “solidarity” rather than facts. The UK Conservative government has so far failed to provide the Russian side, the public or even their EU and NATO allies with any reliable and verifiable information as to what happened in Salisbury last March.


22.01.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the EU decision to add Russian citizens to the sanctions list

On January 21, the EU Foreign Affairs Council approved restrictions against a number of Russian citizens for their alleged involvement in the Salisbury poisoning in March 2018. By so doing, the EU tested a new mechanism against our compatriots of restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. The new accusations against Russia and Russian citizens under the so-called Skripal case do not stand up to scrutiny. The information campaign was launched by the British government over this case for predominantly domestic political purposes. It is indicative that the renewal of this campaign has coincided with the latest crisis in the Brexit talks.


21.01.2019 - Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a media question regarding a teenager receiving an award for administering first aid to Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the media reports suggesting that it was Abigail McCourt, 16, who was the first to help Sergei and Yulia Skripal after they were poisoned? Answer: If this is true, let us express sincere admiration and gratitude to Abigail for having saved the lives of our two compatriots. At the same time, we have to say that these reports, as many others related to the Salisbury case, are unofficial and unverifiable. Moreover, the fact that Abigail was present at the crime scene together with her mother, Alison McCourt, who happens to be a Colonel and the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, adds to the numerous extraordinary coincidences characteristic of the Skripals poisoning. Furthermore, one has to wonder why this information, unusual as it is, has only been made public ten months after the incident.


18.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the UK position on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Question: Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Alan Duncan, addressing the Commons Defence Committee, has once again accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and of the planned US withdrawal from it. He found it difficult to explain the Russian position, calling it a “mystery”. How could you comment on that? Answer: Indeed, the discussion between the FCO Minister of State in charge of Russia and members of Parliament’s Defence Committee was startling. After repeating a standard set of accusations against Russia widely used by the US to cover its urge to unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty, Sir Alan visibly struggled to explain the Russian position, not to mention our well-known concerns with regard to the US compliance. Moreover, in order to understand our motives the Minister, referring to the Beatles, suggested one would need to take “a magical mystery tour”.


17.01.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 Moscow, January 16, 2019


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.



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