20 February 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

10.07.2017

Comment by the Information and Press Department on reasons for suspending the payment of Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe

In light of foreign and Russian media comments on the June 30 Statement by the Foreign Ministry Concerning the Suspension of Payment of Russia’s Contribution to the Council of Europe for 2017, we have decided to publish an explanation.

The Russian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has been deprived of a substantial part of their credentials by PACE decisions of April 10, 2014 and January 28, 2015 as “punishment” for recognising the results of the referendum on Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The following rights of the Russian delegation have been suspended: the voting rights; the right to be represented in the assembly’s leading bodies (the Bureau, the Presidential Committee and the Standing Committee), the right to be appointed rapporteur; the right to be member of an ad hoc committee on observation of elections; the right to represent the Assembly in Council of Europe bodies as well as external institutions and organisations, both institutionally and on an occasional basis.
There is no sense in any delegation working at PACE without these credentials. Therefore, there is no substance to the statements to the effect that the Russian delegation has voluntarily walked out of the assembly.
However, the Russian Federation continues its meaningful work in the Council of Europe including implementation of its obligations under the conventions to which it is a party, as the June 30 Statement says.
The federal executive agencies of the Russian Federation are working towards accession to a number of other Council of Europe conventions, in the continuing bid to try to develop a common European legal space from the Atlantic to the Pacific based on the Council of Europe legislation as one of the foundations for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between European countries.
This is why Russia is concerned about the increasingly frequent use of the language of hate and hostility and the flagrant disregard for the rule of law and democracy at PACE.
Something must be done to prevent a situation where the governments of the council member states that faithfully comply with the assembly’s decision become hostage to false stereotypes and goals that lead to confrontation. We firmly believe that the assembly as the consultative body of the Council of Europe does not have the right or mandate for this.
In our opinion, the crisis within PACE could be overcome by amending its Rules of Procedure as soon as possible with a provision under which the elected deputies’ credentials can be only suspended by their electorate at the next elections.
The decision to suspend the payment of Russia’s contribution to the Council of Europe for 2017 is evidence of our deep concern over the possible growth of crisis within the council because of the confrontational policies of some PACE members.
Russia is urging all responsible members of governments and parliaments, the political parties and civil societies of the Council of Europe’s member states to prevent the spread of this crisis from PACE to the other council bodies.
The Russian Federation wants the Council of Europe to be strong and effective and believes that the other council members want the same.




LATEST EVENTS

20.02.2018 - DRAFT UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING INFORMATION CRIMES



15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON


10.02.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on Boris Johnson’s comments on the humanitarian situation in Syria

Q: Would you please comment on the yesterday’s statement by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the humanitarian situation in Syria? What is Russia’s position on this issue? A: The humanitarian situation in Syria remains predictably difficult. Russia continues to take efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both directly and through international organizations. As regards to the situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib as well as in Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Rukban camp and other areas, we share concerns of the UN agencies in Syria and we have repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities.


09.02.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a ceremony on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day, Moscow, February 8, 2018

Colleagues, friends, We are grateful to our guests and comrades for accepting our invitation. I have the honour to declare this ceremony devoted to Diplomats’ Day open. (Anthem of the Russian Federation) * * * I would like to again express our gratitude to all those who have joined the Foreign Ministry staff and veterans on this occasion, including our colleagues from the Presidential Executive Office, the Government Executive Office, the Russian Security Council, ministries, agencies and other offices with which we maintain close and fruitful cooperation. My special thanks go to Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.


09.02.2018 - MFA comment on the humanitarian situation in Syria

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies, and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies. In this context, we paid attention to a statement issued by the UN agencies in Syria released on February 6 regarding the humanitarian situation in a number of areas, including Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Idlib, Rukban camp, and Eastern Ghouta, with a call for a month-long break in hostilities in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate wounded and sick people.


07.02.2018 - Shelling of the Russian trade mission building in Damascus

A 120-mm mortar shell hit the Russian trade mission building in Damascus (currently mothballed, but still under diplomatic immunity) on February 6 at approximately 4 pm local time. No casualties have been reported. The building was badly damaged. We strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation in Damascus, which is part of a string of recent crimes committed by terrorists against civilians in the Syrian capital.


05.02.2018 - MFA statement on New START

According to Article II of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, Russia and the United States were to meet the following aggregate limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018: - 700 deployed ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. The Russian Federation has fully complied with its commitment to reduce its strategic offensive weapons.



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