15 November 2018
Moscow: 07:23
London: 04:23

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256 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     248 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

14.07.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the closing ceremony for the bilateral Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges, Berlin, July 13, 2017

Mr State Secretary,

Colleagues, friends,

First of all, I would like to wish Vice Chancellor, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel a quick recovery. Indeed, life is full of surprises. I hope this is nothing serious.

Today we are holding the closing ceremony for the bilateral Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges.

As State Secretary Markus Ederer said, there is every reason to say that the bilateral year has been a success. Yet another bright page has been written in the new history of bilateral relations. Hundreds of activities were conducted; the Russian-German youth parliament was at work; scientific workshops, forums and numerous educational, cultural and sporting events took place. I hope the comprehensive programme has given all those present, as well as those who also took part in this year’s activities, the broadest possible opportunities for informal and creative communication, which makes it possible to frankly discuss any issues and state one’s viewpoint.

I believe everything that helps foster and strengthen trust and mutual understanding between our nations is of special importance in the present situation in Europe. Perhaps for the first time since the end of World War II, signs of estrangement between the Russians and Germans have emerged. I believe this must not be allowed to happen in any event. The path of postwar reconciliation and subsequent rapprochement was too hard. The price paid for that was too high. Therefore, the investment in young people that is being made by the Russian and German governments is the most important guarantee that nothing like that will be repeated in our history and on the contrary, we will rely on the historical pages of our relations that have always had a positive impact on it.

It is encouraging that despite certain difficulties, Russian-German dialogue is gradually returning to a constructive path. Although problems remain (there is no hiding it), we can see a growing understanding in German society, as well as in many other European countries, that the language of pressure, threats and ultimatums is counterproductive and hurts all parties. We pursue an independent, self-sufficient foreign policy that responds to our national interests and is based on the ideas of truth and justice that our predecessors handed down to us. At the same time, our activities on the international arena are never self-centered and are not aimed at causing economic or political damage to our partners. Unfortunately, we do not always meet with reciprocity here. Some of our partners have actually proclaimed the goal of hurting Russia. We act on the assumption that this is an anomaly and this period will certainly be overcome. Russian policy has always been based and will continue to be based on principles of respect for the interests of other countries, the willingness to work out compromises and find mutually beneficial solutions to any issues. This especially applies to Germany, our important long-standing partner.

We are pleased to see the gradual restoration of bilateral cooperation formats. The interdepartmental high-level working group on security policy is resuming its activity. An intensive political dialogue is under way, including at the top and ministerial level. Interparliamentary, interregional and interagency exchanges continue.

Positive shifts have emerged in the trade and economic area, which is effectively fostered by the interagency working group on strategic economic and financial cooperation. After several years of decline, in the first four months of this year, bilateral trade was up almost 30 percent. I believe no effort should be spared to maintain and consolidate this trend. There are joint innovative, high-tech and energy projects. We are seeing an upturn in investor activity.

Cultural, humanitarian, scientific, educational, historical and commemorative cooperation is ongoing, as is cooperation between our civil societies, including under the auspices of such influential forums as the St Petersburg Dialogue and Potsdam Meetings.

There are many examples of our productive cooperation. We believe it’s important not to rest on our laurels but to continue to move forward, not succumbing to the influence of changing political winds, and build our collaboration on a pragmatic basis, which, in my opinion, has always been characteristic of the Germans and Russians.

Clearly, there is no reasonable alternative to neighbourly relations and partnership. This position is based on understanding the long-term, strategic nature of Russian-German ties and their importance for European stability.

As State Secretary Markus Ederer said, today we are not bidding farewell to bilateral years for good. A couple of weeks ago, at the Russian-German conference of partner cities in Krasnodar, which was a great success, Vice Chancellor and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and I gave the go-ahead to a new initiative: a bilateral year of regional and municipal partnerships. The implementation of this project will, without a doubt, enrich interregional exchanges and foster contacts between our civil societies.

I believe that dialogue between young Russians and Germans will not end with the year of youth exchanges, which we are closing today, either, but will remain an important component of our forward-looking bilateral agenda. Mr Ederer said that young people find it easier to reach agreements within the framework of such events than governments do. I’d like young people to go into politics as soon as possible and join governments, as well as strengthen the foundations of our friendship. Young Russians and Germans will soon work to ensure the harmonious and steady development of their countries and, of course, shape the common future of our common European home.

I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all the organisers of this event. I wish you all the very best.




LATEST EVENTS

13.11.2018 - Embassy’s statement concerning Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London

We have taken note of Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London on 12 November, of which a significant part was dedicated to Russia. Unfortunately, we did not hear any “new approach” to Russian-British bilateral relations, mentioned in the British media a day before. A number of unsubstantiated accusations against Russia were again put forward by the Prime Minister, ranging from “attacks to undermine international security” to the “use of a chemical weapon on British streets”. The statement that the UK “remains open to a different relationship with Russia” was, in line with the traditional British style, made conditional on a number of categorical demands. For our part, we have been pointing at the unsatisfactory state of bilateral affairs for a long time. Russia and Britain are in an urgent need of genuinely equal, mutually respectful and result-oriented cooperation, befitting two Permanent Members of the UN Security Council sharing a special responsibility for global affairs.


06.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning new claims on alleged links between members of the Russian community in the UK and intelligence services

Question: How would you comment on the claims in the British media that “half of the Russians in London are working for Russian intelligence”? Answer: Those publications are based on a report by “Henry Jackson Society”, an organisation that does not hide its anti-Russian position. But even this superficial and irresponsible report has been distorted by the media affiliated with the current Conservative government for the sake of sensation and a further increase of Russophobic sentiment in the British society. A non-committal phrase – “Reflecting the level of paranoia within London’s Russian community, interviewees and interlocutors suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants” has been transformed by the media into a categorical statement: “The study said there were as many as 75000 Russian informants in London”.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning “An Invisible Chain” speech by the UK Foreign Secretary

Q: In his speech at the “Policy Exchange” think tank UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has dwelled on the shifts in the global balance of power. Do you agree with his assessment? A: We believe Mr Hunt’s view on the trends in global development is right in principle. The centre of the economic power shifts to the East, the BRICS countries as well as a lot of Asian economies are on the rise, and with economic power comes greater political influence. The speech reflects growing awareness in the UK political classes that the place and role of the West in the shaping of the international order is in decline. The world is changing rapidly, and the UK will have to adapt to the new reality.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement by UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce on Ukraine

Q.: At the UN Security Council Briefing on 30 October UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce claimed general elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic to be illegitimate and a clear breach of the Minsk Agreements. How would you comment on this statement? A.: The elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic scheduled for November 11 are held to fill the power vacuum after the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, which cast suspicion on Ukrainian destabilizing activities in the east. This murder must not result in a halt to daily life in the region, people in Donbass need to carry on with their lives, making ends meet under constant blockade and the threat of the use of force from Kiev. The proposed elections have no bearing on the Minsk agreements, which pertain to municipal elections.


31.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements by Prime Minister Theresa May in Norway

Q.: On 30 October UK Prime Minister again claimed that Russia “deployed chemical weapons” in Britain. How would you comment on this statement? A.: We strongly reject these insinuations. Another portion of accusations of Russia is a far cry from reality.


29.10.2018 - Joint Statement by China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States

We, the nuclear weapon States recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty, in all its aspects, fifty years since its signature.


28.10.2018 - Joint Statement by the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey, the French Republic, the Russian Federation and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the French Republic H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin, and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany H.E. Angela Merkel gathered in Istanbul on 27 October 2018 for a Quadrilateral Summit on Syria.


26.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning publications on cyberattacks

Question: Recently there have been numerous publications in British media regarding alleged Russian hacker attacks against the UK infrastructure. Has the Embassy received any evidence from British officials on this? Answer: The Embassy has not received any official evidence from the British side on either of these publications. We believe this clearly shows that there is nothing behind them.


25.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Question: Does the Embassy have any new information regarding circumstances of the death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London on 12 March? Answer: Unfortunately, we have to state once again that the British side evades any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of Mr Glushkov’s death.


22.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning comparisons in Britain between Russian and Saudi Arabia’s reactions to high-profile incidents

Question: After the reports concerning the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the British media have been drawing parallels between the actions of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are there any good reasons for such comparisons? Answer: We have already stated that we would not be commenting idle talks. It is for journalists, not diplomats, to speculate on this kind of issues. However, we have taken note of yet another article by Boris Johnson in “The Daily Telegraph”, where he compares the death of Jamal Khashoggi to the so-called poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. In particular, he insists that Saudi Arabia and Turkey should – and rightly so – provide the public with as much information as possible concerning the exact causes of the journalist’s death.



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