24 January 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.07.2017

“Russia has helped bring stability to Syria” Article of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov in "the Herald" newspaper, published 14.07.2017

In October 2015, I argued against the leader comments in The Scotsman that “Russian airstrikes in Syria have heightened international tensions to new levels” and calls for “wide international pressure to stop these actions”.

Since then quite a lot has transpired, yet the UK media seems unaware of the fact that the situation in Syria has seen a positive change following the launch of Russia’s military operation. That makes me write again.
A brief reminder would be appropriate. Twenty months ago, after an ineffective 440-day long Western aerial campaign, the situation in Syria could not have been any worse. Conflicting parties did not talk, the Islamic State (IS)-held territories were vastly expanding, the Syrian capital Damascus was about to fall to the IS onslaught, and an acute refugee crisis in Europe was unfolding. It is against this background my country met the request of the Syrian government and agreed to send Russian air force and military advisers to help fight terrorists in Syria.
After the first year of the Russian aerial campaign in Syria 12,000 sq km were liberated from terrorist groups, with 586 settlements and 150 cities being freed.
1500 tons of humanitarian cargo was delivered.
Back in 2016 in the IS and Al-Nusra-controlled territories the situation was critical. Residents of Aleppo – Syria’s second largest city – were trapped by the terrorists in their homes and held as a human shield against attacks.
The Russian military risked their lives to liberate 108,076 civilians, amongst them 47,183 children, and led them to safety under heavy bombardments. Several humanitarian corridors were established in order to give the residents a safe passage from ongoing hostilities. In December 2016 the Russian military negotiated the peaceful evacuation of 28,762 combatants, amongst them 691 wounded, and their family members to be transported unharmed to Idlib province. 6,490 fighters laid down their weapons following the amnesty offered by the Syrian government.
With the help of the Russian military police the city is steadily going back to normal. 16,000 families have returned to their homes in eastern Aleppo comprising more than 69,000 people, amongst them 40,000 children. In eastern districts of Aleppo only from December 2016 to February 2017 Russian field engineers de-mined 2,956 ha, 945 km of roads, 4,500 buildings (including 90 schools, four nurseries and 25 hospitals) and defused 36,000 explosive devices.
From December 2016 to April 2017 Russian doctors provided medical aid to 12,840 civilians living in villages nearby. They conducted 742 surgical operations, half of them being of a sophisticated nature. More than 25 tons of medicines and medical equipment were provided to patients.
In the last two years IS funding has been cut dramatically as a result of the Russian aerial campaign. According to our latest data, the terrorists are experiencing a sharp decline in their monthly oil revenues, that are almost halved, from $50 million more than a year ago to $12-20 million now. Russian air forces have destroyed more than 4,000 IS petrol tankers, 206 oil production facilities, 176 oil refineries and 112 oil pumping facilities.
Let’s be honest. You would never have been aware of these numbers, if you had not read this article, would you? This information is easy to find in open sources in Russia, but who reads in Russian? So the decision was made on your behalf, that it is better for you to think that this data is irrelevant and can be ignored as Russian propaganda.
Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict after almost two years of Western “strange war” has finally laid a basis for stability and dialogue. The future of Syria should be finally in the hands of the Syrian people.

Andrey A.Pritsepov
Consul General of the Russian
Federation in Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/andrey-pritsepov-russia-has-helped-bring-stability-to-syria-1-4502888

 




LATEST EVENTS

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On 19-21 January 2017 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans.


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?



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