18 October 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

08.08.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answer to a media question following the Russia-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum on security, Manila, August 8, 2017

Manila has been hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) events for two days. ASEAN has about twenty partners. This format included a series of dialogue meetings of ASEAN plus each partner, including Russia-ASEAN, the meetings of the foreign ministers of the East Asian Summit countries (ASEAN and its key partners) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), traditionally devoted to security issues.

During the Russia-ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting, we certainly congratulated our colleagues on the Association’s 50th anniversary. We reviewed the implementation of the agreements that were reached at the May 2016 summit in Sochi. We endorsed a roadmap for implementing the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group to the presidents in the context of that summit. Individual statements that motivate us to more active cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the programme of action to combat drug trafficking were approved.

We reaffirmed our readiness to increase the number of scholarships that we offer to our colleagues from the ASEAN countries for the training of law enforcement personnel at the Russian Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service higher education establishments.

We agreed on the promotion of our economic cooperation. There are huge resources here. We coordinated more than 20 projects that are now in the works and will be more specifically considered at the meeting of Economic Ministers of Russia and ASEAN in September 2017. In September, a dialogue between the business circles of Russia and ASEAN will be held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum. Also, major cultural and humanitarian events are planned, including, as I said, the 50th anniversary of ASEAN celebrations – a joint Russian-ASEAN orchestra performance, the youth and university forums.

Another result of our meeting is that we have formed an expert group from the academic community to consider areas for future cooperation. As for the ministerial meetings of the EAS and ARF countries, the focus was on further improvement of our interaction on security issues, cooperation and overall architecture at the intergovernmental level in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR).

We decided to submit a document Russia has drafted jointly with Indonesia to the East Asia Summit, which will take place here in Manila in autumn. It is devoted to fighting the ideology of terrorism. Everybody agreed that this is the most important issue, which should be dealt with closely. We are promoting a similar initiative in New York within the United Nations framework.

We also agreed to add another issue to the EAS agenda – combating infectious diseases. Since it is Russia’s initiative, the first meeting on this issue will be held in our country in October.

Speaking about the regional security forum, I would like to note the interest in our initiative to do an inventory of all the groups that function in the APR, including those I mentioned (ASEAN plus Dialogue Partners, EAS, ASEAN Regional Forum on security). There is also the ASEANAPOL force – a ministry of the interior, a regional Interpol, with which Russia is also actively cooperating. There is also a mechanism ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meetings Plus (ADMM-Plus), in which Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu also participates.

We suggested thinking how to establish network relations between all these groups in order to coordinate their activities more closely and, in this context, also to develop contacts with organisations that are established outside the ASEAN-centric groups, primarily the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). In this context, we recalled the agreement reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his colleagues at the ASEAN Summit in Sochi in May 2016 on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership through the establishment of regular multi-faceted ties between the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the SCO and ASEAN.

I think that very good work has been done, but we need to take specific steps to implement all that was agreed upon. Everyone is highly motivated. We will actively promote this.

Question: Are there any changes in North Korea’s position after the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that the Foreign Ministry of North Korea has made a harsh statement rejecting this resolution and condemning it as unfair. Strictly speaking, this is how representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have reacted to all previous UN Security Council resolutions. We will judge by their actions.

We are confident that there is no alternative to the resumption of the political process, in particular the six-party talks. Russia and China have made relevant proposals. We will promote them in New York and other venues. We will certainly continue our dialogue with our North Korean neighbours. We expect that with the prudent approach of all players, naturally including the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan, we will be able to find a solution that suits all parties.




LATEST EVENTS

15.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the ties between “Bellingcat” and secret services

Question: Russian officials claim that “Bellingcat” is connected to intelligence agencies of the Western countries, but do not present any evidence of such ties. Doesn’t such approach contradict Russia’s position on the Salisbury incident, the MH-17 catastrophe and other notable cases, where the Russian government is continuously demanding to publish proofs of accusations? Answer: There is no contradiction. The fact that “Bellingcat” is affiliated to the intelligence services is obvious considering the whole range of relevant circumstances: date of its foundation (several days prior to the MH-17 catastrophe), nature of published information (which combines signs of intelligence data and highly professional fakes), its orientation (always anti-Russian), timeline of publications (each time at the best moment from the point of view of interests of NATO countries), biography of its leader (Elliot Higgins suddenly turned from a PC gamer into an “icon of independent journalism), non-transparency of its internal structure and financing. If “Bellingcat” can provide any other plausible explanation for such combination of facts, it should be presented to the public.


15.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the British government calls to step up anti-Russian sanctions

Question: How would you comment on the news that the British government has been lobbying a new EU sanctions regime against Russian nationals allegedly involved in use of chemical weapons and cyber-attacks in Europe? Answer: We have taken note of the respective statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of 14 October and the relevant media reports. These suggest that, faced with an imminent Brexit, the British government makes every effort to step up the sanctions pressure on Russia and to complicate as much as possible Russia-EU relations after Brexit.


13.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q.: 12 October marks seven months since the death of Nikolay Glushkov. Does the Embassy have any new information on this case? A.: Unfortunately, once again we have to state that the British side continues to evade any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of the death of former Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Mr Glushkov that occurred on British soil on 12 March. The British authorities continue to ignore numerous Russian requests, including the official request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for legal assistance in the criminal case opened in Russia into the Nikolay Glushkov’s death. There are no answers to the Embassy’s proposals to arrange a meeting or consultations between the Investigative Committee, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation experts and the Metropolitan Police representatives.


12.10.2018 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s introductory remarks at the press-conference on 12 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, In recent weeks we have received a number of media requests concerning the current state of bilateral affairs between Russia and the United Kingdom. I am also often asked how numerous anti-Russian statements by the British officials influence our approach towards the UK. Considering this, I have decided to invite you today to make respective short comments on these issues and answer your additional questions. Currently the relations between Russia and the UK are at a very low level. The reason for that lies in an aggressive anti-Ru ssian campaign launched by the current Tory government and supported by the British media.


09.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new Bellingcat’s investigation

Question: How would you comment on Bellingcat’s claims that it has “tracked down Alexander Petrov’s real identity”? Answer: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recently advised us to consider such publications and statements as a display of freedom of public debate into which the UK Government does not interfere. There have already been reports that the Home Office and Metropolitan Police would not comment on these “speculations”. This is exactly the case when we should follow the example of our British colleagues.


08.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the UK authorities’ reaction to Russia’s official requests following recent flagrant media publications

Question: The Embassy declared its intent to request clarifications from the British side following the recent accusations of cyberattacks, and the media reports on preparations for retaliatory cyberstrikes against targets in Russia. Has there been any response? Answer: Today we have received a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which implies that, as before, the British side is not going to provide us with any details that may serve as the basis of the accusations. In this case, we are not in a position to make comments on the essence of those accusations.


05.10.2018 - Embassy comment on another groundless British accusation against Russia

On 4 October, UK Permanent Representative to OPCW Peter Wilson speaking on behalf of Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan claimed that the “GRU” allegedly “attempted to compromise UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office computer systems via a spear phishing attack” and “targeted computers of the UK Defence and Science Technology Laboratory”. The same day the UK National Cyber Security Centre stated that “multiple email accounts belonging to a small UK-based TV station were accessed and content stolen” and “the GRU was almost certainly responsible”.Today, the Embassy has forwarded a Note Verbale to the FCO demanding that the UK Government produces and immediately shares with the Russian side hard evidence and proofs supporting those claims, and informs about sources used to draw such conclusions. We have reminded, in particular, that Russia had repeatedly proposed expert consultations on cybersecurity in order to address UK’s concerns, if any.


04.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the BBC journalist Mark Urban’s book on Sergei Skripal

Q.: How would you comment on the Mark Urban’s book on Sergei Skripal published on 4 October? A.: We intend yet to study this book. At the same time, it is a well known fact that Mark Urban has close links with British secret services. This gives us grounds for considering this book as an attempt to compensate for Sergei Skripal’s public non-appearance as the key witness to the Salisbury incident. Instead of facts, the public is again offered speculation and guesses.


04.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the recent anti-Russian statement by the Foreign Office

Question: How would you comment on today’s statement by the Foreign Office accusing Russia of worldwide cyber-attacks on massive scale? Answer: This statement is reckless. It has become a tradition for such claims to lack any evidence. It is yet another element of the anti-Russian campaign by the UK Government.


03.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on INF Treaty

Question: How would you comment on the latest statements by US officials on Russia’s alleged non-compliance with INF Treaty? Answer: Russia has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). The US allegations of Russian non-compliance relate to one particular missile type. While we have assured Washington on multiple occasions that the mentioned missile does not violate INF, the US has never explained the exact reasons of their preoccupation. These allegations divert attention from the American actions that are breaching a number of INF provisions.



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