20 July 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

19.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning alleged identification by the Metropolitan police of suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Q.: How would you comment on today’s media reports claiming that the Met Police have allegedly identified two suspected perpetrators of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury? A.: We have seen the report by the Press Association saying that investigators believe to have identified the persons who poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal by cross-checking CCTV recordings with lists of people who entered and left the United Kingdom around that time. The Security Minister Ben Wallace has already given assessment to this report by writing in Twitter that it “belongs in the ill informed and wild speculation folder”. In this regard, we would also like to mention the statement of the Met Police on the Salisbury poisoning published by “Daily Mail” on 17 July, according to which “the investigation into the Salisbury attack remains ongoing and we’re not prepared to discuss any lines of enquiry at this stage”.


19.07.2018 - Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answers to questions by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency about the investigation into the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents and the murder of Nikolai Glushkov

Question: What could you say about the investigation into the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury? Maria Zakharova: We have noticed that Britain has lately modified the tactics of covering the investigation into the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents. While earlier the London police limited themselves to general phrases accompanied by a lot of media leaks and high-level politicised statements, then now they make regular public statements, with politicians referring to the need to wait for police conclusions. Despite insufficient informative value, this creates an illusion of transparency.


18.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s statement of on the 4th anniversary of the MH17 plane crash in Eastern Ukraine

Q: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insists on Russian state responsibility for downing MH17 flight in Eastern Ukraine. How would you comment on this? A: Indeed, four years have passed since Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight crashed in Donbass, claiming the lives of 298 innocent passengers from many countries. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who lost their lives. From the very first day Russia has advocated a thorough and impartial international investigation into this crash. Our country immediately offered all necessary technical and expert assistance. Instead, the Netherlands did not allow Russia to participate in the Joint Investigative Team (JIT) and opted to pursue a preselected line of investigation, almost entirely ignoring essential information that Russia was providing.


17.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of Minister of State Alan Duncan on the “Ukrainian political prisoners”

Question: Foreign Office Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has urged Russia to release the “Ukrainian political prisoners” Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and Emir-Huseyn Kuku. How would you comment on this? Answer: The Embassy has taken note of Sir Alan’s statement, which fails to reflect the real state of affairs. It should be reminded that Oleg Sentsov has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on grave charges of creating a terrorist group and preparing two terrorist acts.


17.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning The New York Times article on the Skripals case

Question: According to the New York Times, British investigators suspect “current or former agents of the GRU” of the attempted poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. How would you comment on that? Answer: We are not surprised by the new wave of anti-Russian publications in the run-up to and on the day of the meeting between the Russian and U.S. Presidents in Helsinki. However, we are concerned by the fact that, while the British authorities keep concealing all information concerning the investigation into the Salisbury incident, the newspaper has quoted “one former US official familiar with the inquiry”. It appears that the British authorities have shared confidential and extremely sensitive information with private individuals who have no authority or grounds for access thereto. Meanwhile, the Russian side has been trying to get access to the investigation and ensure cooperation between the British authorities and Russian experts for over four months, to no avail.


16.07.2018 - Russia-US summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Donald Trump have met in Helsinki for their first full-scale summit meeting. Before this, Mr Putin and Mr Trump had met on the sidelines of various international events.


16.07.2018 - News conference following talks between the presidents of Russia and the United States

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, The talks with President of the United States Donald Trump were held in a candid and business-like atmosphere. I think they were quite successful and beneficial. We reviewed the current state and prospects of Russia-US relations and key international issues. It is obvious to everyone that our bilateral relations are undergoing a complicated period but there is no objective reason for these difficulties and the current tense atmosphere.


14.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new invitation of the OPCW experts to the UK

Question: How would you comment on the recent statement of the FCO concerning the new invitation to the OPCW experts to visit the United Kingdom in the framework of the Amesbury incident investigation? Answer: Following the new invitation extended by the UK to the OPCW technical experts “to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent”, which Charles Rowley and Dawn Sturgess have been exposed to, we would like remind of the fact that after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March Russia proposed to the UK to use the mechanisms under Article IX, paragraph 2 of the CWC and carry out a joint investigation.


14.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning course of investigation of the Amesbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the recent statements that a small bottle containing nerve agent has been found in Amesbury? Answer: Unfortunately, Russia has no access to any official information concerning both the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and other suspicious incidents in the UK, because the British side refuses to cooperate with us in any way possible. We cannot check or verify any British statements. As for this incident, we have to rely only on public statements, and we are almost sure that the British side will not be informing us directly.


11.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the activity of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down

Question: As early as in April the Russian Embassy requested assistance of the British side in arranging a meeting with Chief Executive of the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Gary Aitkenhead and his colleagues. Have you managed to ascertain whether this secret lab had produced A-234 type agents that were allegedly used against the Skripals? Answer: Sadly, the FCO has ignored our query, which brings us to the conclusion that the British authorities wish to prevent us from communicating with experts who might have some information that is inconvenient for the Conservative government. In his interview to Sky News in April, Mr Aitkenhead himself did not deny the fact that his laboratory had produced and stockpiled nerve agents, including the so-called “novichok”. He added that they “would not be allowed to operate if we had lack of control that could result in anything leaving the four walls of our facility”.



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