16 July 2018
Moscow: 15:01
London: 13:01

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

20.09.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS and The Associated Press, New York, September 20, 2017

Question (in English): After your meeting with Secretary Tillerson, how would you evaluate the relationship with the United States? And has Russia given up on hopes of a significant improvement under the Trump administration?

Sergey Lavrov (in English): The relations are at a very difficult and a very low point, which is the legacy of the Obama administration. We certainly noted what President Trump was saying when he was running for president about the relations with Russia and what he continues to say. Basically, that he wants to have good relations with Russia, understanding that this would be in the American interests and the interests of solving quite a number of important and most acute world problems. And what I feel talking to Rex Tillerson is that this is the position of the administration. They are not happy with the current state of relations, and we are not happy at all. And I believe that the understanding is that we have to accept the reality which was created, as I said, by the spiral of unfriendly steps started by the Obama administration, but this reality is with us. And being responsible people, I believe the Russian Government and the US administration should exercise this responsibility in addressing the bilateral links as well as international issues. We are not yet at a point where this would become a sustained trend but understanding of the need to move in this direction is present, in my opinion.

Question: You had two meetings with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right after you arrived in New York and today. Are the parties considering a possible meeting at the top level in the near future, between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, in order to move our relations forward from the point you mentioned?

Sergey Lavrov: The presidents met, as you know, in Hamburg, on the sidelines of the G20 summit. They will have another opportunity to meet if both presidents attend the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in early November in Da Nang, Vietnam.

I am confident that if both leaders are in the same place at the same time, it will be quite useful to have such a meeting and see where we can progress at the foreign ministerial level and in the communication between our deputies. The dialogue continues; it is not an easy one and focuses on bilateral issues that were reviewed by our deputies. It also concerns strategic stability. We met in Helsinki where both parties sent their interdepartmental delegations involving the military and representatives of security services. There are certain problems in this area too that need to be addressed.

Question (in English): Do you feel that the tit-for-tat diplomatic actions are over for now? I am referring to the withdrawal of diplomats.

Sergey Lavrov (in English): We waited very long with our tit in response to Obama’s tat. Well, I think I answered the question about what the mood on both sides is and being serious people and responsible people – and I feel Rex Tillerson is one of them – I hope that we can draw conclusions from where we are now and understand where we want to be.

Question: The issues of Syria, North Korea and the peacemaking mission in Donbass will be discussed during the session. In which areas do you expect to make the biggest progress and maybe even a breakthrough?

Sergey Lavrov: I never have any expectations. All you do every day when there are tasks to solve (and we have them every day, sometimes more than one) is start solving them. You explain your stance, persuade your partners if it concerns developing a resolution. And this is how you progress.

Of course, we want to settle the Ukrainian crisis. But this depends more on the Ukrainian administration rather than on us. You just need to read the Minsk Agreements and this becomes clear.

We want to reach a settlement in Syria and are working hard on this, including combating terrorism and creating conditions to relieve humanitarian problems, achieve reconciliation and establish a national dialogue between the government and the opposition – and eventually, a political settlement that will reflect the interests and hopes of all Syrians.

The same goes for the other areas, be it the conflict in Yemen, the situation in Iraq or the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula. If we say that by the end of the session we will achieve results on this or that issue that we are discussing, this would simply make us slack off.

We need to tackle real problems and conduct negotiations. Each of these conflicts is very complicated, and we must think about what can be done today. We will make plans as the situation in each of these areas is clarified.

Question (in English): What is your opinion of President Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly, particularly, his statement that the US stands ready to totally destroy North Korea?

Sergey Lavrov (in English): We heard the statements from President Trump about North Korea in the same vein many times. We do not doubt that the United States has the capacity to do something very destructive.

But I paid attention to another part of the president’s speech when he said that he respects sovereignty and equality in international affairs, that the United States wants to lead by example and not otherwise, and that the US would not impose its way of life on others and would accept the diversity of the nations, cultures and civilisations. I think it’s a very welcome statement which we haven’t heard from the American leaders for a very long time.

Question (in English): We understand that US Defence Secretary James Mattis said in an interview that the United States would defend Sweden if it came under attack even though Sweden is not a member of NATO.

Sergey Lavrov (in English): Look, I am not a medical doctor, and I cannot address paranoid statements. I heard that the Swedish government is afraid of something, and the German government is keeping its fingers crossed and is thankful to us that one week before the election we have not yet meddled with the election. There are so many fantasies that it’s a waste of time to pay attention to them. It’s fake, and that’s it.




LATEST EVENTS

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”.


09.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the death of Dawn Sturgess

Q.: How would you comment on the information concerning the death of the British citizen Dawn Sturgess, who, according to the British authorities, was poisoned by the same nerve agent that had been used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A.: We would like to express our sincere condolences to relatives and friends of Dawn Sturgess following her tragic death. We hope that the circumstances of her poisoning will be investigated in good faith and in accordance with high international standards, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. As it stands now, the police investigation of the Skripals case is limited by political frameworks imposed by the current government.


06.07.2018 - From the Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, July 5, 2018

Media coverage of the World Cup in Russia The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues to delight with its exciting football contests. Experts and fans are unanimous is their opinion that the matches have been spectacular. There’s no need to even mention the entertainment aspect of the tournament, as fans are clearly having the time of their lives when there are no matches to watch. According to our guests’ posts on social media, the atmosphere is fantastic not only in Moscow, but other host cities as well. We can see that the enthusiasm of the fans is rubbing off on the media, which is great. Indeed, we focus on these matters, because there was so much misinformation. This is not surprising, as it is difficult to make up stories now, because everyone can see everything with their own eyes, and the mudslinging directed at our country before the World Cup doesn’t work anymore.


05.07.2018 - Embassy press officer’s comment on the statement by Ben Wallace

Q: UK Minister of State for Security at the Home Office Ben Wallace stated that he is “waiting for the phone call from the Russian state” to get explanations of the “use of chemical weapons” in Salisbury. What should he expect? A: The Russian Ambassador to the UK is ready to meet Mr Wallace – we have requested meetings at the Home Office and Metropolitan Police several times, in relation to the Skripals case, as well as the murder of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov. In both cases the FCO had suggested the Embassy should contact the police directly. Yet our letters to Scotland Yard met a resounding silence. If the British law enforcement authorities wish to end this silence and finally engaged in a substantial dialogue with Russia as envisaged in the international agreements signed by UK, we will be happy to have the opportunity to ask the many outstanding questions. We await Mr Wallace’s specific proposals as to when he will be available to meet.


05.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on the "Russian disinformation campaign" in the context of the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents

Q: Home secretary Sajid Javid has stated in Parliament that the Russian media are already producing multiple explanations of the incident in Amesbury and that a new disinformation campaign should be expected from the Kremlin. How could you comment on this? A: It is not the first time that British officials are speculating on “disinformation” and “numerous versions” produced by the Russian “pro-government media” regarding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and now of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley in Amesbury. The Foreign Office has even provided us with the list of 28 “official Russian versions” of the Salisbury incident, among which, for example, they cited the following: “the UK poisoned Ivan the Terrible” and “the operation in Eastern Ghouta is aimed at freeing civilians from terrorists”.


05.07.2018 - Embassy press officer on UK reaction to the Amesbury incident

Q: Can you comment on statements by Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Security Minister Ben Wallace that Russia refuses to cooperate over the Salisbury poisoning and that after the Amesbury incident the Russian state must “come and tell us what happened in Salisbury to keep people safe”? A: All allegations of Russia’s involvement in the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury are merely speculative and are not based on objective data of the investigation. As for the cooperation and information sharing, Russia has from the very outset proposed a joint investigation of the attempted murder of two Russian nationals. The proposal remains on the table. Unfortunately, the British investigation remains totally non-transparent. Our numerous questions on this matter remain unanswered. The UK authorities avoid any contact with the Russian side on this, or any other issues of concern. Moreover, London continues to blatantly violate its international obligations by refusing consular access to the Russian citizens, who remain isolated and are highly likely under duress by secrets service.


04.07.2018 - Answer to media question regarding the invitation of British dignitaries to the FIFA World Cup

Q: According to The Guardian, “Russia has sent out a fresh invitation to Theresa May” to visit the World Cup despite the UK “ministerial boycott”. Can you confirm this? A: No personal invitations for British political figures have been sent out and, consequently, none has been revoked. As we know, the decision not to attend the tournament on official level came from London. Moreover, there were calls in Britain to boycott the World Cup, and the media painted a bleak picture on Russia in the run-up to the event. FIFA World Cup a festival of sports for the whole world. Despite what The Guardian claims, we are not “trying to tempt” anyone in particular, but we’ll be glad to let everybody support their team. This also refers to Britain’s representatives – if UK dignitaries decide to come, they’ll encounter the same hospitality as the England players and supporters.


04.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Russia’s requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases related to the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal

Q: The Embassy informed about two weeks ago that the British authorities had not provided any answers to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation’s requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases related to the murder of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of the Russian citizen Yulia Skripal. Do you have any update? A: Unfortunately, we have not yet received any reply from the British side on this matter. The Embassy has recently forwarded another Note Verbale to the FCO to remind that in accordance with the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has already sent three requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases, namely those related to the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal. As suggested by the FCO, we have contacted the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office for any updates on our requests, with no results so far.



all messages