15 October 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

25.09.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 22, 2017

Question: I want to thank you on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association for this news conference and the ability to talk with you within the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Mr Lavrov, the overwhelming majority of the leaders who have already spoken at the UN General Assembly expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear activity, and US President Donald Trump has even used the UN pulpit to threaten North Korea. Pyongyang has promised to respond. It appears that neither the US nor the North Korean leaders are ready to accept the roadmap that has been proposed by Russia and China. What can the international community do in this situation? What step should be taken next? Does Russia have any new proposal on the settlement of this crisis?

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for your kind words.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula problem, we have no new proposals, because we are sure that the potential of the Russian-Chinese roadmap, which has been distributed at the UN in July of this year, is far from exhausted. We have not heard any reasonable arguments in response to our proposals to start working on this problem. Neither have we heard about the reason why our Western partners, including the United States, cannot accept our plan. Let me just remind you, that the roadmap is largely similar to the “four no’s,” which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson formulated a month ago. We are convinced that the UN Security Council should make broader use of these US views.

As for the exchange of threats, this is definitely not a good thing. Indeed, it is unacceptable both to look on silently at the North Korean nuclear missile manoeuvres and to launch a war on the Korean Peninsula. This is the essence of these threats, if they are translated into actions. Therefore, we must cool down the hot heads, so that they understand that we need to take a break and consider a contact. If somebody wants to mediate in this, I am all for it. Some neutral European countries were ready to offer their services as intermediaries in this case. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that if he got such a request from the UN Security Council, he would certainly try to implement it. So, there are plenty of those who want to try a political rather than a military scenario or sanctions on the Korean Peninsula. I would like to remind you about what I said at the UN General Assembly yesterday: All of the UN Security Council resolutions without exception contain, along with sanctions, also provisions on the need to resume talks. Our Western colleagues who refuse to work towards this end, violate the obligations, which they assumed when drafting these UN Security Council resolutions. Russia and China will continue to press ahead for a reasonable rather than emotional approach, which looks like kindergarten toddlers fighting each other and everybody seems unable to stop them.

Question: Mr Minister, you and Russian Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya have said that you hope to be able to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. Is Russia willing to discuss missiles, human rights and Syria within the JCPOA or some other format?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not the only country to speak about the need to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. All the European countries involved in the talks have said so, plus the overwhelming majority of UN member states. The JCPOA is a complete document that has been approved by a UN Security Council resolution, and changing it is like destroying all our previous achievements. Everyone knows this. If the United States has any concerns regarding Iran, or if anyone else has any concerns about anyone else, these concerns must be settled within the framework of the formats that are suited for this. We have a negotiating process on Syria, a missile regime that does not prohibit countries from having ballistic missiles, and we have the Human Rights Council for dealing with human rights problems. Comparing apples and oranges would be an unwise choice, especially on such complicated topics as Iran’s nuclear programme.




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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