23 July 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

30.12.2017

President Putin's Christmas and New Year greetings to foreign heads of state and government

In his message of greetings to President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba, Mr Putin noted steady progress in the development of relations between Russia and Abkhazia over the last 12 months. The President of Russia expressed confidence that the two countries would maintain their joint efforts to promote an alliance and strategic partnership to the benefit of their brotherly peoples and for strengthening peace, security and stability in the Caucasus.

In his message to President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Mr Putin noted that only recently Russia and Armenia marked two milestones: the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The President of Russia said he was confident that by working together Russia and Armenia would be able to further develop their alliance, as well as partnership within the Eurasian Economic Union, the CSTO, the CIS and other international frameworks for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries, and in the interests of better regional security and stability.

In his message to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Mr Putin stressed that in 2017 Russia and Azerbaijan celebrated 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and that this anniversary was marked by new achievements in developing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in various areas. The President of Russia went on to express hope that the two countries would continue their constructive dialogue and work in close cooperation with the view to further stepping up partnership ties between Russia and Azerbaijan in all areas in the interests of their peoples and for strengthening security and stability within and beyond the Trans-Caucasus region.

In his message of greetings to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Mr Putin emphasised that by marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Belarus the two allied countries were reminded of the significant achievements in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas. The President of Russia said he was confident that building on the good traditions of friendship and mutual assistance, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus would continue their fruitful efforts in addressing the relevant matters on the bilateral agenda, strengthening integration ties within the Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union, and effectively coordinating their efforts within the CIS and CSTO.

The President of Russia sent New Year’s greetings to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, in which Mr Putin reminded his counterpart that the two countries had recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, and that this milestone was accompanied by new achievements in almost all areas of bilateral cooperation. Mr Putin said he hoped that the momentum in promoting the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Kazakhstan would be maintained with a view to ensuring stability and security in Central Asia and across the Eurasian space.

In his message to President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Mr Putin noted that the outgoing year could be viewed as proof of the solidity of the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Specifically, the two countries were proactive in promoting political dialogue, implementing mutually beneficial bilateral projects in various areas, and coordinated their efforts with a view to resolving urgent regional issues. Mr Putin expressed his strong belief that the two countries would continue working together to expand constructive bilateral cooperation, promote integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union, and deepen their partnership within the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO.

In his message of greetings on the New Year and Christmas to President of Moldova Igor Dodon, Mr Putin praised the efforts by the Moldovan leader to promote relations between the two countries, and expressed confidence in the further strengthening of constructive cooperation in political, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian and other areas in the interests of the friendly peoples of Russia and Moldova and for the sake of regional stability and security.

In his message to President of the Republic of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov, the President of Russia notes that Russia and South Ossetia have done a great deal in the passing year towards the implementation of the Treaty on Alliance and Integration. Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in continued consistent efforts to strengthen Russian-South Ossetian relations in all areas in the interests of our fraternal peoples, as well as peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

The President of Russia sent his New Year’s greetings to the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, noting that their two countries were making steady progress in promoting their relations in the spirit of allied and strategic partnership. In addition, Mr Putin said that he was confident that Russia and Tajikistan would continue their joint efforts to further step up mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas next year, while also coordinating their initiatives in resolving urgent regional and international issues.

In his message of greetings to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Mr Putin noted that the outgoing year was marked by significant achievements in strengthening the strategic partnership between Russia and Turkmenistan. Specifically, the meetings between the presidents in Ashgabat and Sochi showed that the two countries were guided by similar approaches in dealing with topical matters on the regional and international agendas. The President of Russia said he was confident that by working together the countries would carry forward the momentum in their bilateral relations in all areas for the benefit of their peoples, and for the sake of peace and stability in Central Asia.

In his message to President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Vladimir Putin writes that thanks to joint efforts, 2017 became a breakthrough year for Russian-Uzbekistani relations. The parties signed several important agreements, which have advanced bilateral relations in many areas to a fundamentally new level. The President of Russia expressed confidence that the two countries would use the results achieved to bolster the development of bilateral strategic partnership and alliance and achieve greater cooperation towards strengthening peace and stability in Central Asia.

In his message of greetings on Christmas and New Year to President of the Argentine Republic Mauricio Macri the President of Russia reaffirmed his desire to promote cooperation between the two countries in many areas, both at the bilateral level and within the G20, which will build up its activity under Argentinean Presidency, Vladimir Putin wrote.

The Russian head of state extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Michel Temer, noting that much had been done this year to strengthen Russian-Brazilian strategic partnership. Specifically, the parties maintain a substantive political dialogue, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation produced good results, and Russia and Brazil interacted constructive in the UN, BRICSand the G20. Vladimir Putin expressed his interest in continuing working together to strengthen the entire range of bilateral relations to the benefit of Russian and Brazilian people.

The President sent birthday, Christmas and New Year’s greetings to Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. He wished the Prime Minister, his family and the entire Canadian nation happiness and prosperity.

In his greetings to President of China Xi Jinping on the New Year and upcoming Spring Festival, the Russian President noted that 2017 has brought more success in Russian-Chinese relations, with substantial growth in mutual trade and dynamic exchanges in science and technology, and culture and the humanitarian sphere. Vladimir Putin emphasised the fact that Moscow and Beijing cooperate extensively in global affairs and contribute greatly to the solutions of current international problems. Interregional links are also intensifying, with the Years of Interregional Cooperation planned for 2018 and 2019. Moreover, the Russian President confirmed his willingness to further cooperate in expanding comprehensive trust-based partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China for the benefit of the two neighbourly peoples.

In his message to President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba Raul Castro on the Republic’s national holiday, Liberation Day, as well as Christmas and the New Year, Mr Putin noted steady progress in promoting the strategic partnership between Russia and Cuba and expressed hope in continuing joint coordinated efforts to step up mutually beneficial political, trade and economic, scientific and technical, cultural and humanitarian and other types of cooperation.

The Russian President also extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to Czech President Milos Zeman and expressed confidence in the agreements reached at the recent meeting in Sochi facilitating development of Russian-Czech relations, mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation for the good of the two countries.

In his message to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, the Russian President expressed hope for continuing the constructive dialogue and active cooperation on strengthening neighbourly Russia-Finland relations in the interests of the two nations. “This year marked the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. I have warm memories of the festive events in Savonlinna and our substantive meeting,” the President noted in his greetings.

Vladimir Putin sent holiday greetings to French President Emmanuel Macron. “Our meeting in Versailles and telephone contacts have allowed us to discuss many current issues of bilateral relations and key international issues at length. I expect to continue our constructive dialogue and joint work aimed at strengthening Russian-French links. I look forward to your visit to Russia,” the message reads.

In his Christmas and New Year greetings to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkeland Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Vladimir Putin confirmed his commitment to continuing the dialogue and cooperation, and expressed hope for Russia and Germany to advance on topical issues on the bilateral, regional and international agendas that will meet the ultimate interests of the two nations, and to contribute to stronger security and stability in Europe and beyond, in the upcoming year.

Vladimir Putin wrote in his message of greetings to Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbanthat Russian-Hungarian relations developed constructively even in the current complicated international situation. The President of Russia also expressed hope for the success of their continued cooperation towards promoting mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in the interests of their people and the European continent as a whole.

In his greetings to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin noted that the passing year has been marked with an important anniversary, 70 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and India. Appreciating the outcome of bilateral contacts in 2017, the Russian President expressed confidence in further advancing the privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India even further in politics, trade, the economy, science, technology, culture and other areas in the upcoming year, and in expanding constructive cooperation within the UN, BRICS, the SCO and other multilateral bodies in the interests of solving current regional and global issues.

Addressing Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin noted that Russian-Israeli relations are of a friendly and constructive nature. The Russian President stressed that he relies on further consolidating bilateral cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, culture and other areas, as well as partnership in ensuring stability and security in the Middle East.

In his greetings to Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia highly values relations with Italy, which are based on centuries-long traditions of friendship, mutual respect and affinity, and despite the challenging international situation, Russian-Italian cooperation in 2017 has progressed rather successfully. The Russian President also expressed his confidence in the fact that, by coordinating their efforts, Russia and Italy can make a significant contribution to increasing stability and security in Europe and the world in general.

In his greetings to Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, the President of Russia noted with satisfaction that recently, Russian-Japanese relations had progressed in a number of key areas. Thus, the political dialogue has intensified, with foreign and defence ministers’ consultations resuming in the ‘two plus two’ format, and inter-parliamentary links have expanded. The Russian President stressed that the upcoming year would be marked by a large-scale bilateral event, the Year of Russia in Japan and the Year of Japan in Russia, which is to facilitate increased trust and mutual understanding between our peoples. In addition, Vladimir Putin invited Prime Minister Abe to the opening ceremony of the cross-years next May in Moscow as well as to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The President of Russia sent his greetings to President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, expressing the positive momentum in the friendly relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, which was attributable largely to the meaningful and constructive talks in Hamburg and Vladivostok. Mr Putin went on to express hope in further strengthening bilateral ties by working together for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia in general.

In his message of greetings to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Mr Putin noted that Russia valued highly the personal contribution by the Prince of Monaco to strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. The President of Russia also expressed hope that 2018 would open up new opportunities for friendly and trust-based exchanges on topical matters on the bilateral agenda and on key international issues.

The Russian President also sent Christmas and New Year’s greetings to President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic. In his message, Mr Putin noted the recent meeting with the Serbian leader in Moscow and emphasised that he hoped the two countries would continue working together with a view to stepping up bilateral relations in all areas to the benefit of their brotherly peoples and for the sake of regional stability and security.

In his message to the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, Mr Putin noted that in 2017 relations between Russia and Slovenia were developing constructively, and expressed hope that by working together the two countries would further strengthen mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in politics, the economy, humanitarian and other areas for the benefit of the peoples of Russia and Slovenia.

Addressing South African President Jacob Zuma, the President underlined that in 2017 relations between Russia and South Africa have progressed in politics, trade, the economy, science and technology, culture and other areas, which was significantly promoted by the productive and substantive talks in Hamburg and Xiamen. Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in the fact that the upcoming South African Presidency in BRICS would further intensify this multilateral association’s activity and expand opportunities for interaction between Moscow and Pretoria on current international issues.

In his holiday greetings to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the Russian President expressed hope for developing mutually beneficial links between Russia and Spain in 2018 for the good of the two nations and in the interests of stronger stability and security on the European continent.

In his message of greetings to the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, the President of Russia expressed hope that in 2018 the situation in Syria would continue changing for the better. Mr Putin noted that defeating terrorists and rapidly bringing the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic back to normal would be in the best interests of the whole world and would improve security in the Middle East. In addition, Mr Putin confirmed Russia’s commitment to assisting the Syrian Arab Republic in upholding its state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and promoting a political settlement and economic recovery.

The President of Russia also sent greetings to the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stressing that in the outgoing year Russia and Turkey not only succeeded in putting their bilateral relations back on track, but also achieved substantial progress in enhancing their bilateral cooperation in many areas. “By working closely together our countries have succeeded in preventing the terrorist threat from spreading further across the Middle East and created conditions for launching the political settlement of the Syrian conflict,” the message reads. In addition, Vladimir Putin confirmed his interest in continued constructive dialogue and proactive engagement on all matters on the bilateral, regional and international agendas.

The head of state sent his Christmas and New Year’s greetings to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Prime Minister Theresa May. He pointed out that closer Russian-UK cooperation would be in the basic interests of the Russian and British people and Europe as a whole.

In his message of greetings to President of the United States of America Donald Trump, Mr Putin noted, among other things, his strong belief that in the current challenging international environment, it is especially important for Russia and the US to engage in constructive dialogue with a view to enhancing global strategic stability and finding the best solutions to the global challenges and threats. The President of Russia stressed the importance of the principles of equality and mutual respect as the foundation for developing bilateral relations. “This would allow us to make progress in promoting pragmatic cooperation designed for the long term,” the message reads.

In a message to His Holiness Pope Francis, the President of Russia expressed hope for continued constructive cooperation between Russia and the Vatican towards protecting peace and global human values and strengthening dialogue between civilisations and religions. Vladimir Putin wished His Holiness the Pope health, happiness and success in his noble endeavours.

The Russian leader sent Christmas and New Year greetings to President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro. Vladimir Putin wrote in his message that the recent talks in Moscow were very constructive and productive and expressed hope that they would continue to work together to strengthen the relations of strategic partnership between Russia and Venezuela.

Vladimir Putin also sent his greetings to President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang and General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong. He expressed satisfaction with the development of Russian-Vietnamese strategic partnership and hope that the implementation of the agreements they reached in Moscow and Danang would help boost bilateral relations in all spheres and joint actions by our two countries in the interests of stronger peace, stability and security in the Asian-Pacific region.

The President of Russia also extended his New Year greetings to several heads of international organisations, specifically UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, honorary member of the International Olympic Committee Jean-Claude Killy, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel and President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer.

The Russian President also sent greetings to President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Gianni Infantino and thanked him for his assistance in the successful organisation of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and expressed confidence in further efficient cooperation on the largest sporting festival, the FIFA World Cup.

President Putin also sent Christmas and New Year greetings to several former heads of foreign states and governments as well as political figures, including Almazbek AtambayevSilvio Berlusconi, Romano Prodi, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Nicolas SarkozyFrancois Fillon, Gerhard Schroeder and Tarja Halonen.




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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