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966 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     958 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Article by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov: ”Russia and Australia: 75 Years of Cooperation” published in ”Australian Outlook”


Last year marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Australia. The past decades were rich in events and gave us plenty of examples of joint efforts for the benefit of our countries.

The history of Russia's contacts with the Australian continent is centuries-long. On June 16, 1807, the Russian sloop Neva called at Port Jackson (today   Sydney) to replenish its stock of provisions and fresh water. The same year Lachlan Macquarie, a young officer who later became a prominent Australian politician and governor of New South Wales, visited Baku, Astrakhan, Moscow and St Petersburg on his way from Australia to London as a member of a diplomatic mission. Between 1807 and 1835, fifteen Russian vessels, including the ships on which famous Russian seafarers Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev set sail to search for the Antarctic, called at Port Jackson and Hobart.

In the middle of the 19th century, the number of Russian immigrants in Australia started to increase. In 1857, two consular missions were opened in Melbourne and Sydney to protect interests of Russian nationals. Australian tradesmen James Damyon and Edmund Paul were appointed Honorary Vice Consuls. Later, the Russian Empire appointed Honorary Vice Consuls in Adelaide, Brisbane, Port Elizabeth, Hobart and Perth. In 1894, the Russian Honorary Vice Consulate in Melbourne was raised to a Consulate.

In London, on October 10, 1942, the USSR and Australia signed the Agreement on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations. On January 2, 1943, Australian diplomats came to Kuybyshev (today   Samara) to set up an embassy, which was opened on January 26, on Australia Day. The Soviet diplomatic mission was established in Canberra in 1943.

We remember the support provided by Australia to our country during the harsh years of the war against fascism. Australia launched a broad campaign "Sheepskin for Russia", thanks to which our soldiers received about 400,000 sheepskin coats from Australia, and Soviet hospitals were supplied with about forty containers of medicine and medical equipment. The allied convoys with the participation of Australian pilots and sailors played an important role in the defeat of Nazism. For their distinguished service, they have been awarded Ushakov medals, as well as jubilee medals to commemorate succeeding anniversaries of the Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War.

During the Cold War the relations between our countries remained mutually respectful. There were exchanges of messages at the top level on the most acute issues of international security, including the nuclear disarmament problem. The two countries signed a trade agreement (1965) and a number of other intergovernmental documents. In 1975, Edward Gough Whitlam became the first Australian Prime Minister to visit our country. Ten years later the volume of trade turnover peaked, exceeding $1 billion AUD.

Nowadays our countries maintain political dialogue, including at the highest level. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of G20 Summits in Antalya (November 2015), Hangzhou (September 2016) and APEC forum in Lima (November 2016). Naturally, the two countries' approaches do not always coincide, but Russia is ready for broader cooperation based on mutual respect, the rule of law, non-interference into domestic affairs and regard for each other's interests.

The legal framework of bilateral relations continues to improve. Our countries signed several agreements: on the avoidance of double taxation (2000), on cooperation in the field of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes (2001) and on cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes (2007).

We note considerable potential for building up interaction in trade and investment. In recent years, cooperation in mining sphere has deepened. Russian company UC Rusal has been successfully operating in the Australian market. Such mining companies as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, WorleyParsons and Orica cooperate with Russia. Australian coal company Tigers Real Coal and its Russian partner JSC "Severo-Tikhookeanskaya Ugolnaya Kompaniya" ("North Pacific Coal Company") are jointly developing the Amaam coking coal field in the Chukotka Autonomous Region.

Cultural and humanitarian ties have been steadily enhancing. In the past two years, Australia hosted the performances of famous Russian musicians Maksim Vengerov and Denis Matsuev, as well as conductor Valery Gergiev with the London Symphony Orchestra. Russian pianists Andrey Gugnin and Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev won the Sydney International Piano Competition. In 2016 the annual film festival, called “Russian Resurrection”, was successfully held in five Australian cities – Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, traditionally remains a memorable event. The State Hermitage Museum, which organized such exhibitions as "Alexander the Great" (2013) and "The Legacy of Catherine the Great" (2015), is a regular and welcome guest in Australia.

The Russian side annually allocates state scholarships for Australian citizens to study at Russian universities. A number of leading universities of our countries, such as Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Saint Petersburg Mining University and the University of New South Wales, are implementing the programmes of cooperation and student exchange.

Australia became home to many outstanding Russians, among whom was the world-renowned anthropologist and ethnographer Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay. Today more than 100,000 of our compatriots live in Australia; there are Russian language print and online media outlets, festivals of Russian culture are held.

Russia and Australia interact at the international level, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, whose role in world politics and economy is steadily increasing. Moscow is interested in strengthening dialogue with Canberra, an active participant in regional groupings, in order to ensure stability and steady growth in the APR and build a regional architecture of equal and indivisible security based on non-aligned approach. We are ready to increase cooperative efforts to find effective responses to numerous challenges and threats, including terrorism and extremism, based on the fundamental norms and principles of international law and a central coordinating role of the United Nations.

We are convinced that there are necessary prerequisites for bringing Russian-Australian relations to a new level for the benefit of the peoples of our two states, in the interest of strengthening regional and global stability and security. What needs to be done is to put it all into practice.



16.10.2020 - Embassy comment to The Times newspaper on disinformation allegations

The suggestion that the Russian State may conduct any kind of propaganda against the AstraZeneca vaccine is itself an example of disinformation. It is obviously aimed at discrediting Russia’s efforts in combating the pandemic, including the good cooperation we have established with the UK in this field.

06.10.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin holds online meeting with members of Russia APPG

On 5 October 2020 Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin held an online meeting with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia. Members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, representing all major political parties of the country, took part in the conversation.

03.10.2020 - Joint Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow, Paris, Washington, D.C., October 2, 2020

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) released the following statement today: The Co-Chairs strongly condemn the continued violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone as well as against targets in the territory of Armenia and Azerbaijan away from the Line of Contact, and express our alarm at reports of increasing civilian casualties. Targeting or threatening civilians is never acceptable under any circumstances. The Co-Chairs call on the sides to observe fully their international obligations to protect civilian populations.

02.10.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the EU’s restrictions on Belarus

We noted the EU’s October 2 decision to adopt new restrictive measures as regards Belarus. A comment declaring response measures has already been released by Belarusian officials. We see that instead of displaying restraint, which is so vital for stabilisation in Belarus, the European Union has once again resorted to the instrument of sanctions. This approach is unilateral and illegal. It undermines the prerogatives of the UN Security Council and leads to the further erosion of international law.

02.10.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on statements by Permanent Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Robert Wood on Russia’s initiatives to prevent an arms race in space

There is growing concern regarding the professional credentials of Permanent Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood. On October 1, 2020, during a briefing hosted by the Foreign Press Association at the United Nations Office in Geneva he said that he did not know what Russia’s initiatives to prevent an arms race in outer space were about. As a reminder, for 40 years Russia (and earlier the USSR) has consistently advocated the drafting of a multilateral legally binding instrument that would prohibit the deployment of weapons of any kind, as well as the use or threat of force in outer space.

29.09.2020 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veteran

On 26 September 2020 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medal to the Arctic Convoys veteran Mr William Geoffrey ROBINSON who was awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for his personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.

26.09.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on discrepancies and inconsistencies in the situation around Alexey Navalny

The Russian Federation has been acting in the most transparent manner in the situation around Mr. Alexey Navalny from the very beginning. At the request of relatives, he was promptly granted permission to travel to Germany for medical treatment, which he did without hindrance, once the doctors at the Omsk hospital managed to stabilize his condition. Moreover, Russian doctors passed on to their German colleagues the data they had collected on the patient's health condition and were ready to continue to work together for the sake of his speedy recovery.

26.09.2020 - Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, on a comprehensive program of measures for restoring the Russia – US cooperation in the filed of international information security

One of today’s major strategic challenges is the risk of a large-scale confrontation in the digital field. A special responsibility for its prevention lies on the key players in the field of ensuring international information security (IIS). In this regard, we would like to once again address the US with a suggestion to agree on a comprehensive program of practical measures to reboot our relations in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

11.09.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin presents former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation

On 10 September 2020, Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin hosted the former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley at his residence to present him with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation awarded for his outstanding work in promoting the WorldSkills Russia movement.

07.09.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin meets with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Director General Thomas Drew

On 7 September 2020, Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Director General Thomas Drew discussed the situation regarding the hospitalisation of Alexei Navalny. The British side has called for an investigation of the case. The Ambassador stressed that voicing unsubstantiated accusations and politicising an essentially medical and legal matter was unacceptable.

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