22 September 2018
Moscow: 02:49
London: 00:49

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

05.03.2018

Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a question on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Q: According to the Downing Street spokesperson, Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump “agreed that the overwhelming responsibility for the heart-breaking human suffering lay with the Syrian regime and Russia”. How does it relate to the real situation on the ground and Russia’s efforts in bringing an end to suffering of the population in Eastern Ghouta?

A: There are at least three reasons why we cannot accept these allegations.

Firstly, the UN Security Council resolution 2401 aimed at alleviating suffering of the people in Eastern Ghouta calls upon all the countries with influence in Syria, including the United Kingdom and the United States, to pressure warring sides to end the fighting.

Russia supported this resolution and, hours after its adoption, began taking practical steps in coordination with the legitimate Government of Syria to support its implementation. A daily five-hour pause has been established and a corridor has been created for the residents of Eastern Ghouta wishing to leave the area. An aid convoy carrying humanitarian supplies has entered Eastern Ghouta today.

Secondly, notwithstanding the requirements of the resolution 2401, the United Kingdom has not yet been seen as an active contributor to these efforts, apart from stirring up hysteria over Damascus and Moscow’s alleged failure to implement it. At our recent conversation in the Foreign Office on the situation in Eastern Ghouta we were told that the British side will apply pressure on the armed groups it supports in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere. We would not like to anticipate the results of such pressure, but the shooting at Damascus continues, and the intensity of those attacks is increasing. The terrorists responded to the Russia’s daily five-hour pause proposal with fierce gunfire, hampering the safe movement of both people and humanitarian supplies. The population in Eastern Ghouta has still been held as hostages, they are not allowed to leave the territory controlled by the terrorists. Meanwhile, the actions of the Syrian forces are a legitimate response to those attacks.

It is worth making clear that we should not be expected to prevent the Syrian authorities from fighting terrorists, the very ones that have repeatedly bombarded the Russian diplomatic mission in Damascus. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has stated this repeatedly, commenting on the adopted resolution 2401.

Thirdly, as the extremists on the ground stepped up their efforts to break the truce, a staged campaign in the Western and British media continues, based on the information that comes from Nusra-affiliated structures, which cannot be seen as impartial, in particular, the White Helmets, who have been caught staging fake reports on numerous occasions. This creates a wrong picture of what is happening in Eastern Ghouta among the British people and sends a wrong signal to the armed groups in this and other areas in Syria.

We expect a more active contribution from the United Kingdom, a country with a significant impact on rebel groups on the ground. Rebels should be encouraged to join the political process rather than to continue fighting using civilians as human shields, as it is the case in Eastern Ghouta. Our British counterparts are always keen to remind us of our responsibility as the Security Council Permanent Member. Ensuring rebels stop fighting and allow passage of humanitarian aid, bringing them to the negotiation table, and redoubling efforts against terrorist groups is what that responsibility implies.




LATEST EVENTS

21.09.2018 - Reply by the Embassy’s spokesperson to a media questionregarding the Guardian piece on Julian Assange

Question: How would you comment on today’s Guardian article claiming that “Russian diplomats held secret talks to assess whether they could help Julian Assange flee the UK”? Answer: This publication has nothing to do with the reality. The Embassy has never engaged either with Ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russia’s participation in ending Mr Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador.


21.09.2018 - Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the incident in Salisbury

Why should we trust or distrust Petrov and Boshirov when there’s zero evidence on the table that would in any way link their very existence to the Salisbury incident? Just because these people were there? Then, can Britain provide a list of all the foreigners who were in Salisbury on those days? On top of that, no one has seen Sergey Skripal since the incident. No one has even talked with Julia Skripal. The whole thing is absurd, because these two individuals came in, talked with Simonyan, provided answers to the counts that the UK publicly accused them of, and, for some reason, everyone is now saying, “We do not believe them.” However, when Yulia Skripal spoke before a camera, which was operated by no one knows who, and didn’t answer any question, but instead read a text apparently written for her by someone, and before that published a text similarly written for her by someone, everyone said, “Yes, of course, we trust her.”


20.09.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the meeting of the Minister for the Middle East Mr Alistair Burt with the White Helmets group

Question: During his visit to Turkey the Minister for the Middle East Mr Alistair Burt met with the infamous White Helmets group, whom the Russian Federation considers terrorist supporters. How would you comment on that? Answer: It is up to HMG of course to decide which contacts are to develop and whom the senior diplomats are to meet. Nevertheless, this choice is a truly remarkable one.


18.09.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the classification of the materials on A.Perepilichny by the UK government

Question: How would you comment on yet another decision of the British side to classify additional information on Mr A.Perepilichny within the inquest into his death? Answer: This procedural decision concerns classification of information on Mr A.Perepilichny’s connections to the British secret services, to wit, whether he has been their agent or made contact with them. It has been made public just before the next hearing of the inquest into the death of Mr A.Perepilichnny, which is scheduled for 21 September in the Old Bailey.


17.09.2018 - Embassy press officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements of FCO Minister of State Sir Alan Duncan

Question: How would you comment on the statement of Minister of State Sir Alan Duncan to the effect that the UK will “push for new sanctions […] as well as robustly enforcing the existing EU regime against Russia”? Answer: This and other similar statements fall in line with the Conservative government’s current policy aimed at destroying the fabric of Russian-British relations, further isolating Russia and presenting it as a major threat to the “rules-based international system”. Faced with the realities of Brexit, the British government is desperate to convince its partners of the need for a tougher sanctions regime against Russia. As usual, it resorts to insinuations, unverified facts and media leaks. Despite our numerous requests, no evidence of Russia’s responsibility has been provided. Russia’s proposals of cooperation in dealing with common challenges and threats, including in the sphere of cybersecurity and chemical disarmament, are being rejected without explanation.


13.09.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning upcoming annual conferences of the UK’s major political parties

Question: What does the Embassy expect from the party conference season in the United Kingdom starting this week? Answer: Annual conferences of UK’s major political parties are important events in the country’s life. At the conferences parties set out their priorities on a wide range of issues and arrange open and frank discussions on pressing domestic and international matters. Among other things, they offer a platform for a dialogue between party leaders and activists and the diplomatic corps.


12.09.2018 - Embassy press officer’s reply to a media question concerning the inquiry into the death of Mr Nikolay Glushkov

Question: 12 September marks 6 months since the mysterious murder of the Russian national Nikolay Glushkov in London. Does the Embassy have any new information regarding the circumstances of his death? Answer: Unfortunately, the British side continues to pay no attention to our numerous 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 death of Mr Nikolay Glushkov, which was delivered to the Home Office as early as in April. The Embassy’s proposals to arrange a meeting between the Russian Ambassador and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, or between experts from law enforcement authorities of the two countries, made as far back as in April, have also been met with silence.


11.09.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements by the British officials on retaliatory measures against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the recent statements of the British officials who said that the UK was prepared to “retaliate” against Russia, including by deploying its cyber warfare capabilities? Answer: Yet again, we have seen a series of official statements to the effect that the UK should use its “massive retaliatory capabilities” to counter Russia’s “aggression”. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday that the UK had “considerable powers, and we’ll bring all these powers, both covert and overt to bear on Russia”. Last week GCHQ head Jeremy Fleming spoke in a similar vein saying that the British authorities and their allies were prepared to “counter the threat” allegedly posed by Russia. In this context he mentioned a plan to “deploy the full range of tools”, including Britain’s “offensive cyber capability” against Russia. Such statements are reckless, provocative and unfounded.


09.09.2018 - Embassy response to Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s remarks at the Andrew Marr Show, 9 September 2018

Sajid Javid: This [the Salisbury incident] was the act, we now know unequivocally, crystal clear, this was the act of the Russian state. Comment: If Mr Javid has evidence that allows him to make this kind of direct accusations, why wouldn’t he share it with the public? So far, what the public has seen is nothing but photos of two Eastern-European-looking men walking around Salisbury on two different days. Everything else, including exact dates and names, let alone these gentlemen’s involvement in the Skripals poisoning and their links to the Russian state, is only assertions based on unverifiable “intelligence” and on the “lack of alternative explanations”. If the “crystal clear”-level evidence exists, it is in everyone’s interest for it to be published.


08.09.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s response to a media question on the investigation Nikolay Glushkov’s death

Question: How would you comment on the new circumstances of the investigation by British authorities of the death of Nikolay Glushkov? Answer: We should note that British authorities continue to refuse to cooperate on the investigation of the mysterious death on 12 March in London of former Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Mr Nikolay Glushkov producing different versions and leaks that are convenient for the UK Conservative government.



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