19 June 2018
Moscow: 19:16
London: 17:16

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

30.05.2018

Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements of British medics on the treatment of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Question: How could you comment on the statements of the Salisbury District Hospital staff on BBC “Newsnight” concerning the clinical care provided for Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

Answer: We have carefully studied the statements of the British medical staff who treated Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Unfortunately, they have still not provided any answers to our questions.

We have to note yet again that the Embassy is learning the details of the treatment of the two Russian citizens from media reports and not from British authorities, despite having filed many official requests; not to mention that this is happening almost three months since the incident. Moreover, the question about the use of antidote in the treatment previously raised with British authorities remains unanswered – the medics carefully walked around it saying only that they had used “combinations of drugs” and received advice from the Porton Down secret chemical weapons laboratory.

The real role of Porton Down “international experts” is unclear. One would be interested to know at what stage they became engaged in the clinical care and what specific “best therapies and new approaches to well-known treatments” they suggested. At the same time, we were astonished to hear the medical staff saying that they had not had high hopes of ever having their two patients recover from the nerve agent poisoning and had been “surprised” by the speed of their recovery. This does not fall in line with the statements that Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been saved thanks to the timely “very good generic basic critical care” in the first hours and days after the poisoning.

Moreover, the timeline of the events described by the doctors contradicts the previous media reports that specialists with chemical weapons training “happened to be” on duty at the hospital when Sergei and Yulia Skripal were admitted. There are yet more inconsistencies: although the sites visited by Sergei and Yulia Skripal on 4 March are undergoing a thorough chemical clean-up, there has been no clear explanation as to why decontamination of the hospital never took place.

It is also unclear why the medical staff assumed the role of legal representatives of Sergei and Yulia Skripals and insisted that international inspectors obtain a court order before they would be allowed to take blood samples from them, while the British side was well aware that they had relatives in Russia. Sergei Skripal’s niece Viktoria, who is ready to come and help her relatives, has been denied a British visa twice.

We are falling under the impression that the statements of the medical staff have been prompted to support the official position that the nerve agent had been used in Salisbury. Moreover, British authorities are avoiding direct contact with the Embassy and prefer to make the details of the “Skripal case” known piece by piece through the media. We will continue to pressure the British side to give answers to all the questions raised by us and to meet its obligations under international law, including those stipulated in the Consular conventions.




LATEST EVENTS

18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the British Authorities Response to the Complaints of the Russian Nationals about Unjustified Actions Towards Them upon Arrival in the UK

Question: Has there been a response from the British authorities with regard to the information sent to the Embassy by Russian citizens experiencing biased approach from the UK Border Force officials upon arrival in the UK? Answer: In response to the Embassy’s requests to the British Side to put an end to the practice of excessive and inappropriate security measures against Russian citizens (including minors) at the border in the points of entry to the UK, the UK Home Office has issued a formal reply. A letter printed on the Home Office form addressed to the Embassy consists of three sentences, does not contain any signature and is in essence a runaround reply reduced to “routine checks”. This demonstrates the lack of responsibility and ignorance towards serious concerns of the Russian Side and ordinary citizens travelling to the UK.


18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the Consideration of the Russian Requests for Legal Assistance in the Cases of Nikolay Glushkov and Yulia Skripal by the British Side

Question: Are there any changes in the UK position on cooperation with the Russian Federation on the investigation of the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempt on the lives of the Skripals? What is the current status of the requests by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia received by the UK Home Office? Answer: The British Side continues to keep deafening silence and has not provided answers neither to the Prosecutor General’s Office, nor the Embassy on the status of the official requests for legal assistance on the criminal cases initiated in Russia after the murder and the attempt of murder of Russian citizens on the British soil. Clearly, the UK is showing zero interest in cooperating on the investigation of these high-profile cases. These actions undermine law enforcement and other legal procedures aimed at establishing the truth and justice.


16.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, 15 June

Q: What is your reaction to the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, where he claims UK chose not to boycott World Cup in order not to be unfair towards players and sport fans, because they “have a dispute solely with the Government of Russia”? A: We took note of the abovementioned article. We agree that politics should not intervene in affairs of international sport. And Mr Foreign Secretary is right claiming that British fans in Russia have no reasons to feel threatened. Russian authorities, in cooperation with foreign partners, took every precaution to ensure maximum comfort and security for all World Cup guests. We are happy to have over 600 000 guests from practically every country in the world, including 10 000 British fans.


15.06.2018 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s meeting with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow, 15 June 2018

On June 15, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov met with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow at the latter’s request.


15.06.2018 - President Putin's speech at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium, 14 June 2018

Friends, I welcome all guests to the legendary Moscow stadium Luzhniki, everyone gathered in the numerous fan zones of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and those watching us on television or online. I congratulate you – the entire large, multinational, tightly-knit international football family – on the start of the top tournament on the planet!


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Russia’s response to the G7 statement on the Salisbury incident

Q: What is your reaction to the G7 Communiqué, where Russia is again accused of having poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A: Just as in the case of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in April, we have again witnessed unfounded allegations against Russia, not supported by any evidence. The British authorities continue to rely on allies’ “solidarity” while offering their partners nothing but assertions that there is “no other plausible explanation” of the incident except that Russia is responsible.


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the inquest into the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q: Today marks three months since the death of Nikolay Glushkov. How would you comment on the course of the investigation by the British authorities of this case? A: We have to note that the British authorities are still refusing us cooperation on the investigation of the death on the British soil of ex-Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Nikolay Glushkov that occurred on 12 March.


08.06.2018 - Russia-Belarus border control rules for attendees of major sports competitions in Russia

On June 1, 2018 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Belarus on certain issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons to international sports competitions came into force. The document in particular regulates the entry procedure for certain categories of foreign citizens into the territory of the Union State during the preparations and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Agreement provides for visa-free entry into the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for the holders of spectator identity cards (fan passports or FAN IDs) or information about them provided they have an authentic ID. The said citizens can also cross the Russia-Belarus border if they travel via the following motor roads: M-1, P-23, A-240 and following railway routes Vitebsk-Pskov, Minsk-Smolensk, Gomel-Bryansk.


08.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new legislation introduced to Parliament in the context of the Salisbury poisoning

Question: How would you comment on the new bill introduced by the British government to give police new powers to investigate all forms of “hostile state activity” and to stop, question, search and detain individuals at the UK border to determine whether they appear to be a person who is, or has been, engaged in hostile activity? Answer: We do not have the opportunity to review and assess the whole text of the bill. Meanwhile, it is unclear from publicly available information, how these new sweeping powers of British law enforcement, border and customs agencies will be applied in practice. In regard to whom and how will they be used? Who and how will examine the level of “hostility” of foreign States’ activities?


08.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the publication of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report “The FCO’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup”

Q.: How would you comment on the contents of the report by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee expressing concerns over safety and security of British fans at the 2018 World Cup in Russia? A.: Unfortunately, this report is another attempt to fuel anti-Russian sentiments on the eve of the World Cup despite the fact that the British police and the FCO have given positive assessments of their cooperation with Russia’s law enforcement authorities on safety and security issues at the World Cup.



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