17 November 2018
Moscow: 06:00
London: 03:00

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258 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     250 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

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.

Sajid Javid: Russia is against the International Rules-Based System. The same system by the way that since the end of the Second World War has brought us prosperity and peace, relative peace throughout the world. Russia doesn’t like that system.

Comment: The “international rules-based system” is not what was agreed at the end of the Second World War. It is a recent invention by the West aimed at distorting the real UN-centered international system based on International Law. The notion of a “rules-based system” allows Western countries to pick and choose whatever “rules” suit them (regardless of whether they have been agreed universally, regionally or have only been proposed) and to try to make them pass for something universally recognized.

For its part, Russia has always been, and remains, a staunch supporter of International Law as agreed between all states. We cherish the unique legitimacy of the United Nations, as opposed to the numerous “global alliances” and “groups of friends” created by proponents of the “rules-based system” in order to achieve aims which don’t find enough support at the UN.

The difference between the universally accepted International Law and the “rules-based system” is well known to the people of Iraq, Libya or Syria: where International Law would have protected them from armed aggression, the “rules-based system” has, on the contrary, encouraged foreign intervention under false pretexts and with disastrous consequences. It may have brought “peace and prosperity” to “us”, as Mr Javid puts it, i.e. to the West. But for many, it has only brought war and devastation.

So the Home Secretary is right: Russia does not like the “rules-based system” as long as that “system” aims at arbitrarily dismantling International Law, agreed and developed by all states ever since the Second World War.

Sajid Javid: We have enormous capability to defend ourselves. […] We have considerable powers and we’ll bring all those powers, both covert and overt to bear on Russia and what it represents today.

Comment: Mr Javid knows full well that Russia represents no threat from which Britain needs to be defended. We don’t intend to kill British people, to grab British territories, to harm British infrastructure, to disrupt British trade. It is a pity that more and more members of the UK Government and Parliament are joining the large-scale anti-Russian propaganda campaign which essentially intimidates the British people. This is another Project Fear, aimed at securing popular support for the Conservative Government, budgetary allocations for defence, and UK’s continued standing in NATO and vis-à-vis EU partners, at risk because of Brexit.

At the same time, Mr Javid and the whole Government must realize the unhelpful nature of their provocative rhetoric which may be seen as preparing the public for aggressive actions against Russia under the disguise of “defending ourselves”. It is worth recalling that back in March, we invited the UK Government to confirm that they are not planning cyber attacks against Russia. No such confirmation has been forthcoming.

Sajid Javid: Russia has no extradition treaty with the UK. It has a history of not extraditing its citizens.

Comment: This is a relatively minor point, but one that aptly demonstrates the level of competence of the British government and civil service.

Actually, Russia and the UK do have an extradition treaty. It is called the European Convention on Extradition, 1957. It does not only exist on paper but is a working instrument, with the two countries occasionally extraditing suspects to each other (even if the level of UK’s compliance with Russia’s extradition requests leaves much to be desired).

True, Russia does not extradite its own citizens. That is not because we have “a history” of refusing to do so, but because this is directly prohibited by the Russian Constitution, in the chapter on human rights that cannot be amended except through adoption of a fully new Constitution.

Yet, this does not preclude Russia-UK cooperation on a particular criminal case, even when the suspects are Russian. Alongside the European Convention on Extradition, there exists the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, 1959. Assistance under that Convention might include taking evidence from a witness, servicing a writ etc. We fail to understand why the UK excludes the possibility of seeking Russian cooperation within the framework of that Convention. This would be the natural course of action for a country genuinely interested in a progress of its investigation.

Furthermore, given that competent Russian authorities have opened a criminal case of their own, the existing cooperation framework might lead to suspects being brought to court in Russia. Quite obviously, this is impossible without evidence being transferred from the UK to Russia. Again, the British refusal to explore this avenue only testifies to the lack of evidence capable of standing up to judicial scrutiny.




LATEST EVENTS

13.11.2018 - Embassy’s statement concerning Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London

We have taken note of Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London on 12 November, of which a significant part was dedicated to Russia. Unfortunately, we did not hear any “new approach” to Russian-British bilateral relations, mentioned in the British media a day before. A number of unsubstantiated accusations against Russia were again put forward by the Prime Minister, ranging from “attacks to undermine international security” to the “use of a chemical weapon on British streets”. The statement that the UK “remains open to a different relationship with Russia” was, in line with the traditional British style, made conditional on a number of categorical demands. For our part, we have been pointing at the unsatisfactory state of bilateral affairs for a long time. Russia and Britain are in an urgent need of genuinely equal, mutually respectful and result-oriented cooperation, befitting two Permanent Members of the UN Security Council sharing a special responsibility for global affairs.


06.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning new claims on alleged links between members of the Russian community in the UK and intelligence services

Question: How would you comment on the claims in the British media that “half of the Russians in London are working for Russian intelligence”? Answer: Those publications are based on a report by “Henry Jackson Society”, an organisation that does not hide its anti-Russian position. But even this superficial and irresponsible report has been distorted by the media affiliated with the current Conservative government for the sake of sensation and a further increase of Russophobic sentiment in the British society. A non-committal phrase – “Reflecting the level of paranoia within London’s Russian community, interviewees and interlocutors suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants” has been transformed by the media into a categorical statement: “The study said there were as many as 75000 Russian informants in London”.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning “An Invisible Chain” speech by the UK Foreign Secretary

Q: In his speech at the “Policy Exchange” think tank UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has dwelled on the shifts in the global balance of power. Do you agree with his assessment? A: We believe Mr Hunt’s view on the trends in global development is right in principle. The centre of the economic power shifts to the East, the BRICS countries as well as a lot of Asian economies are on the rise, and with economic power comes greater political influence. The speech reflects growing awareness in the UK political classes that the place and role of the West in the shaping of the international order is in decline. The world is changing rapidly, and the UK will have to adapt to the new reality.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement by UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce on Ukraine

Q.: At the UN Security Council Briefing on 30 October UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce claimed general elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic to be illegitimate and a clear breach of the Minsk Agreements. How would you comment on this statement? A.: The elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic scheduled for November 11 are held to fill the power vacuum after the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, which cast suspicion on Ukrainian destabilizing activities in the east. This murder must not result in a halt to daily life in the region, people in Donbass need to carry on with their lives, making ends meet under constant blockade and the threat of the use of force from Kiev. The proposed elections have no bearing on the Minsk agreements, which pertain to municipal elections.


31.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements by Prime Minister Theresa May in Norway

Q.: On 30 October UK Prime Minister again claimed that Russia “deployed chemical weapons” in Britain. How would you comment on this statement? A.: We strongly reject these insinuations. Another portion of accusations of Russia is a far cry from reality.


29.10.2018 - Joint Statement by China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States

We, the nuclear weapon States recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty, in all its aspects, fifty years since its signature.


28.10.2018 - Joint Statement by the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey, the French Republic, the Russian Federation and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the French Republic H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin, and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany H.E. Angela Merkel gathered in Istanbul on 27 October 2018 for a Quadrilateral Summit on Syria.


26.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning publications on cyberattacks

Question: Recently there have been numerous publications in British media regarding alleged Russian hacker attacks against the UK infrastructure. Has the Embassy received any evidence from British officials on this? Answer: The Embassy has not received any official evidence from the British side on either of these publications. We believe this clearly shows that there is nothing behind them.


25.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Question: Does the Embassy have any new information regarding circumstances of the death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London on 12 March? Answer: Unfortunately, we have to state once again that the British side evades any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of Mr Glushkov’s death.


22.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning comparisons in Britain between Russian and Saudi Arabia’s reactions to high-profile incidents

Question: After the reports concerning the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the British media have been drawing parallels between the actions of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are there any good reasons for such comparisons? Answer: We have already stated that we would not be commenting idle talks. It is for journalists, not diplomats, to speculate on this kind of issues. However, we have taken note of yet another article by Boris Johnson in “The Daily Telegraph”, where he compares the death of Jamal Khashoggi to the so-called poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. In particular, he insists that Saudi Arabia and Turkey should – and rightly so – provide the public with as much information as possible concerning the exact causes of the journalist’s death.



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