22 February 2019
Moscow: 13:53
London: 10:53

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355 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     347 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

21.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning placing Sergey and Yulia Skripal on a missing person list

Question: How would you comment on the media reports suggesting that Sergey Skripal’s mother has officially requested Russian law enforcement agencies to record her son and granddaughter as missing and initiate a missing person investigation? According to the British side, the UK agencies have not received any official notice from the Russian authorities with regard to placing the Skripals on a missing person list. Answer: We fully understand the natural concern of Elena Skripal with what has happened to her relatives. The situation is exacerbated by a lack of access to the Russian citizens in violation of international law and the bilateral 1965 Consular Convention. In this case we are unable to officially state that Sergey and Yulia are still alive. We are disturbed by the recent media leaks concerning the worsening health of Sergey Skripal, whose track has been lost since the incident on 4 March 2018. As for Yulia, she was seen only once in May 2018 in a video address which was obviously pre-written by the British secret services. All this indicates that both our nationals are being isolated.


20.02.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 5th anniversary of the state coup in Ukraine and its consequences

Following the 2014 state coup, which the United States and several other countries openly supported, Ukraine has been falling ever deeper into political chaos, corruption, lawlessness and aggressive nationalism. Over the past five years, Ukraine has been engulfed in violence and crimes committed on political and ideological grounds. Most of these crimes were not followed by appropriate legal action. The case of the snipers who shot people on Maidan has not been objectively investigated, and the tragedy in Odessa in May 2014 has not been solved. Contrary to their declarations of commitment to democracy and human rights and freedoms, the Ukrainian authorities are actually hunting down those whose views differ from the official position. Many independent Ukrainian media outlets and journalists, including editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky, have been victimised and persecuted.


19.02.2019 - INF TREATY: FACT SHEET

- Full name: Treaty Between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. - Signed in Washington on 8 December 1987 by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan. Entered into force on 1 June 1988. - Required destruction of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment, thus promoting stability and predictability, as well as playing a major role in reformatting the geopolitical landscape in Europe and interstate relations between the key players in this region. - Contained detailed rules on the procedure of missiles elimination and inspections.


19.02.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at the Munich Security Conference, Munich, February 16, 2019

First of all, Wolfgang (Ischinger), thank you for your presentation and your kind words. There is yet another reason why I address [this conference] more often than anyone else: this is because you have kept your post for so long. Today, the situation on the European continent and generally in the Euro-Atlantic region is, certainly, extremely tense. There appear ever more new rifts and the old ones grow deeper. I think that under these circumstances, it is relevant and even timely to turn to the European Home idea, no matter how strange this may sound in the current situation. Many great modern day politicians realised the need for pooling the potentials of absolutely all European states. Let me mention Charles de Gaulle, who put forward the concept of Greater Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals, a peaceful Europe without divides or bloc confrontations, which, in his opinion, made Europe “artificial and barren.” Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Francois Mitterrand also spoke about the importance of the broadest possible partnership with Russia in the name of stability and security.


17.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the appearance of the Russian flag on the Salisbury Cathedral

Question: How would you comment on the reports by the British media that on Sunday morning someone hoisted a Russian flag on the scaffolding around the Salisbury Cathedral? Answer: We saw these reports, but we do not have any official information on them. If the reports of hoisting a Russian flag are true, then it all looks to us like a well-staged provocation.


16.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the interview by Dawn Sturgess's parents

Question: The Guardian has published an interview with the parents of the British citizen Dawn Sturgess, who died in July last year allegedly from “Novichok” poisoning. They put the blame for the non-transparent investigation on the UK government. How would you comment on their statements? Answer: We have studied carefully the interview and fully agree with Dawn Sturgess's family. Numerous questions regarding the tragedy in Amesbury remain unanswered, the British authorities continue to conceal the circumstances of that incident. We fully understand the fair indignation Dawn Sturgess's relatives feel.


14.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning recent appeals of the British officials to impose new sanctions against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the recent statements by the British officials calling upon their European partners to impose new sanctions against Russia over the incident in the Kerch Strait last year? Answer: We have not been surprised with such an active UK’s approach. Those statements have clearly shown the anti-Russian essence of the current Conservative government’s policy. British officials are doing their utmost to avoid conducting a normal intergovernmental dialogue with Russia, while using only the language of ultimatums and sanctions.


13.02.2019 - Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

Mr. President, Above all, let me thank today’s briefers: Mr. M.Jenča, Mm. U.Müller, Mr. E.Apakan and Mr. M.Sajdik. We have initiated this meeting in order to discuss the course of implementation of “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” – the most important document for the settlement of Ukraine’s internal crisis. It was signed 4 years ago, on 12 February 2015 by the representatives of OSCE, Ukraine, Russia, DPR and LPR.


11.02.2019 - Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Kosovo

Thank you, Mr. President, Above all, we would like to thank our colleagues from Equatorial Guinea for their principal position and for inclusion of a meeting on Kosovo in the Council’s agenda for February in order to discuss the situation in the Province and the report by Secretary-General of 31 January on the implementation of UNSC resolution 1244. We welcome the participation of Mr. Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia. Distinguished Minister, we share the profound concerns about the situation in Kosovo that you talked about.


09.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s Reply to a media question regarding the UK position on Kosovo at the UN Security Council

Question: How would you comment on the UK position on Kosovo at the UN Security Council (UN SC)? Answer: The developments in the province are still worrying. As we have stressed earlier, Pristina’s decision to transform the Kosovo Security Force into full-fledged “armed forces” is a flagrant violation of the UN SC Resolution 1244 that only allows for the deployment of internationally controlled multinational contingents in the province. What is more, it goes against Kosovo’s own “constitution”.



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