16 February 2019
Moscow: 13:01
London: 10:01

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349 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     341 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

26.09.2018

Embassy comment on the refusal by the UK to fulfil Russian requests for legal assistance in the Skripals poisoning case

After numerous reminders, on 25 September, the Embassy received a reply from the Home Office informing us of a refusal to fulfil the requests for legal assistance made by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on 29 March and 17 April. The requests were made within the framework of the investigation of the criminal case opened in Russia following the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

In refusing cooperation, the UK is referring to Article 2(b) of the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. According to that article, assistance may be refused if the requested Party considers that execution of the request is likely to prejudice the sovereignty, security, ordre public or other essential interests of its country. The Home Office letter specifies that the decision was taken at the highest political level.

In practice, this means that the UK is refusing to provide the Russian investigation with any information or evidence gathered by British Police when working on the Salisbury incident. This position has now been officially approved at the highest level and acquired a legal form. We would like to remind that earlier the British authorities had announced that they did not intend to pursue extradition of the “suspects” and made it clear that they were not interested in submitting their own requests for legal assistance, which could be provided by means of interrogation of certain persons, provision of access to documents, etc.

Such position of the British authorities does not allow to bring the investigation to its logical end in either the Russian or the British legal framework.

Thus, the British side has confirmed that from the very beginning the aims of its campaign around the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal lay exclusively in the field of politics and propaganda. It has nothing to do with aspiration to establish the truth and bring those responsible to justice. The fact that the decision to refuse the legal assistance has been made at the highest level is jet another evidence of political control being exercised over the investigation.

The refusal to fulfill the request of the Office of the Prosecutor General amounts to another violation by the UK of its obligations under international law. London continues to forcefully detain Sergei and Yulia Skripal, deny their rights, including the freedom of movement, speech, contacts with relatives, in violation of the universally recognized human rights standards. The Russian side has been denied a consular access to the Skripals in violation of the existing Consular conventions. The investigation has been classified in violation of the principle of freedom of press and the right of the public to get access to information. Meanwhile, the accusations, not supported by proof, are used to whip up anti-Russian hysteria in the UK and are aimed at isolating our country on the international arena.

We are convinced that responsible members of the international community will judge the current policy of the Conservative government towards Russia on its merits. It illustrates the real value of official statements on UK’s leading role in supporting the “rules-based international order”, as well as those regarding a “Global Britain” striving for constructive cooperation with the outside world. after “Brexit”.




LATEST EVENTS

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”.


08.02.2019 - DIPLOMATS’ DAY

On 10 February Russian diplomats mark their professional day – Diplomats’ Day, which was established by a Presidential Decree in 2002 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Diplomatic Service in 1549. The date itself is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first foreign affairs agency – the Ambassadorial Department (or “Posolsky Prikaz” in Russian). On 10 February 1549 the Ambassadorial Department, established by Czar Ivan IV, was first mentioned in official chronicles.


06.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the latest UK statements on the INF Treaty

Question: How would you comment on the statement made by FCO Minister of State Mark Field in the House of Commons regarding the threat posed by the Russian 9M729 cruise missile? Answer: We have taken note Mr Field’s comment with regard to the INF Treaty calling for Russia to destroy the 9M729 cruise missiles. Such statements by the UK officials are designed to maintain the US-initiated campaign to accuse Russia of violating the INF Treaty, primarily with the aim to justify Washington’s long-planned decision to withdraw from the Treaty. UK Government is perfectly aware that the US has refused to provide any objective data supporting their conclusion that the Russian 9М729 cruise missile has a range prohibited by the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly confirmed that its missile programs fully comply with its obligations under the INF Treaty. This also applies to the 9M729 cruise missile, on which Russia provides maximum transparency. During the talks in Geneva on 15 January the Russian side invited US military experts to inspect the missile in order to address any existing concerns. However, this unprecedented step was rejected out of hand, confirming that Washington was simply not interested in maintaining the INF Treaty.


05.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the UK position on Venezuela

Question: How would you comment on the statement by the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt recognising National Assembly President, Juan Guaido, as the interim President of Venezuela? Answer: We have repeatedly stated that attempts to change the leadership of Venezuela from outside and by unconstitutional means flagrantly violate the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, which is one of the cornerstones of international law and the UN Charter.


05.02.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the NATO Council statement on the INF Treaty developments

We have read the NATO Council statement of February 1, 2019 and noted that it was released much earlier than we received a formal notification from the United States about suspending its participation in the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles and beginning the exit procedure. Such haste is no surprise for Russia. This is yet another demonstration of the fact that NATO has fully blended with Washington’s line aimed at the final scrapping of the arms control system painstakingly built over many years. The collapse of the INF Treaty will have grave and far-reaching consequences for the entire European security architecture NATO is allegedly deeply concerned about – and naturally, for the US allies in Europe.


04.02.2019 - Foreign Ministry statement

On February 2, the US Department of State issued a press statement officially notifying the Russian Federation that the United States had suspended its obligations under the 1987 Soviet-US Treaty on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) and had launched the procedure of withdrawing from it. At the same time, the Americans announced that they no longer consider themselves to be bound by the treaty obligations, which means that they can openly design, produce and deploy the weapon systems prohibited under the treaty.


30.01.2019 - Embassy press officer’s response to a media question concerning the situation with Yulia Skripal

Q.: How would you comment on the intention of Victoria Skripal to make a request to Russian law enforcement agencies to record her cousin Yulia as missing and to initiate a missing person investigation? A.: The Embassy fully understands Victoria Skripal’s desperate call, as we do not have any information regarding the whereabouts and the health conditions of her relatives Sergey and Yulia. Almost a year has passed since the Salisbury incident and we have to state that British authorities and law enforcement agencies still have not provided any official results of the investigation. Numerous requests and proposals for cooperation within the inquiry of our nationals’ poisoning have been left without a response, and the investigation is being carried out in complete secrecy.



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