12 August 2020
Moscow: 17:41
London: 15:41

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892 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     884 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



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.

However, the task of building such relationship is being hampered by a number of key issues, in which the two countries do not simply differ, but face fundamental disagreements coupled with Britain’s refusal to conduct dialogue or even acknowledge Russia’s right to have its national interests and express its own opinion. Unfortunately, there is a whole range of such issues, including the following:

1. The conceptual vision of the modern world order based on International Law, with the UN Charter being at its heart. Instead, the UK is consistently promoting the idea of a certain “rules-based world order”, which includes arbitrarily chosen “rules” suiting the West, even if not agreed by the wider international community at the UN. As a result, the world has witnessed the bombing of Yugoslavia resulting in the disintegration of the country, the invasion in Iraq, the destruction of statehood of Libya, missile strikes against Syria. All those actions were performed in circumvention of the UN Security Council.

2. Attitude to European security, including UK’s active role in NATO’s military build-up along Russian borders, its reluctance to give an objective assessment to the situation around the nuclear arms control, including the INF Treaty (Britain supports US plans to withdraw from it), as well as boosting military expenditure under the pretext of a “Russian threat”, and provoking incidents with Russian aircraft and ships.

3. Interpretation of the circumstances that led to the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014 and of the situation in eastern Ukraine. UK’s persistent refusal to take account of the interests and aspirations of the people living in those territories, its disregard towards the democratic will of 97 percent of Crimeans, the endless portrayal of the abovementioned events as “Russian aggression” and “annexation”, the refusal to impartially assess the situation in Ukraine, including the extent of far-right extremism, are preventing London from conducting a dialogue with Russia and have sidelined the UK from the negotiation process on Ukraine.

4. UK’s persistent position in favour of deposing the duly elected President of Syria, encouraging radical opposition forces that rely exclusively on a violent takeover of power, the direct support for the provocative activities of the “White Helmets”, and making the perspectives of the Syria’s restoration conditional on the direction of a political process.

5. Britain’s voluntarily chosen role of the leader of international (i.e. Western) efforts to “deter Russia”, the persistent aggressive and insulting rhetoric of British officials towards Russia, encouragement of anti-Russian media hysteria, formulation of various groundless accusations (concerning cyberattacks, meddling into democratic processes, etc.), promoting the proliferation of sanctions.

6. The anti-Russian campaign orchestrated by the British Government following the incident in Salisbury, together with a refusal to provide the public with credible evidence in support of the official accusations, or to cooperate with the Russian side, as well as UK’s unwillingness to observe international law and its obligations under consular conventions and agreements on legal assistance, and politicization of OPCW threatening the authority and integrity of this invaluable international organisation.

7. Britain’s refusal to cooperate and classification of materials concerning high-profile incidents with Russian nationals on the British soil, including deaths of Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Perepilichny and Nikolay Glushkov.

The first prerequisite for these and other deep differences to be overcome is a respectful dialogue. We are yet to see Britain ready for one. Moreover, an impression grows that the Conservative Government has embarked upon a policy of consistently destroying the fabric of our bilateral relations and putting forward political ultimatums.

What talk of British readiness to normalize relations can there be when the UK is unable to deliver on the minimum requirement for such relations, namely the normal functioning of the Russian Embassy in London? Expulsion of 153 Russian diplomats by 28 countries under artificial pretext is presented by the British leadership as a huge diplomatic achievement. This sounds particularly odd given that Moscow reciprocated by expelling 153 foreign, including 23 British diplomats, at the very same time when the need to step up British global diplomatic presence is widely acknowledged in London. Other basic problems of Russian Embassy’s everyday life have been ignored for years, including issuing of visas to staff and ensuring the Embassy’s security.

We hope that the British authorities, with their “Global Britain” ambition, will stop their destructive Russia policy and live up to their own call for a dialogue. Pragmatic cooperation between our countries is in the best interests of the British people.


25.07.2020 - "Concerning the sensational report on Russia". Article from News Agency "RIA Novosti", 23 July 2020

The report was prepared before last year’s general election, but its publication was long delayed by the ruling Conservatives, and opponents of Boris Johnson accused him of doing it specifically to downplay the Russian threat and prevent his party from losing credibility. Now, however, the report, written in part by well-known retired MI-5 employee Christopher Style (creator of the file on Trump’s “Russian contacts”), has been published. The British press has been disappointed: there is no proof of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum (although they cannot understand how the British voted to leave the EU when most of the political elite, almost all of the press and the City were against it), although there are rumours of attempts to influence the Scottish independence referendum. This, however, is London’s point of view; from Moscow’s perspective, the report is sensational, because its authors’ conclusions are the best evidence that the British powers-that-be are prepared to work in the Kremlin’s interests. Style and Browder (another co-author of the report) do not in fact understand this, but this is the skill of the so-called KGB heirs’ game. But let’s start at the beginning.

16.07.2020 - The Human Rights Situation in Ukraine - Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

The human rights situation in Ukraine continues to degrade. The Kyiv authorities adopt legislative acts contrary to the rules of national law and international obligations. Human rights activists document systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Referring to the need to combat the so-called Russian aggression and separatism, political opponents, independent journalists, media outlets, and undesirable members of public organizations are being prosecuted. The rights of internally displaced persons, the Russian-speaking population, and representatives of national minorities are limited. The clergy and parishioners of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being prosecuted. The right to liberty and security of person is not respected. In Ukraine, there are numerous facts of illegal detention, torture, intimidation, ill-treatment, sexual violence, including to obtain confessions or compel cooperation.

16.07.2020 - Embassy comment concerning today’s unfriendly statements by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

The Embassy has noted the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab concerning unspecified “Russian actors” who have “almost certainly” sought to interfere in 2019 UK General Election through “online amplification” of sensitive documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as the alleged responsibility of “Russian Intelligence Services” for cyber attacks aimed at stealing research information on coronavirus vaccine development.

06.07.2020 - Embassy comment on the UK announcement of sanctions over the Magnitsky case

The decision by the British Government to impose sanctions against a number of Russian officials invoking the death of Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 reflects the self-declared status of the UK as the global leader in sanctions policy. All questions regarding the circumstances of Mr Magnitsky’s death have been answered long ago. Today’s decision was quite obviously conceived merely as a public move.

29.06.2020 - Embassy press officer’s reply to a media question on British media reports on Russian “collusion” with the Taliban in Afghanistan

Question: How would you comment on the recent reports in British media that Russia supposedly offered “bounty” to the Taliban to kill UK as well as US soldiers in Afghanistan?

16.05.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to Financial Times

Dear Editor, I feel compelled to express disagreement with the Financial Times coverage of Russia’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Judging by your reports, Russia’s response has been to manipulate with figures at home and to spread disinformation abroad, with the government acting inefficiently and doctors having inadequate protection. This distorted picture requires a refutation. Even by most pessimistic accounts, Russia’s performance in terms of healthcare system capacity and death rate is among the best of all major countries.

15.05.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to The Times

Sir, Roger Boyes is wondering why Russian industrialists (he calls them ‘oligarchs’) are helping to fight Covid-19. Are they suddenly ‘embracing philanthropy’, or ‘cleaning up their nasty image’, or else seeking to impose a ‘new compact’ on the ‘floundering’ government?

11.05.2020 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry concerning US attempts to rewrite the history of the Victory over Nazism

Attempts to distort the results of the defeat of Nazism and the decisive contribution our country made, which are continuing in Washington even during these days of universal celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory, cause utter indignation.

08.05.2020 - Telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson. The President of Russia and the Prime Minister of Great Britain exchanged greetings on the 75th anniversary of Victory over Nazism, which became one of the greatest events of the 20th century and an example of unprecedented cooperation between the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. Vladimir Putin noted in part that Russia remembers the exploits of the British sailors, participants in the Arctic convoys, owing to which the Soviet army and industry received arms and equipment needed during the war.

07.05.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab

On May 6, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab at the latter's initiative. The two officials exchanged greetings in connection with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the victory in WWII. They noted the contribution of the members of the anti-Hitler coalition in the fight against Nazism, and emphasised the importance of using the alliance's experience in mobilising the international community's efforts to counteract today's global challenges. Particular attention was paid to discussing the efforts being taken to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus infection and to overcome its effects.

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