17 January 2019
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London: 11:14

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319 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     311 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

24.11.2018

Embassy comment concerning the BBC documentary on Salisbury incident

We have studied carefully the documentary on the Salisbury incident presented on BBC One in Panorama on 22 November. We have to note that it does not contain any new information on what happened, and does not give answers to the numerous questions the Russian side has raised before the British authorities over almost nine months since the incident.

We would like to pay tribute to BBC’s Jane Corbin. Working in complicated conditions under secret services’ control over the information environment around the Salisbury case, she has tried to present as balanced picture as it was possible within the official British version. However, this attempt has only further highlighted the areas which are carefully censored by the authorities.

Thus, against the backdrop of the numerous interviews, including those with relatives of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Yaroslavl, Russia, and the chemist Vil Mirzayanov in the USA, one cannot help noting the absence of the Skripals. The film provides no information concerning the whereabouts of the Russian citizens, their wellbeing and status. Further, the attempt to restore the chronology of events of 4 March failed because of the apparent unwillingness of the investigation to share information on Skripal’s movements in the morning on that day, their contacts and the reasons why they switched off their mobile phones. Moreover, the statement that the investigation team has studied 11000 hours of CCTV records is hard to reconcile with the short clips providing no information on the poisoning circumstances.

The fact that the film was aired in parallel with the publication of the same CCTV records by the Police is also worth noting. Does this mean that the “independent” BBC coordinates its activities with the “independent” law enforcement agencies? Or is this coordination carried out at higher levels, extremely interested in distracting the public from the intense political debates on Brexit?

To sum up, instead of facts, the public is again offered insinuations and guesses aimed at keeping “Russia’s responsibility” on the agenda with no need for presenting evidence. Throughout the documentary, the audience is under pressure of the idea that Russia had a motive to kill Sergei Skripal. This is a familiar policy of the Conservative Government, which still refuses to cooperate with Russia and violates UK’s legal obligations under conventions on consular relations, mutual legal assistance, chemical weapons, and basic diplomatic norms.

Russia, as before, is determined to establish the truth on what happened in Salisbury, and open to cooperation based on mutual respect in the framework of existing international mechanisms, created precisely for this purpose.

Unfortunately, the documentary does not contain any references to Russia’s position concerning the Salisbury incident. The authors claim that we had refused to comment. This is not true. We had not received any requests. Had the crew got in touch with us, we would have challenged the arrogant behaviour of the British side and its active unwillingness to answer our uncomfortable questions.

The British authorities must realise that we will continue to push for a transparent and verifiable investigation of this incident involving Russian nationals.




LATEST EVENTS

17.01.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 Moscow, January 16, 2019


08.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on the latest media publication on the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the Daily Telegraph publications alleging that British authorities have established full details of the assassination attempt of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and describing their current life in England? Answer: We are dealing with yet another media leak, unofficial and unverifiable. It provides no new facts on the Salisbury incident, let alone evidence. The circumstances of the incident remain as confusing as ever.


05.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements on Russia by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Question: How would you comment on Jeremy Hunt’s speech in Singapore, in which he named Russia’s actions on the international arena as the prime example of a threat to the rules-based international system? Answer: Such rhetoric of British officials is not new. It again combines manipulation of international norms with distortion of facts. As stated repeatedly, Russia does not accept the concept of a “rules-based international system”. The international order is based on international law, i.e. legally binding norms that have been agreed on and accepted by all states. By substituting “international law” with obscure “rules”, the UK and other Western countries aim to shed the responsibility for their unlawful behaviour, while assuming the right to randomly blame other countries of breaking “rules” to which they had never signed up.


04.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Syria

Question: How could you comment on the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a “Sky News” interview on President Assad’s future and the role of Russia in the Syrian peace settlement? Answer: We have taken note of Mr Hunt saying that “regretfully” Bashar al-Assad “is going to be around for a while and that is because of the support that he’s had from Russia” and “Russia may think that it’s gained a sphere of influence [but] you’ve also gained a responsibility”.


31.12.2018 - Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov for the show, Moscow. Kremlin. Putin, Moscow, December 30, 2018

Question: What is the main outcome of the year for you? Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to highlight something specific. If we speak about foreign policy, I cannot make an evaluation myself. We have tried to do everything that is necessary in order to fulfill the instructions of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, to implement the foreign political course set by him. It is not for me to judge how successful we were. This should be left to the people to decide, of course, and to the leadership of the Russian Federation.


28.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the situation with the staffing of the Russian and British diplomatic missions

Question: Could you comment on the statement by Ambassador Yakovenko regarding the forthcoming restoration of the number of Russian and British diplomats, which was subsequently denied by the UK Foreign Office? Answer: We saw the rebuttal by the British side. Here are the facts. In December Russia and the UK have, for the first time since March, issued a number of visas for future employees of the diplomatic missions of the two countries, on the basis of reciprocity.


25.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the Prime Minister’s 2018 Christmas Message to the Armed Forces

Question: How would you comment on Theresa May thanking the UK Armed Forces for “protecting our waters and our skies from Russian intrusion” in her Christmas Message? Answer: We were utterly surprised by the Prime Minister’s rhetoric. An uninitiated reader may fall under the impression that Russia has made attempts to violate the UK air space or territorial waters. This has never been happened.


24.12.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya Segodnya

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, December 24, 2018


24.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the calls to apply pressure against the Sputnik bureau

Question: Today’s publication by the “Times” contains personal information of 8 employees of the Sputnik bureau in Edinburgh, as well as calls to seize their assets in UK as belonging to the“Kremlin propaganda machine” by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP. How can you comment on that? Answer: Despite being a member of an opposition party, Mr Cole-Hamilton seems to understand intimately the political strategy of the Conservative Government towards Russian media in the UK. Pressure from all sides, ranking from ungrounded accusations to visa and banking problems is the new reality. Few opportunities to hinder the work of our media in the UK have been missed, in defiance of the UK international obligations and the civilized rules of media freedom.


22.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the UK support for the formation of so-called “army of Kosovo”

Question: How do you assess the UK Government position regarding the creation of so-called “national army” of Kosovo? Answer: The decision by Pristina to transform the Kosovo Security Force into full-fledged “armed forces” is a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which is the fundamental international legal act defining the modalities of the Kosovo settlement. Let me remind you that the resolution only allows the deployment of only international contingents in Kosovo.



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