17 January 2019
Moscow: 14:18
London: 11:18

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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

05.12.2018

Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the UK Government’s assessment of Ukraine’s actions

Question: The UK Government openly distorts the circumstances of the incident in the Kerch Strait on 25 November. What do you think is the reason for that?

Answer: Unfortunately, the Ukrainian provocation in the Black Sea, as well as the general situation in the region, continues to be used by a number of Western countries, including the UK, to stir anti-Russian rhetoric. The details of the incident, most notably the blatant and deliberate violation of the territorial waters of the Russian Federation by the Ukrainian ships, are ignored by the UK Government. A number of British media outlets have also given a biased assessment of Russian actions in the Kerch Strait.

I would like to stress once again that the Kerch Strait is open to passage for any merchant ships heading to and from Russian and Ukrainian ports, as well as for Russian and Ukrainian warships. Taking into account the natural peculiarities of the strait, certain procedures exist for notification of passage and organization of pilotage. In general, they are similar to the pre-2014 order of ship passage. No problems were registered with the passage through the strait, including by the Ukrainian warships, either before or after the incident on 25 November.

Any allegations of “illegal inspections of Ukrainian ships by Russian border guards in the Sea of Azov” are also not true. Given the fact that the Sea of Azov has the status of internal waters of Russia and Ukraine, both states are entitled to conduct security checks of vessels in the relevant water area. The inspections carried out by the Russian Coast Guard in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait are legitimate, justified and non-discriminatory. 48% of the vessels inspected between April and October 2018, or 720 out of 1,492 vessels, were heading to or from Russian ports, while 52% were heading to or from Ukrainian ports. As a rule, such inspections do not take more than three hours and are carried out when vessels are waiting for their turn to sail via the Kerch-Yenikale Canal. Therefore, inspections cause no delays with crossing the strait.

Blaming Russia for an “escalation in the Sea of Azov”, London conceals the fact that on 25 November the Ukrainian side violated the Russian border in the place that had been Russian territory even before the events of 2014. The Ukrainians rejected an offer of pilotage and were treacherously heading towards into the Kerch Strait from the south. Two officers of the Ukrainian security service present aboard one of the ships, later admitted they had a special task to act the way they did.

Curiously enough, the incident in the Kerch Strait coincided with the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass as Kiev is pulling military equipment to the disengagement line. This is a direct violation of the Minsk Agreements by Ukraine, completely ignored by the UK. Moreover, London contributes to Kiev’s aggressive attitude by announcing the deployment of additional contingents of military instructors to Ukraine and, according to the BBC, groups of military propagandists from the British 77th Brigade.

The martial law imposed by the President of Ukraine on 28 November in 10 regions of Ukraine (almost half of the entire national territory), including Donbass, not only contradicts the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreements, but also carries the threat of resuming full-scale hostilities. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have acquired very broad powers, up to the seizure of property from the population. We have never heard any comment on these recent developments from the UK Government.

We regret that Kiev’s confrontational policy, which contradicts regional and international security interests, is supported by the UK Conservative Government, which uses every opportunity, however absurd, to maintain “pressure” on Russia.




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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