18 October 2019
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593 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     585 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov at the Delphi IV Economic Forum

Russia’s View of the International Order

I would suggest that we start from the beginning and try to contemplate what the international world order is per se. For centuries the world lived within the Westphalian sovereignty, then the First World War brought us the system of Versailles, and in 1945 in the Russian city of Yalta countries of the anti-Hitler coalition agreed on how they would coexist taking into account the results of the Second World War. However, those agreements were soon swept away by the waves of a new confrontation, namely the Cold War.

But the moment came when the Cold War with its concept of mutual assured destruction was gone too. What did then come to replace it? Alas, while a part of our Eurasian continent was going through painful political and economic transformations in pursuit of an optimal democratic organisation and a fair market model that would suit it most, the so-called “enlightened” West, professing its alleged experience and wisdom, proclaimed “the end of history” and defined the triumph of an arbitrary set of liberal values and globalisation as the world development vector with no alternative, as a new formula of “bright future for all mankind”.

However, failure awaited the authors of social, economic and political engineering at this turn as well. The basically objective globalisation process did not follow the path they had marked. It became obvious that other continents and centres of power, rather than traditional West, were starting to play a key role in it. Thereby, the world entered an era of multipolarity.

It is not a coincidence that at the current stage we witness the widest ever plurality of opinions on what the international world order is, and more importantly, what it should be. It is common knowledge that modern system of international law was formed within the institutions that had been established following the Second World War, first of all the UN, but also the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and, no matter how paradoxical it may sound, NATO (the latter, I would note, continuing to spasmodically enlarge rather out of necessity than choice). However, today the very notion of “international law” is subject to revision and dilution. For a number of years now our European and American partners, instead of adhering to this well-known and clear-cut term, have been implanting in their vocabulary and official documents the formula “internationally recognised rules and norms”. Moreover, they are trying to accustom their interlocutors around the world to it. Meanwhile, inventors of this novelty find it difficult to explain what the difference between law and these “rules and norms” is and who and when had actually recognised the latter.

It is natural that Russia, being a responsible international player, a nuclear power and Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, should be concerned with this situation. We have felt this threat long enough and, as, I would repeat, a responsible power, have generated quite a few far-reaching initiatives throughout the last two decades that are aimed at strengthening the world order on the basis of international law and establishing such a security system, first and foremost in Europe, that would provide equal guarantees to all. Besides, Russia has never tried to monopolise this work, was always open to cooperation with those who were ready to take part in it.

Neither did we refuse initiatives suggested by others. For instance, when in 2010 NATO published its Strategic Concept we positively assessed well formulated principles of “security guarantees” and suggested extending them to all countries of Europe. The answer we got was: our proposal is for Alliance members only, so please, be content with second class security. It is clear that with such an approach talking about equal distribution of security guarantees over Eurasian space was pointless.

Against this background some European countries opted for a simplified way – gave up and rushed to join NATO without thinking that the day would come when they would be requested to incur unbearable and unjustified expenses, participate in missions and operations far from their borders and interests, as well as deploy foreign military bases on their territories. And the Russian proposal to sign a European Security Treaty that would have provided for making legally binding the well-known principle that no one shall enhance one’s security at the expense of security of others (enshrined, by the way, as a political commitment in the OSCE Charter for European Security signed by 54 Heads of State and Government) remained unaddressed.

However, even under such circumstances we do not give up and continue upholding the above-mentioned principles. Meanwhile, given particular aspects of Russian mentality, political culture and perhaps old-fashioned, as it may seem to many, concept of decency, Moscow never imposes anything on anyone and does not interfere in internal affairs of other states – contrary to statements certain capitals consider it possible to make following the fashion of blaming “omnipotent” Russia for all the troubles in the world.

At the same time some of our “prosecutors” feel free to impose on other countries their own views on how the latter should live in such a cynical manner that can be described as absolute disregard for all norms of inter-state behaviour. One does not need to go far to find examples: right now we are witnessing Washington’s unprecedented interference in domestic affairs of Venezuela. The US openly calls on the military of the country to defect to a self-proclaimed political leader and threaten with persecution those who will remain faithful to their oath. Genuine economic terror is unleashed, sinister extra-territorial sanctions are introduced. Washington managed to “wear down” EU Member States – except, I would particularly stress, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia and Italy, as well as the Vatican – resulting in the fact that the “International Contact Group” formed by the EU took a biased stance, and thereby deprived itself of the opportunity to act as an impartial mediator.

The situation around Venezuela is obviously a manifestation of a consistent systemic line to ruin the current architecture of world legal order, rather than a solitary case or unremarkable episode. Planting across the information sphere unsupported accusations against certain countries of carrying out hideous chemical attacks and immediately, without any judicial proceedings, imposing sanctions or even launching airstrikes are considered to be almost the norm today. It is particularly alarming that this line is also adopted in the military sphere, in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We have to acknowledge that today’s situation is in a way much more dangerous than the one of the Cold War years – then, for all the depth of ideological differences, common sense and responsibility for the world’s fate pushed antagonistic powers to take wise decisions in the area of arms control and disarmament.

Today we are virtually on the edge of the last line. Its crossing will mean complete dismantling of checks and balances in the nuclear field. And it is not about passions or whims of particular leaders, it is rather about a consistent policy that was formed 17 years ago, at the times of another US Administration – the one that derailed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And each time Washington denounced another treaty with Russia it was done under an absolutely invented pretext. As a result the New START Treaty is in fact the only one left, its lifespan stretching only until 5 February 2021.

A similar situation is observed in the field of economy. It is worth noting that the system of pipelines ensuring European energy security was created when the Cold War was at its height. In those days there existed, of course, forces that tried to hinder the development of these projects, but the then leaders of countries of Western Europe managed to find the strength not to submit to this pressure. We can only hope that the current generation of European leaders will inherit their courage.

Speaking about economy I need to emphasise that attempts to influence Russia’s policy via sanctions are ridiculous. Events of recent years demonstrated that such efforts are vain and, by the way, make interests of European business also suffer a lot, as well as our relations in general, including with our largest trade and economic partner – the European Union.

Against this backdrop the easiest thing for Russia would be to follow a trend that is in fashion today and to “pivot to Asia”, especially since it is there that the bigger part of my country’s territory lies. Actually we are increasingly active in developing mutually beneficial cooperation with the PRC, ASEAN countries and other Asian partners, but we are not doing it to undermine or punish Europe. We do not make friends “against Europe” or the West as a whole. Figuratively speaking, we are implementing the concept projected by the Russian coat of arms whose double-headed eagle (though admittedly inherited from our common ancestral homeland with Greece, Byzantium) looks at the same time to the West and to the East. I would add that Russia as a country located on two continents and thereby uniting Eurasia by virtue of its geography, history and cultural tradition is genuinely interested in maintaining equally friendly relations on the West and on the East.

Currently leaders of major EU countries are more and more often thinking of a new configuration of cooperation in Europe and more outspoken about the need to take their fate in their hands. I believe it is important that EU Member States remember that they will not be able to uphold their positions against rising economic giants – in Asia today, in Latin America tomorrow, in Africa the day after tomorrow – unless they listen closely to Russia’s words about establishing a common economic and humanitarian space in Eurasia. Defending what we call “European civilisation” is only possible if one of its supporting pillars, Russia, is fully engaged.

Meanwhile the world is witnessing a deficit of mutual responsibility of nation states, including those the UN Charter assigns with special responsibility for maintaining global peace and security. Aspiring in no way to the laurels of the Oracle of Delphi, I would nevertheless take the courage to predict: unless Russia’s partners in the UN Security Council shoulder this responsibility, a “legal jungle” will emerge on our planet faster than we may assume. In my view, it would be an extremely lamentable outcome of reflecting on the heritage of the first democrats in the history of mankind, those who lived in Ancient Greece and, I am sure, put much brighter hopes on their descendants.




10.10.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Nur-Sultan, October 9, 2019

Esteemed Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Thank you very much for receiving me during my visit to Nur-Sultan.

10.10.2019 - Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin’s interview with Izvestia, October 9, 2019

Question: Mr Vershinin, following the UN General Assembly session, it was stated that, in the wake of the visa scandal, several UN General Assembly committees could be transferred from New York to another country. Do you think it is possible? Sergey Vershinin: I think this is feasible, but the decision should be taken by the General Assembly. This is not the first time the United States has violated its obligations under the UN Charter and the agreement on the location of the organisation’s central bodies in the United States. As you may be aware, this is not just a question of this year or today. We have been raising this issue for many years, specifically, since 2004, in the special UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country, because there were similar incidents then, too.

26.09.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on new data regarding the Salisbury investigation

On 25 September, the Metropolitan Police published new data on blood tests taken in March 2018 from individuals that might have been affected by a nerve agent in Salisbury. The samples did not reveal any traces of exposure. Leaving aside the question of why the tests have been carried out only now, let us point out that the absence of traces of “Novichok” does not help to support the official British version of the incident. But there is another aspect to the news.

25.09.2019 - Joint Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey on Syria, New York, 24 September 2019

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as guarantors of the Astana format held a trilateral meeting on the margins of the 74th meeting of UN General Assembly. The Ministers: 1. Reaffirmed the strong commitment of the Astana guarantors to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and emphasized that these principles should be respected by all sides.

23.09.2019 - “World at a Crossroads and a System of International Relations for the Future” by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for “Russia in Global Affairs” magazine, September 20, 2019

These days, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opens up. So does a new international “political season”. The session begins at a highly symbolic historical moment. Next year we will celebrate two great and interconnected anniversaries – the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the UN.

22.09.2019 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding Charlie Rowley’s intention to sue the Russian Government

Question: How would you comment on the plans by Charlie Rowley, a victim of the Amesbury poisonings, to initiate judicial proceedings against the Russian authorities? Answer: As far as we understand, these plans are at a very preliminary stage. A lawsuit specifically against the Russian Government is but one of the options considered by Mr Rowley’s lawyers. For our part, we fully share Charlie’s desire to establish truth regarding his poisoning that also resulted in the death of his partner Dawn Sturgess. Mr Rowley is seeking clarity over the “unanswered questions”, which is, incidentally or not, the title of the Embassy’s own report with questions to the British authorities.

17.09.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on attack against oil infrastructure facilities in Saudi Arabia

According to media reports, a large-scale drone attack was launched in the early hours of September 14 against oil refineries of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Saudi Aramco near the cities of Abqaiq and Khurais in the eastern part of the Kingdom. The Houthi Ansar Allah movement, now fighting against forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Arabian Coalition supporting him in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

17.09.2019 - Joint Statement by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of the Russian Federation and the President of the Republic of Turkey

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gathered in Ankara on 16 September 2019 for a Tripartite Summit.

12.09.2019 - Press release by Russian MFA on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement

Moscow has taken note of the Arab countries’ highly negative reaction to the statement made by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his intention to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. We share concerns over these Israeli plans, the implementation of which can lead to a dramatic escalation of tensions in the region and undermine hopes for a long awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

12.09.2019 - Embassy comment on the state of the investigation into the death of Nikolay Glushkov

12 September 2019 marks exactly one year and half since Russian national Nikolay Glushkov was murdered in London under mysterious circumstances. We regret to state that the British side has failed to provide any meaningful reply to our numerous enquiries. Since April 2018 the Home Office has been ignoring the official request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for legal assistance over Russia’s own criminal case into the death of Nikolay Glushkov. The British authorities have also been silent regarding the Embassy’s repeated proposals to arrange a meeting between the Russian Ambassador and the Met Police Commissioner or hold law-enforcement experts’ bilateral contacts.

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