26 March 2019
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387 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     379 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.




25.03.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the conclusions of the report on the alleged Russian interference in US elections

We have taken note of the summary of the main conclusions from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the “purity” of the 2016 US presidential election, submitted by the US Department of Justice. The main conclusion, which is that Donald Trump’s election staff did not conspire with Russia – was to be expected. It is surprising, though, that it took 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff, issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses, nearly two years to come to this conclusion. In other words, it took huge efforts and, obviously, a great deal of the taxpayers’ money to overturn an obvious fabrication.

21.03.2019 - Introductory remarks by Lord West at the reception dedicated to Soviet War Memorial Trust, 20 March 2019

In 2005, as First Sea Lord, I had the great honour of being present in the ‘Hero City’ Murmansk on Victory Day, together with a party of over 300 British veterans, His Royal Highness the Duke of York, and the frigate HMS Sutherland. After a moving ceremony and parade in the city’s main square, I was invited to walk alongside the governor of the Murmansk Oblast and the Commander of the Northern Fleet at the head of a procession of veterans and citizens up to the huge statue of the soldier ‘Alyosha’ – the Monument to the Defenders of the Soviet Arctic – that stands on a high bluff overlooking the Kola Inlet, gazing across to the distant border with Norway that was protected with such determination and courage. There we laid wreaths to the fallen and remembered those who had died or been permanently affected by the terrible events of those years.

21.03.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the reports of the incident with the Russian sailors in UK waters

Question: Does the Embassy have a statement to make regarding the Russian sailors who were found on an island in the Bristol Channel?

21.03.2019 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's introductory remarks at the reception dedicated to Soviet War Memorial Trust, 20 March 2019

It’s a great pleasure for me to host this reception today! We dedicate the today’s event to our friends from the Soviet War Memorial Trust. Their enthusiasm and dedication made it possible, that a unique monument, commemorated to the sacrifice of 27 million lives by the citizens and armed forces of the former Soviet Union in its joint struggle with the Western Allies to defeat Nazism during World War II, became a focus of Victory Day events in London. Memorial work nowadays takes a special place in activities of Russian MFA, and WWII memory is, of course, a top priority here. Collecting the information about military memorials, arranging repairs where needed and monitoring their condition – all this is a significant part of the work of many Embassies around the world. Our Ministry has signed multiple agreements on cooperation with various organizations and charities working in this area, such as the Russian Heritage committee here in the UK.

21.03.2019 - Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation at the Plenary Session of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, March 20, 2019

Distinguished Mr. President, Distinguished Mr. Secretary-General Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, A year has passed since I last addressed this audience. By historical standards, this is a miniscule amount of time. Yet the events that have taken place over the year have brought us to the edge of a new era in arms control. A year ago, you and us still hoped that, by means of constructive dialogue, we altogether could overcome differences, find compromise solutions and give new impetus to the joint effort aimed at strengthening peace and maintaining global stability.

19.03.2019 - Ambassador Yakovenko met IGC Executive Director

On 19 March 2019 Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met Executive Director of the International Grain Council (IGC)

19.03.2019 - Agricultural Attache V.Derbenskiy visits the International Food and Drink Event 2019

On 19 March the Agricultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy Vladimir Derbenskiy visited the International Food and Drink Event 2019, one of the most important food industry shows hosted in the UK.

18.03.2019 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the 5th anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia

Question: How would you react to today’s statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who has again condemned the “illegal annexation” of the Crimean Peninsula that was a result of a “blatant land grab” and a “sham referendum”? Answer: This position is not new. It is based on a total disregard for the rights and interests of Crimeans, but also those of Ukrainians, whose president was removed in 2014 in an unconstitutional way and with the West’s direct support. Faced with a coup in Kiev, accompanied by a neo-Nazi frenzy and direct threats of violence in Crimea, the Crimean people decided that it could no longer exercise its right to self-determination within the Ukrainian state, declared independence and re-joined Russia.

16.03.2019 - Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on Crimea

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on Crimea regarding “Fifth anniversary of the beginning of Russia’s occupation of Crimea: A blatant violation of international law” Distinguished Mr. President, At the outset let me express condolences to the friendly people of New Zealand regarding the disastrous events in Christchurch. We condemn this heinous crime. It should be investigated and any possible recurrences should be prevented. We hope that all the wounded will feel better and recover soon. There was a good storyteller Lewis Carrol. His most famous tale “Alice in Wonderland” tells us about a little girl who dreamt and thought it was real. I am having an impression that todays event is held by such “Alices” who tell us about their dreams. Their dreams are mainly scary and appalling.

14.03.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the UK position regarding humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria

Question: How would you comment on the UK position regarding humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria in the light of today’s International Donor Conference on Syria in Brussels? Answer: We have taken note of the FCO press release on the UK participation in this conference, stating that “humanitarian access to millions in need within Syria continues to be obstructed by the Syrian regime who routinely refuse requests from the UN and aid organisations to deliver aid”. These allegations are simply not true. In fact, the Syrian government makes every effort for delivering humanitarian aid to various parts of the country.

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