15 July 2020
Moscow: 21:12
London: 19:12

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

864 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     856 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Meeting on Syria

Mr. President,

We thank Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock for their briefings.

Mr. President,

Frankly speaking, we again have a feeling of deja vu. We heard same calls and laments many times already, when reconciliation of Eastern Aleppo and Ghouta was in progress. However, let me ask why the “humanitarian troika” did not hurry to convene a Security Council meeting, when the so-called coalition was razing Baghouz and Hajin to the ground? Back then civilians died, air strikes destroyed civil infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. What about Raqqa? Almost no one bothered about the fate of this city that in fact was destroyed.

Let us recall what happened in Raqqa. This is never unnecessary, especially since this is something one prefers not to hear about and would like to forget. We recommend to get acquainted with the publication by Amnesty International – a global human rights watchdog. This publication speaks about events that took place two years ago. Human rights advocates accomplished painstaking and thorough work which resulted in them stating that after thousands of indiscriminate strikes of air forces and artillery of the so-called coalition and its allies, over 1500 civilians died, 11 thousand buildings and infrastructure facilities were ruined. Let me remind that our Western partners used to claim that the operation in Raqqa had been nearly the most precise air campaign in history. They took responsibility for the death of only 159 people.

It is time double standards regarding what is going on in Syria were abandoned. For example, we encounter moralizing about Rukban, though all the problems of Rukban have to do with militants from "Mahavir as-Saura" who, with the acquiescence of the U.S., prevent IDPs from voluntarily leaving the camp and restrict their rights. As of May 15, 12 thousand people had left Rukban. We hope our American colleagues will change their nonconstructive approach or better yet – stop the illegal occupation of a part of sovereign Syrian territory. In any case, the occupying state is responsible for the population residing in the occupied areas according to the Geneva conventions. This is not politicizing of the issue of Rukban. Geneva conventions are the groundwork of the international humanitarian law. To pre-empt the comment that might be coming, let me say that no fight against terrorism can justify occupation.

In contrast to Rukban, we see no lamenting and no concerns about pitiful humanitarian state of affairs in IDP camp “Al-Houl” in the North-East of Syria, which is out of control of the Syrian authorities. The camp is overcrowded, there are women and children inside, their rights are violated, humanitarian aid is by far insufficient. Instead of helping to establish a standing flow from the Damascus-controlled territories, there are insistent attempts to organize deliveries of humanitarian aid through the non-transparent cross-border mechanism.

Mr. President,

We reject point blank any accusations of violating the international humanitarian law. Neither the Syrian army, nor the Russian Air-Space Forces carry out military action against civil population and infrastructure. Our target is terrorists - the thing some of you prefer to keep silent about.

Once again, we call upon the UN Secretariat and specialized agencies, including WHO not to hurry and throw into the public space unverified information about civilian casualties and damage to the civilian infrastructure. Data should come from credible non-politicized sources and it should be carefully double-checked to determine, i.a. if the facilities that were allegedly stricken had gone through the deconfliction procedures. Instead of this, what we are treated to is data coming from “reliable sources”. When we ask to name those sources, you refuse. Are we speaking about the “heroic” White Helmets?

The Syrian government as well as the Russian representatives always try to prevent violence and settle situation peacefully whenever possible, even if it is about illegal armed formations. Reconciliation at the major part of the Syrian territory was achieved through negotiations.

In Idlib there is one impediment – unstopping aggression of terrorists from “Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham” that have provoked serious escalation of tension in the governorate. The militants continuously carry out attacks on the positions of governmental forces and shell at adjacent settlements. It is peaceful population and Syrian military that are victims of those attacks. Today we heard about people who died from missile strikes, but you shied away from saying that those civilians in Aleppo and Hama die from missiles launched by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. By the way, the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria received operative information verified by independent sources that terrorists from “Nusra” are planning another chemical provocation in Saraqib to subsequently blame Damascus for it.

On April 27 about 130 terrorists attacked defense location of the Syrian government in the vicinity of Suqaylabiyah in the North-West of Hama governorate. The Syrian army struck back, but sustained losses of 26 people who were killed and over 40 who were wounded. Over the first fortnight of May, attacks by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham killed 22 Syrian military servicemen and 4 civilians, and wounded approximately 100 people.

Provocations of jihadists pose a significant threat to security of Russian air base “Khmeimim” and the lives of our military. The militants make active use of multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and combat UAVs. Late in April and early in May terrorists used to fire rocket missiles at the air base. We downed 18 combat UAVs as they were approaching “Khmeimim”.

In response to such aggressive outings and provocations by terrorists from Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, on May 6-11 the Syrian governmental forces, supported by the Russian Air-Space Forces, had to take counter-measures to oust terrorists from the areas that they were stationed in as they fired at “Khmeimim” and the Syrian armed forces. Strikes were launched only against terrorists’ facilities identified as such by intelligence data. As a result, we managed to clear areas that housed the largest share of terrorists in the South of Idlib de-escalation zone. 

However, even after the Syrian forces terminated the military action, terrorists from Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham set forth their aggression. On May 13, two teams of people from illegal armed formations (650 militants in total), supported by the artillery, 10 tanks and 4 armored vehicles, attacked positions of the Syrian armed forces in proximity of Kafr Zeita and Suqaylabiyah which resulted in two Syrians dead and 9 more wounded.

Mr. President,

Russia reiterates unwavering commitment to agreements about stabilization in Idlib, including the Russian-Turkish memorandum dated September 17, 2018. At the moment the defense ministries of Russia and Turkey negotiate reliable stabilization for the North-West of Syria and eradication of the terrorist threat that comes from there. Let me emphasize, for those of you who raise concerns regarding what is going on in Idlib, actions of the Syrian army and of those who support it: this memorandum by no means says that terrorists should be spared. On the contrary, it reiterates the commitment of the signatories to counter terrorism. We refuse to take terrorists for “untouchables” and we will continue our fight against them despite laments coming from some of our partners.

We start thinking that someone just “covers up” for terrorists in Idlib to spare them for some unscrupulous purposes. Protection of the civil population serves as the main argument, despite the fact that we care about them not less than you do, and we realize that in fact they are hostages of terrorists who are taking roots in Idlib.

Instead of promoting specific self-serving agenda in Syria that seeks to change the regime, everyone should consolidate efforts to stabilize situation in SAR, collectively eradicate terrorism, embark on post-conflict building, and help refugees get back. I would like to return to our American colleagues the accusation of Russia destabilizing the region. We have different assessments of who used to and does de-stabilize the region. What is really important is to prevent escalation in the Persian Gulf related to growing disputes between the U.S. and Iran. This will give impetus to political settlement in the entire region; otherwise, it will plunge into chaos.

Russia will set forth efforts to bring peace back to Syria. We will do it in our national capacity, in our capacity of a Permanent Member of the Council, and also in the framework of “Astana troika” that has done more than any other format in terms of de-escalation and reduction of terrorist threat, expansion of humanitarian aid, and, most importantly, laying the groundwork for political process.

Thank you.

In response to the representative of Great Britain:

Thank you, Mr. President,

The distinguished representative of Great Britain asked a question that implied that representatives of Syria and Russia should answer it. The distinguished representative of Great Britain was absent from the room – for a good reason, I know this – when I was making my statement. I would like to say that we asked the very same question to representatives, for example, of the World Health Organization. We requested information about the medical facilities that had been destroyed and asked to name the sources of this information. Our request was rejected, on the pretext that disclosure might harm those who shared the data. That is why we are just as eager as you to learn the answer to this question.

By the way, you mentioned that given the “non-surgical” strikes that Russian Air-Space Forces allegedly launched against facilities in Idlib governorate, you would not like to get to a medical facility in Russia. I genuinely wish to you never to find yourself in any medical facility whatsoever, God forbid. However, in Russia there are very good medical centers. Should you need something – just let us know.

To sum up, if the WHO or other UN health organizations share with you any information about the sources of what we are discussing and you share it with us – we will very much appreciate it.

Thank you. 




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.

28.04.2020 - On the opening of the virtual exhibition project "Stalin – Churchill – Roosevelt: The Common Struggle Against Fascism" on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II

The virtual exhibition project Stalin – Churchill – Roosevelt: The Common Struggle Against Fascism, held on the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II, acquaints the public at large with the key documents and artifacts of the emergence of the anti-Hitler coalition during the war.

25.04.2020 - Joint statement by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Donald Trump commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the meeting on the Elbe

April 25, 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of the historic meeting between Soviet and American soldiers, who shook hands on the damaged bridge over the Elbe River. This event heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime. The meeting on the Elbe represented a culmination of tremendous efforts by the many countries and peoples that joined forces under the framework of the United Nations Declaration of 1942. This common struggle required enormous sacrifice by millions of soldiers, sailors, and citizens in multiple theaters of war.

09.04.2020 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry concerning the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, 8 April 2020

On April 8, 2010, the Russian Federation and the United States of America signed the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty). The Treaty was an important new step in developing Russia-US interaction to control nuclear weapons in the interests of strengthening international security and strategic stability.

all messages