27 February 2020
Moscow: 19:43
London: 16:43

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725 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     717 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Foreign Ministry's demarche to the US Embassy in Russia

On July 18, Tim Richardson, a minister-counselor of the US embassy in Russia, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry of Russia to receive a strong protest in connection with US media and officials’ statements alleging that Russia denied visas to teachers at the Anglo-American School in Moscow. It was stressed that the statements are absolutely untrue and that, in reality, the situation is the opposite.

We reminded that this concerns the school under the US Embassy. The school operated at the US diplomatic mission since 1949 and was used for the education of US diplomats’ children, which was quite natural and never raised any questions.

However, in the 1990s, without agreement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, as prescribed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations for any foreign diplomatic mission department, the school moved to another building in another part of the city. Moreover, diplomats’ children turned out to be a small minority there. The school focused on providing educational services to anyone interested for a fee. Thus, the school became a commercial entity, which also contradicts diplomatic standards.

Yet, the teaching staff is still sent to Moscow by the US Department of State. The teachers arrive here with diplomatic passports, and diplomatic visas are requested for them. The US requests accreditation for them as administrative and technical employees of the embassy with all the immunities and privileges diplomatic staff are entitled to.

Over two years ago, the US launched a “visa war” against Russia’s diplomatic and consular missions in the United States. Washington has been delaying the issuing of visas to over 60 new employees of our diplomatic missions for months and even years. The number of entry denials is growing. This is being done consciously and intentionally in order to impede the rotation of the staff and hamper the normal operation of the Russian Embassy, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN in New York, and the Consulates General of Russia.

As a result, we were forced to resort to response measures in granting visas. Since Russian diplomatic staff are not allowed to enter the US, similar approach had to be applied to the entry of US personnel to Russia. This is done also for the purpose of securing visas for our secondary school teachers working at our embassy in Washington and at the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, which operate inside diplomatic missions and are not engaged in any commercial activities.

Once again, we stressed that it is the US that sends Anglo-American School teachers to Moscow as administrative and technical personnel of their embassy while at the same time denies entry to the US for the same type of personnel that work at our missions. There is no alternative for us except to literally charge a visa for a visa.  

This is why the statements that Russia denied entry visas to US teachers is a blatant lie. We did not deny visas to anyone. On the contrary, we are ready to issue visas to all US mission staff working in our country, including school teachers, as soon as possible on condition that Washington displays the same attitude towards Russian personnel.

We have many times reached out to the US State Department with proposals to settle the visa issues, but always met with a refusal. The ball is still in the US’ court. Complaints over the delay of teachers’ arrival at the school affiliated with the US embassy should be addressed to Washington rather than Moscow.

It is completely up to the US authorities to unblock the visa process. They need to stop the practice of visa denials. We have long called for this.


20.02.2020 - Comment by the Embassy on the latest groundless British claims of Russia’s alleged involvement in cyberattacks

On 20 February, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab made an official statement, according to which “with the highest level of probability, the GRU carried out large-scale, disruptive cyber-attacks against a range of Georgian web hosting providers and resulted in websites being defaced, including sites belonging to the Georgian Government, courts, NGOs, media and businesses, and also interrupted the service of several national broadcasters”. It is emphasized that “the UK, Georgia and the international partners have exposed” this fact.

15.02.2020 - Embassy hosts conference on Russian language

On 15 February 2020 the Embassy hosted a conference on the situation with the Russian language in UK that brought together heads of Russian studies at British schools in London, Hampton, Oxford and Ware. The event was co-organised together with the Russian language teachers’ society UK.

14.02.2020 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to media question on allegations against Russia with regard to persecution of Christians

Question: How would you comment on the statement mentioning Russia’s “violations” made by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the FCO H.Wheeler on February 6 at the debate in the House of Commons on persecution of Christians? Answer: This statement is ill-advised and could not be further from the truth. Christians make up the majority of Russian believers. Hundreds of new churches are being built. The Russian Orthodox Church is actively engaging in public discussions on socially significant issues. Most favourable conditions have been created for exercising the freedom of belief for other Christian denominations as well as non-Christians.

10.02.2020 - Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin meets Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Christopher Pincher

On 10 February H.E. Ambassador Andrei Kelin met with The Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas at the FCO.

06.02.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following talks with Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón, Mexico City, February 6, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister and his delegation to Mexico is coming to an end. I believe the visit was very fruitful. We held highly constructive and useful talks with my Mexican counterpart, Mr Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón. As you may know, the ties between our two nations have a long history. They were officially established 130 years ago: next December will see their anniversary and we have arranged with our Mexican colleagues today to celebrate this memorial date fittingly.

09.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement for the media following talks between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul, January 8, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Today, in addition to the launch ceremony for the TurkStream gas pipeline that you witnessed, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan held intensive bilateral talks. They adopted a joint statement following the talks. I would like to highlight several points of this document.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the latter’s initiative.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu.

04.01.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the death of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani

We were concerned to learn of the death of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US military strike on Baghdad airport.

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