21 September 2020
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932 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     924 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.


11.09.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin presents former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation

On 10 September 2020, Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin hosted the former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley at his residence to present him with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation awarded for his outstanding work in promoting the WorldSkills Russia movement.

07.09.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin meets with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Director General Thomas Drew

On 7 September 2020, Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Director General Thomas Drew discussed the situation regarding the hospitalisation of Alexei Navalny. The British side has called for an investigation of the case. The Ambassador stressed that voicing unsubstantiated accusations and politicising an essentially medical and legal matter was unacceptable.

25.07.2020 - "Concerning the sensational report on Russia". Article from News Agency "RIA Novosti", 23 July 2020

The report was prepared before last year’s general election, but its publication was long delayed by the ruling Conservatives, and opponents of Boris Johnson accused him of doing it specifically to downplay the Russian threat and prevent his party from losing credibility. Now, however, the report, written in part by well-known retired MI-5 employee Christopher Style (creator of the file on Trump’s “Russian contacts”), has been published. The British press has been disappointed: there is no proof of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum (although they cannot understand how the British voted to leave the EU when most of the political elite, almost all of the press and the City were against it), although there are rumours of attempts to influence the Scottish independence referendum. This, however, is London’s point of view; from Moscow’s perspective, the report is sensational, because its authors’ conclusions are the best evidence that the British powers-that-be are prepared to work in the Kremlin’s interests. Style and Browder (another co-author of the report) do not in fact understand this, but this is the skill of the so-called KGB heirs’ game. But let’s start at the beginning.

16.07.2020 - The Human Rights Situation in Ukraine - Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

The human rights situation in Ukraine continues to degrade. The Kyiv authorities adopt legislative acts contrary to the rules of national law and international obligations. Human rights activists document systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Referring to the need to combat the so-called Russian aggression and separatism, political opponents, independent journalists, media outlets, and undesirable members of public organizations are being prosecuted. The rights of internally displaced persons, the Russian-speaking population, and representatives of national minorities are limited. The clergy and parishioners of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being prosecuted. The right to liberty and security of person is not respected. In Ukraine, there are numerous facts of illegal detention, torture, intimidation, ill-treatment, sexual violence, including to obtain confessions or compel cooperation.

16.07.2020 - Embassy comment concerning today’s unfriendly statements by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

The Embassy has noted the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab concerning unspecified “Russian actors” who have “almost certainly” sought to interfere in 2019 UK General Election through “online amplification” of sensitive documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as the alleged responsibility of “Russian Intelligence Services” for cyber attacks aimed at stealing research information on coronavirus vaccine development.

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.

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