12 August 2020
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London: 05:16

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892 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     884 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

29.02.2020

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, update on Julian Assange, Moscow, February 27, 2020

As you know, hearings on his extradition to the United States started in London on February 24. We are all well aware of what will happen after this extradition, if it is carried out. There are many examples. Let me recall what happened to Maria Butina – 117 days of solitary confinement practically without any legal grounds.

Assange’s condition evokes more than just concern. International experts described his condition as critical. This is not because of age or simply poor health but to the long-term influence of psychological torture. I am quoting a UN expert. We must understand this. After all, this is 2020. This man has been subjected to psychological torture for a long time.

Local observers (in Britain) predict that this trial will be protracted and that a ruling will only be issued after several months, probably in May. Thus, a journalist that has already been basically imprisoned for over seven years continues to be subjected to punishment. In the event of extradition he may be sentenced to life imprisonment – up to 175 years.

The whole world has already qualified Assange’s case as a blow to the institution of investigative journalism and free and independent media, as a catastrophic attack on basic human rights. Such punitive measures as regards a journalist in the 21st century are absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful for the Western countries involved in this, that consider themselves democratic and free.

Commenting on this situation, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir directly urged the British authorities to not extradite the journalist in disgrace. As I said, a pattern has been established by the United States. The conveyor belt is running and will continue to roll. Human rights advocates have voiced concern over Assange’s health on numerous occasions. On February 17, Doctors4Assange published an open letter demanding an end to the psychological violence and medical negligence with regard to Assange. I am thinking that maybe William Browder should get involved. Perhaps it’s time for him to use his experience. All his power, influence and previous actions could be used to free Assange. Or, if this fails, he should demand that the involved countries, primarily Britain and the US impose sanctions against themselves.  

It is amazing that everything that is happening to Julian Assange is his payment for conscientious journalism and for fulfilling his civic duty. He shared with society the information at his disposal. But the position of the “independent” British media is even more shocking: instead of a real protest the British press just issues laconic reports. The Guardian is the only exception. It openly writes that the US is behind this case.

Let me repeat that if we still remember, I hope you did not forget how the absolutely obscure, mysterious case of the Skripals was covered by the British media, how states and individuals have been accused, how inappropriate assumptions were made without any grounds. In the Assange case everything is clear. There is an individual who is still alive albeit in critical condition. Probably the British media should do all it can to prevent this crime.

We urge the human rights community and the related international organisations to firmly express their position and to do what they can to see justice triumph in his case. Julian Assange is the victim of many crimes but the worst has not yet happened.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


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.



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