20 April 2021
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London: 17:40

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1143 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1135 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

20.11.2020

Normandy Summit on Ukraine: one year on

During the recent visit of Ukrainian President Zelensky to London the UK Government did not spare words to reiterate its full support for Ukrainian reforms and territorial integrity. New calls were made for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the premise being that it is Russia and “Russia-backed separatists” who hamper the political process. Yet the reality is quite the opposite. We believe it is important to set the record straight: the Minsk Agreements and political engagements based on them are being persistently and deliberately ignored by Ukraine itself (with the connivance and, often, encouragement of its Western backers).

Consider the meeting on 9 December 2019 in Paris between presidents Macron, Putin, Zelensky and Chancellor Merkel in what is known as the “Normandy” format. The summit conclusions identified 7 steps to be taken, including immediate measures to stabilise the situation as well as those related to the general political process. They were supposed to be negotiated and implemented by April 2020. Today, almost a year since, only two decisions have been implemented, and then only partially. Taking stock of nearly a year of work in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk, it is fair to say Ukraine carries full responsibility for this lamentable lack of progress.

Let’s take the measures envisaged, one by one:

1. full and comprehensive ceasefire – partially implemented: agreed by TCG on 22 July 2020 and started on 27 July 2020. Yet OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has reported around 1600 ceasefire violations from August to October;

2. updated demining plan – not implemented: 19 demining areas are under consideration, but none of them has been approved by the Ukrainian side;

3. agreement on 3 additional disengagement areas – not implemented: even 4 such areas are currently being discussed within the TCG, but Kiev remains reluctant to agree;

4. release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year 2019 on the basis of the principle of “all for all” – partially implemented: 200 persons were released on 29 December 2019 and 34 on 16 April 2020. Yet a large number of people continue to be detained. Kiev has not fully implemented its commitment to clear the released detainees of all charges;

5. agreement on new crossing points along the line of contact – not implemented: this year two checkpoints (Schastye and Zolotoye) have been discussed, with Kiev initially reluctant to give the relevant security guarantees and now delaying the construction itself;

6. settlement of legal aspects related to the special status for certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements – far from being implemented: Kiev has been continuously evading and neglecting this crucial political provision; 

7. legislative incorporation of the so-called ”Steinmeier formula“, which links granting the special status to Donbass with holding free and fair elections there, – agreed by President Zelensky on October 2019, but still not implemented.

Above all, authorities in Kiev continue to question the Minsk Agreements as such, distort their provisions and the sequence of steps to be taken. Ukraine is flouting dialogue with its own regions through the TCG, continuing to pretend that talks are to be held with Russia. This policy can only be explained as being aimed at derailing the political process. One can only guess what alternatives Kiev is contemplating.

It is important that Western partners and sponsors continue to work with Ukraine, mobilizing the political will of the ruling class to implement all the Minsk and Paris commitments. A new Normandy summit is not a panacea – conclusions agreed in Paris must be implemented first. Instead, we are witnessing unconditional statements of support coupled with military assistance of various kinds. This is not the kind of signals that should be sent to hot heads in Kiev if we are to see a negotiated solution to the protracted crisis.




LATEST EVENTS

16.04.2021 - Embassy comment on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office statement concerning “Russia’s malign cyber activity”

We consider the FCDO statement of 15 April on “malign activity by Russian intelligence services in cyberspace” as nothing but an attempt to play along with the US, which as usually try to put a blame on Russia while obviously failing to ensure their own cyber security.


31.03.2021 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess

Question: Newly appointed to lead the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, Baroness Hallet has announced her plans to examine the Russian state’s involvement in poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury as part of the inquest. Any comments? Answer: We see it as a confirmation of our earlier conclusion that the situation with regard to these tragic events would evolve according to the Litvinenko Case scenario. Regular investigation and regular use of existing international legal instruments (since there have been Russian nationals affected) is being substituted with a quasi-judicial procedure. It does not formally pertain to the incident in Salisbury as such, yet would undoubtedly be used to support again and again the groundless accusations against Russia made by the British authorities.


11.03.2021 - Embassy demarche on the UK anti-Russian activity in the information sphere

On 10 March 2021, the Embassy undertook a demarche to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regarding the leaked FCDO-related documents that reveal a large-scale campaign being performed by the UK Government aimed at exercising systematic influence on the Russian-language media space.


04.03.2021 - Embassy comment on the third anniversary of the Salisbury incident

Three years have now passed since the highly publicized incident in Salisbury. So far we have learnt little on what really happened. The British authorities laid the blame on Russia for an alleged use of chemical weapons on the British soil. Such a serious accusation however was not backed by any facts, proof or other sort of relevant information. Being ungrounded, it cannot be considered credible.


17.02.2021 - Joint Statement by the Representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in the Astana format, Sochi, 16-17 February 2021

The representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as guarantors of the Astana format: 1. Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that these principles should be universally respected and complied with;


13.02.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with the Solovyov Live YouTube channel, February 12, 2021

Russia has its own views on global developments and we openly express them and take practical actions to uphold them, unlike a huge number of other countries who have their own views too but keep mum. The West doesn’t like this so it chose aggressive deterrence of Russian Federation. Sanctions are imposed by the West in order to feel satisfaction from the act of meting out “punishment”. But sanctions lead nowhere and cannot result in a change in our course on upholding Russia’s national interests.


22.01.2021 - On the situation around Alexei Navalny

Mr Navalny was detained, in full accordance with the law, for violating the terms of probation. He was convicted for fraud back in 2014, and the European Court on Human Rights dismissed his claim that the case was politically motivated. He was released on probation, but neglected to comply with its conditions even before his alleged “poisoning” last August. He was not bothered during his hospital stay, but after the discharge he continued to break probation rules and ignored the warnings of penitentiary authorities, which led to his current detention. He is not a “political prisoner”, but a common criminal, who flaunted the law to look like a victim for political gains.


17.12.2020 - President Vladimir Putin's reply to a BBC question during his annual news conference Moscow, 17 December 2020

Steve Rosenberg, BBC News: Mr President, ‘a new Cold War’ is an expression that one can hear more and more often when it comes to Russia-West relations. And we hear Russia regularly blame external forces for these tensions. It may be America, or Britain, or Nato. But after having been at the helm of power for 20 years, don’t you believe that you are at least partly responsible for the deplorable state of those relations, especially if one recalls Russia’s actions over the recent years, from annexing Crimea to using a chemical weapon on British soil, in Salisbury? Or are you not? Are Russian authorities ‘white and fluffy’? And when it comes to chemical weapons – have you read the Bellingcat report that sets out in detail that the attack on Alexey Navalny was orchestrated by the Russian State? Thank you.


11.12.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin welcomed the participants of the Westminster Russia Forum

Ambassador Andrei Kelin welcomed the participants of the Westminster Russia Forum. This year the event was held online due to coronavirus restrictions. His Excellency noted that for many years the forum has been an independent platform uniting everyone, no matter what their political views are, who would like to build up Russia-UK ties.


10.11.2020 - Embassy reply to BBC Radio 4 regarding its podcast series “Intrigue. Mayday” on the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier

Referring to the subject of the BBC Series – White Helmets and James Le Mesurier – the Russian position is well-founded. Vast amounts of evidence on the ground as well as intelligence information which Russia has at its disposal unequivocally point to direct links between the White Helmets and terrorist organisations operating in Syria.



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