28 June 2022
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1577 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1569 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

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.
 
President Putin: I have already spoken today on the attack on the famous blogger. I can only add – and we have also repeately made it clear – that we are prepared to conduct an investigation. If anyone has information showing that a chemical weapon was used – in this case, Novichok, as they keep saying – we are asking you: give that information to us please. We have proposed for our experts to be dispatched on the ground, to Germany, to Sweden, to France, so as to tackle this problem together with colleagues. Alternatively, we are asking you to come to us, to bring the biological materials, or at least to provide us with an official report. Steven, can you explain why, despite the numerous requests made by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, we haven’t yet been provided even an official report? German authorities have tranferred the whole file to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They [OPCW] do not provide us with anything either, saying that Germany has prohibited them to give out any information. And Germany is saying: you are welcome to get all the information at OPCW. Can you explain that, Steven? Why are we not provided with an official report on Novichok use?
 
Steve Rosenberg: Are you asking me?
 
President Putin: Yes, I am.
 
Steve Rosenberg: Well, I am a journalist, I am asking questions and you are replying.
 
President Putin: OK, please accept my apologies, and I will continue my answer to your question. Let’s consider that question of mine to remain hanging in the air. Regarding whether we are ‘white and fluffy’ and whether we feel any responsibility for what is going on – I feel responsibility for what is happening with Russia and its people, and I will do everything that is in the interests of the Russian Federation. This is also true regarding the return of Crimea into our Russian State. Let me draw your attention to the fact that this was done on the basis of people’s will. In Kosovo, the parliament took a decision [on independence], and you swallowed it and said that that was the right and democratic thing to do. In Crimea, people came to a referendum and voted, yet you don’t like it for some reason. Let me remind you that democracy means power of the people. One needs to either recognize it or to renounce that term, globally. Crimeans are subjected to various sanctions. For what are you introducing sanctions against them? If this was an annexation, then they are not guilty of anything – why are they being punished? And if this was not an annexation but a result of a vote, then this must be recognized as democracy and they must be left in peace, and the claims against Russia over an ‘annexation’ must stop.
 
Now as regards whether we are ‘white and fluffy’. Compared to you – yes, that’s the case, we are white and fluffy. Countries and peoples that wanted to develop independently, we agreed to free them from certain Soviet diktat. We heard and heeded your assurances that Nato would not expand eastwards. But you have not delivered on your promises. Right, those were unwritten assurances, but oral ones including on the part of Nato. But you haven’t done anything. There have been two waves of [Nato] enlargement, and Nato’s military infrastructure is coming closer to our borders. Are we supposed not to react?
 
Was it Russia who abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty? It was not us, but we are compelled to react by creating new weapon systems that eliminate the threats that we are facing. Then, our colleagues left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Was it us? No, these were our US partners. Then we told them: well, we will not produce or deploy that kind of weapons until US weapons [of that kind] appear in Europe. Nobody is replying or reacting to this.
 
Thereafter, they left the Open Skies Treaty. What are we supposed to do? Shall we leave everything as it is? So that you, being a Nato member, would fly over our us and transfer everything [the imagery] to the Americans, while we would not have that opportunity with regard to US territory.
 
You are smart people, aren’t you? Then why do you think that we are idiots? Why do you think that we cannot analyze this kind of basics?
 
There are other issues that we are concerned with. We have to react to them. Today, the ‘New Start’ Treaty is under threat of being discontinued. If that happens, no limits will remain when it comes to an arms race, nothing at all. We have been, and continue calling upon our [US] partners to extend that Treaty at least by one year, so as to allow us a year to hold substantive negotiations (to use a diplomatic catchphrase) over how to proceed further. We realise that Russia has acquired modern weapon systems, hypersonic ones, that nobody in the world possesses. We fully recognize this, and we are not against taking this into account [in the negotiations]. But so far, nobody is talking to us on that. Similar systems are being developed by European countries, by Britain, by the United States. We are open for negotiations, but nobody is conducting any with us. So this may help you to figure out who is ‘white and fluffy’ and who is ‘thorny and aggressive’.
 
We have two or three [military] bases, and then only in areas prone to terrorist threat, namely in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Syria. And what about the other side, I mean the United States? A huge network all around the world! Do you know the size of our defence budget? 46 billion [US dollars]. Britain is way ahead. The US has 770 billion. Russia is something like sixth in the world by defence expenditure. The US, China, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, Japan – they are all ahead of us.
 
So who is ‘white and fluffy’ and who is aggressive? Aggressive, certainly not us. Maybe we are not spotless, but on any account, quite respectable and inclined to have dialogue and find compromise solutions. I’d like to recall the words of Leopold the Cat from one our cartoons: ‘Guys, let’s all get along!’.




LATEST EVENTS

28.06.2022 - Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine (June 28, 2022)

On June 27, in Kremenchug (Poltava region), Russian Aerospace Forces launched a high-precision air attack at hangars with armament and munitions delivered by USA and European countries at Kremenchug road machinery plant. High-precision attack has resulted in the neutralisation of west-manufactured armament and munitions concentrated at the storage area for being delivered to Ukrainian group of troops in Donbass.


27.06.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article on the 30th anniversary of the Organisation of Black Sea Economic Cooperation published in the International Affairs journal on June 17, 2022

BSEC: Riding the waves of opportunity to the seas of common prosperity


22.06.2022 - Press release on threats to global food security and Ukrainian grain supplies to international markets

As far as the blockage of Ukrainian grain shipments by sea is concerned, we emphasise that Russia has never hindered the export of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. In reality, safe navigation in Ukrainian territorial waters and the use of ports are currently impossible due to the high level of danger posed by mines and threat of shelling created by Kiev.


14.06.2022 - Foreign Ministry Statement on personal sanctions on UK citizens in the media and the defence lobby

In response to the British government’s anti-Russia actions to impose personal sanctions on our country’s leading journalists and heads of defence companies,Russiahas included senior executives and correspondents from a number of major British media, as well as representatives of the command of the armed forces, the defence industry, and theUKdefence lobby on the Russian “stop list.”


14.06.2022 - Embassy comment on the recent events in Donbass, 14 June 2022

Over the weekend we witnessed a dramatic increase in Ukrainian forces shelling of the city of Donetsk. The Mayor of Donetsk, Mr Alexey Kulemzin, has reported that on 13 June indiscriminate artillery strikes of the city centre lasted over 6 hours, killing at least 5 and wounding 33 civilians. The intensity of fire, with over 700 rockets and shells falling over the peaceful city and other towns and villages of the Donetsk People’s Republic, amounts to a full-fledged and purposeful military operation. In the recent days, bombardments covered a number of purely civilian areas and targets, including Vishnevskiy maternity hospital and Mayskiy market. Deliberate targeting and shelling of civilian objects is a war crime.


01.06.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions following a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Riyadh, June 1, 2022

The main conclusion from the assessment of the geopolitical situation is that one group of countries must not be allowed to establish domination in the world. Unfortunately, our Western partners have made this an absolute priority. They are openly announcing the need for a unipolar world order that they call “a rules-based order.” But it is the West that is drafting these rules (and they do not hide this). In their opinion, others do not have this right.


29.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with French TV channel TF1, Moscow, May 29, 2022

Sergey Lavrov: Unlike our Western colleagues, we are not chasing after the external effects. Nor do we regard the international actions we take as aimed at winning someone’s approval or achieving success, as you said. We are doing what we are forced to do. We are defending people and the Russian language, which has been exposed to direct discrimination and aggression by the Poroshenko and Zelensky regimes in Ukraine. We are defending Ukraine from nazification, which has persisted there for years, with the West’s direct connivance.


27.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 38th meeting of the Foreign Ministry’s Council of the Heads of Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation, Moscow, May 27, 2022

Colleagues, We are holding a regular meeting of the Foreign Ministry’s Council of the Heads of Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation. The meeting is taking place against the background of the special military operation in Ukraine, which is being conducted in connection with the tasks set by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, tasks involving the protection of civilians, the elimination of the Ukraine-posed security threats to the Russian Federation, and the denazification of this kindred country whose people have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of a regime which encourages extreme neo-Nazi sentiments and practices.


23.05.2022 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions as part of the 100 Questions for the Leader project at the Yevgeny Primakov School, Moscow, May 23, 2022

I am glad to see you. My visits here are not frequent, but they are regular. And each time, I feel energised. Tomorrow, the eleven-formers will have to choose their path in life. It will not be long before the rest of you (the eight- to ten-formers) will also find yourselves at the same threshold. It is important to understand the substance of your life, the future substance of our society’s life within the framework of the professional trends that will be a factor in your employment and careers. In addition to my meetings with students at schools, I regularly meet with MGIMO students. They keep those engaging in practical politics on their toes. Policy-making should be approached in such a way as to enable our successors to see prospects and understand that the course mapped by their predecessors meets their interests.


20.05.2022 - Embassy comment on recent accusations against Russia of creating a threat of a global food crisis

Recent accusations against Russia of creating a threat of a global food crisis by not letting cargo ships with grain out of Odessa and other Ukrainian ports have nothing to do with reality. The situation in the Black Sea is at the centre of attention of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), headquartered here in London.



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