26 September 2021
Moscow: 16:22
London: 14:22

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1302 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1294 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Russia's MFA Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the situation concerning BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford.

The official London, as represented by Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton and the UK’s diplomatic mission in Moscow, have chosen to link the non-renewal of the Russian visa and accreditation for BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford with “the deteriorating situation with media freedom in Russia,” cynically turning the whole situation on its head. We have to state that these assertions are false.

Moreover, they reveal a tight propaganda nexus linking the British Foreign Office and the BBC, which is sponsored by the British government: the factual part is hushed up and replaced by groundless accusations and Russophobic clichés.

Now that the British side has once again been caught red-handed as it spread disinformation in Russia, we can recount the real background of this story. Actually, both the official London and the BBC are perfectly aware of it. In fact, this is a practical example of what was contained in the so-called British Files, which surfaced online six months ago: London’s funding, via the Foreign Office, of suitable media outlets to spread their propaganda using their network.

The tale goes back to the summer of 2019, when a Russian news agency correspondent and his family had to leave the United Kingdom after waiting for a eighteen months to have their visa renewed. They never got either the visa or an explanation of why they were treated this way.

This was done despite their strict compliance with all British legal requirements. Attempts by the Russian media outlet to send other correspondents to replace him also failed: the UK rejected their visa applications, again without giving any explanation.

Russian officials of different levels have repeatedly said that such an approach is unacceptable and warned that that we will not tolerate it. We urged our colleagues to reconsider their discriminatory treatment of the Russian news agency in particular and the Russian media in general. We pointed out that otherwise we would have no choice but to respond in kind. Rather than hearing our insistent recommendations, London continued to escalate tensions by adopting a series of absolutely groundless personal sanctions against Russian nationals.

Let me stress again: unlike the British initiative, this step is being taken by Russia purely as a response. It has nothing to do with restricting the freedom of speech.

The decision regarding the British correspondent matches London’s action described above in relation to her Russian colleagues. Therefore, Sarah Rainsford has only her own compatriots to thank for her forthcoming departure from Russia.

In our view, upon her return home, she should also investigate how well the Russian journalist’s case and the general discrimination against the Russian media on the British soil correspond to the high ideals of media freedom our British colleagues unashamedly preach. Moreover, they go so far as reproach us for neglecting them. This is not just about regular repressions and slander against Russian media outlets. The practice of denying Russian journalists accreditation to various events has become routine (in 2019 alone Sputnik correspondents were not allowed to cover the Conservative Party’s conference and, funnily enough, the Global Conference for Media Freedom).

Russian media outlets are not only accused, without the slightest grounds, of spreading disinformation; they are threatened with having their bank accounts closed and their property seized (the authoritative Times reported on such calls from Scotland’s legislature in 2018.) Deliberate disclosure of our journalists’ personal data is now the new normal (also done by The Times). Meanwhile, the attitude towards Russian journalists in the UK is bordering on obnoxious, though this is fairly common in the Anglo-Saxon world.

We once again suggest that London should revise its policy of replacing media freedom with propaganda and stop its practice of pressurising the media and discriminating against journalists. And the culmination of the story. Sarah told journalists: “I’ve been told that I can’t come back, ever.”

First, she wasn’t told this. A journalist, even a British one, who has lived, according to her own estimates, a third of her life in Russia, ought to understand the difference between “never come back” and “recall the journalist visa and accreditation indefinitely.” Actually, we have long become accustomed to such manipulation with information.

Second, once the Russian correspondent is issued a visa, so will Sarah. This is exactly what we proposed by urging London to resolve the visa deadlock for journalists.


21.09.2021 - Embassy comment on the new ‘development’ in the investigation of the Salisbury incident

It is worth noting that immediately after the incident in Salisbury Russia suggested that a comprehensive and transparent cooperation by law enforcement agencies of the two countries would allow to establish the facts of what had happened. Instead, the UK chose to conduct investigation unilaterally and behind closed doors. Now, we hear once again that yet another Russian national was, as a ‘member of the GRU’, allegedly involved in the attempted murder. Just as was the case with earlier claims made during this investigation, neither the public nor Russia have been provided with concrete evidence. To present the fact of a certain individual entering or leaving the UK on particular dates in March 2018 as a newly obtained information is nothing but laughable.

21.09.2021 - Embassy comment on the British reaction to the Russian State Duma elections

It is symptomatic that our British counterparts plainly ignore the many positive developments in our electoral system. These include online voting used for the first time at the national level, as well as new steps taken to strengthen the system of civic control over elections, including observers at polling stations, live video streaming, speedy publication of results by polling station. Rather than recognising these achievements of the civil society, the UK continues with hollow claims of ‘undermining political plurality’ and ‘holding of elections on Ukraine’s sovereign territory’.

24.08.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the meeting of the so-called Crimea Platform in Kiev

We have taken note of an event that was held in Kiev on August 23 and was entitled a “Crimea Platform Summit.” The stated aim of this political project, developed with active involvement of government experts from the United States, the UK and the European Union and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, is “the de-occupation of Crimea and its reintegration with Ukraine.” The participants involved are just right for this goal – mainly being NATO countries and some international organisations sharing a common delusion that the Crimean Peninsula should be part of the current Ukrainian state and that it can be torn away from the Russian Federation by increasing political and economic pressure on Russia.

21.08.2021 - Embassy comment on new sanctions imposed by UK

We took notice of the new personal sanctions imposed by the UK on the Russian nationals for what is claimed to be ‘their direct responsibility for the poisoning of Alexey Navalny’. It is indicative indeed that sanctions are being rubber-stamped in a process which is completely detached from actual facts and looks like a formality, a way to ‘mark anniversaries’.

20.08.2021 - Press release on the anniversary of “Alexey Navalny case”

August 20 marks one year since the emergency hospitalisation of Russian blogger Alexey Navalny in Omsk - an incident which, through the purposeful efforts of a group of Western states, was raised to the level of an international event, which led to the bringing of unsubstantiated charges against Russia for allegedly using a “chemical warfare agent” on its territory. At the same time, the actions taken by the FRG authorities and their allies over the past 12 months clearly show that that a pre-planned provocation was carried out against our country to discredit the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community and to damage its national interests.

19.08.2021 - Human rights situation in the United Kingdom. Report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2021

The United Kingdom positions itself as the benchmark in promotion and protection of human rights while neglecting principles of sovereign equality of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. Teaching others how to behave and repeating trite age-old clichés, London tries to disguise its own problems, including comfortable existence of organizations with neoNazi ideologies, increase in racist acts, discrimination of ethnic minorities in many areas of public life, abuse of powers and use of torture by law enforcement officials. This list is far from exhaustive. Besides, crimes of British soldiers against civilians during military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq remain unpunished.

17.08.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following a visit to the Kaliningrad Region, Kaliningrad, August 17, 2021

Question: You had a meeting with freight carriers today. What is the status of the Dubki-Rambinas checkpoint, when will it become operational and, in general, what problems did the carriers share with you? How can you help them? Sergey Lavrov: I discussed the state of affairs with the Governor and the President of the Association of International Road Carriers {ASMAP). Many issues under review were highly specific and purely technical. As we reiterated today, they are being considered by a special government commission chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov. The next meeting will be held in September. Today's meeting, which made it possible to sum up all our concerns, was quite timely. In a joint effort with our colleagues from the Kaliningrad Region Government and ASMAP, we will summarise these suggestions for further consideration by this commission.

29.06.2021 - Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, 28 June 2021

On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, signed on 16 July 2001, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, in order to continue the dynamic development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction in a new era, in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Treaty, declare as follows:

24.06.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security, Moscow, June 24, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow.

18.06.2021 - The Visa Centre in Manchester will resume its operation

Due to considerable number of requests of foreign nationals living far away from London the Visa Application Centre in Manchester will reopen on 23 June.

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