17 July 2018
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29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning statements of British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow for BBC Russian

Question: British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow has told BBC Russian that the British authorities stand by the decisions made in March against Russia in the aftermath of the Salisbury incident, despite the fact that, as he put it, the Met Police investigation is still in progress. What is Russia’s assessment of what happened in Salisbury? Is there any prospect of cooperation with the British side in the future? Answer: As we have said on numerous occasions, the Russian side has nothing to do with the Salisbury incident. As a responsible State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Russia immediately offered the British authorities cooperation in accordance with Article IX of the Convention and, following a subsequent refusal, sent via official channels a proposal to hold a joint investigation of the incident. Moreover, the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office filed two requests with the Home Office for legal assistance on the criminal case on the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal. We are yet to receive an answer from the British authorities to either of these inquiries or proposals.

29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerningthe British Medical Association’s statement on handling of the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the statement of the annual meeting of the British Medical Association in Brighton criticising the British government for the failure to establish adequate communication following the Salisbury incident? Answer: We have carefully studied the statement of the BMA 2018 Annual Representative Meeting, which deplored “the delay of 12 days before advice on managing potential contact with an unknown toxic substance was produced to GPs” following the Salisbury incident, the “failure to establish a dedicated poisons helpline” and a “register of all those who were possible contacts with the toxic substance”. Such delay has not prevented the British political leadership from declaring Russia responsible for the incident and arbitrarily expelling 23 diplomats from the Embassy. Instead of making real efforts to prevent further contamination, the British authorities, as it turns out, were busy distorting facts to support their politisiced accusations against Russia.

29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on the outcome of the Ukraine Reform Conference, attended by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Q: What is your assessment of the results of the Ukraine Reform Conference, recently held in Copenhagen and attended by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson? A: The need for political reforms in Ukraine along with solutions to its security, economy and humanitarian problems is well-documented and has been particularly noted during the last “Normandy” meeting in Berlin. From this point of view, one could only welcome the Ukraine Reform Conference. However, we cannot agree with the way the Foreign Secretary has interpreted the results of the conference. Instead of undeservedly hailing Ukraine’s government, Mr Johnson should better provide a public and objective assessment of the internal political situation in Ukraine and Kiev's abuses against its own people. As we know, ethnic and cultural nationalism is being fostered in the country. The discriminating provisions of the Law on Education, which has made the position of not only the country’s Russian but also Hungarian, Romanian and Polish population vulnerable, have not been invalidated. The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate continue to be harassed. Ethnic and religious crimes are reported almost every day. Lots of NGOs working in Ukraine have sounded alarm bells over the increased number of far-right nationalist attacks on ethnic minorities.

28.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on assigning attributive functions to the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons

Q: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has hailed the decision taken at the special session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to assign attributive functions to the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons. How does Russia assess this decision? A: Indeed, London and its allies have, by using political manipulation and outright blackmail, managed to push through this decision, inappropriately assigning to the OPCW Secretariat the power to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We believe this decision to be illegitimate. We are compelled to note that, in taking this decision, the Conference of States Parties went beyond its mandate. The OPCW was created to address clearly defined tasks of technical assistance to national programmes of destructing chemical weapons’ stockpiles. In order to expand its mandate, it is necessary to amend the Convention, especially since there is a corresponding mechanism in place, suitable for all States Parties.

28.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer's reply to a media question concerning reports that UK government will buy Sergei Skripal and Nick Bailey's houses

Question: According to media reports, the houses of Sergei Skripal and Det Sgt Nick Bailey, as well as their other property, which was allegedly contaminated as a result of the Salisbury poisoning, will be purchased by the British authorities for £1 mln of taxpayers' money. How could you comment on that? Answer: We have sent another note to the FCO, requesting to confirm or to deny this information, circulated on 24 June by The Sunday Times with reference to Whitehall officials. We have suggested that the British side should clarify further measures they are planning to undertake as regards this property, in case the intention to purchase it is confirmed. We have reminded that any measures in relation to the contaminated facilities in Salisbury, whether Sergei Skripal’s house, The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant, that would effectively result in their destruction, would only strengthen our conclusion that the British authorities are deliberately trying to make a transparent and joint investigation impossible.

25.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the recent visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury? Answer: We have learned about the visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury from media reports, according to which His Royal Highness met with local people, as well as hospital and police staff, including Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who had contributed to the investigation and medical treatment of Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal. On 22 June the Embassy set forth its position on the Salisbury incident in a letter to His Royal Highness: Russia has nothing to do with the incident, and continues to demand access to the investigation and to the victims, who are Russian citizens. Regrettably, the British authorities have either ignored such requests or denied the access, thus blatantly violating international law.

25.06.2018 - PHOTO: Agricultural Attaché Derbenskiy visits the Royal Highland Show 2018

On 21 June 2018 the Agricultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy Vladimir Derbenskiy visited the Royal Highland Show 2018, one of the most important exhibitions in the Scottish agricultural industry.

24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.

22.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Russia

Question: How would you comment on the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg circulated by the British media concerning alleged Russia’s involvement in the Salisbury incident? Answer: Mr Stoltenberg’s allegation that Russia “has no qualms about using military-grade nerve agents on our streets” is blatant and reckless disinformation misleading British people and the international community. If Mr Stoltenberg has any proof, he must present it immediately. Until he does so, his assertions are nothing but unsubstantiated allegations supported neither by facts nor by evidence.

20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.

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