21 октября 2016
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Letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph, published on 23 February 2015

SIR – You report, in accordance with the unfriendly statements of Michael Fallon, that the flights of Russian strategic bombers were, so the MoD said “unprecedented since the height of the Cold War”.

Russian planes do regularly fly to remote geographical areas and will continue to do so. This is required for personnel training and to verify aircraft capabilities. All flights are carried out in strict accordance with international regulations.

Flights of Russian military aircraft are often accompanied by jets from Nato countries and their partners. This is ordinary practice, and the level of public attention on the latest incidents in the vicinity of British airspace is overblown.

Military activity by Nato aircraft at Russian borders is far more intense, having doubled since early 2014 and reaching 3,000 sorties that year.

By way of comparison, Russian reconnaissance aircraft carried out just over 200 sorties over the Baltic Sea area from March to December 2014, compared to 125 over the same period in 2013.

The growing disparity between the actual situation and the official rhetoric of some Western leaders is not helpful for restoring trust, which is probably the main victim of the current crisis in relations between Russia and the West.

Dr Alexander Yakovenko
Ambassador of the Russian Federation


16.10.2016 - Syria. Who should be ashamed? (by Ambassador Yakovenko for The Observer)

The novel way of diplomacy, proposed by Foreign Secretary Johnson has so far materialized in a lone gentleman with a poster outside our Embassy – not something I would describe as a big diplomatic victory. But the very fact of having to resort to (non-existent) campaigners to make a point is, in my opinion, a sign of the state of Britain’s Syria policy. Some would say that Russia’s record on Syria has “also” been controversial – and here’s where I would strongly disagree.

05.10.2016 - Why Russia was forced to suspend PMDA (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia has suspended the implementation of the Russia-US plutonium management and disposition agreement (PMDA). The agreement was signed at a time when our relations with the US were on an upswing. There was considerable hope that the role of crude force in politics would decline, international tensions would lessen and the practice of politically motivated sanctions would become history.

05.10.2016 - Russian position on OPCW-UN JIM report on Syria (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Recently, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) has presented to the UN Security Council its third report, in which it concluded that the Syrian Armed Forces were allegedly involved in two cases of use of chemical weapons in Syria. While appreciating the significant amount of work done by the JIM and its experts, conclusions drawn by its Leadership Panel are hardly convincing. It has become obvious that due to objective reasons it had very little chance to conduct an effective investigation. One of the main problems was lack of access to the locations due to the dire security situation on the ground.

26.09.2016 - Who is rattling “nuclear sabre” in Europe? (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Some in the West have recently ratcheted up their rhetoric about Russia’s “nuclear sabre-rattling” in Europe. Indeed, the USSR did deploy nuclear weapons in the then countries of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. However, it was in response to the deployment of the similar US arms in the NATO countries, and later the Soviet nukes were completely withdrawn from Europe. Moreover, Russia has reduced its arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) by three-fourths, transferred them back home and stored within its own territory.

21.09.2016 - Migrant and refugee crisis: we need to address its root causes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Seeking solutions to the problem of migrants and refugees, fleeing their homes due to wars and domestic armed conflicts, is one of the pressing issues on the international agenda. We share the common opinion that the most reliable way to successfully resolve the refugee crisis is to address the causes. A successful response to migration challenges requires, first of all, prevention and settlement of conflicts through political means, coordinated efforts of the global community in political, socio-economic, humanitarian and other areas, as well as building interaction between humanitarian aid and development assistance. It is necessary to exclude external interference in internal issues by other countries, which turns civil conflicts into proxy wars.

25.08.2016 - Syrian settlement: setting the record straight (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

A grave humanitarian situation in Aleppo today is the most topical issue within the context of settlement in Syria. Over past two weeks, as the Syrian Government forces and Russian Air Force successfully resist the “Jabhat al-Nusra”-led offensive, there have been increased efforts by some media to distort the real situation in Aleppo. The terrorists, who seek to seize the whole city, are obviously not interested in a ceasefire and establishing humanitarian corridors for civilians caught up in the fighting. However, a large-scale humanitarian operation is under way, conducted by the Syrian Government with Russia’s assistance.

29.07.2016 - Russia-ASEAN: new level of cooperation (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The ASEAN countries remain Russia's primary focus in South-East Asia. Driven by the desire to have partners in developing trade and strengthening security in the region, Russia established relations with ASEAN in 1991 and in 1996 became a full-fledged dialogue partner. We accessed to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2004. A very important and powerful impetus was given to 20-year ASEAN-Russia cooperation after the Sochi Summit in May 2016.

17.06.2016 - ‘We definitely have to move in our relations with UK’ – Russia’s Ambassador to Britain Mr Alexander Yakovenko, for RT

Dr. Alexander Yakovenko: Basically, it was very important to understand where we stand in our relations with the EU. On the political side, we see a lot of difficulties. That has been the result of the policy of the EU in recent years; that is exactly what [Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov said. But there is another part of that, this is business. And most of the business people who are on the panel urged that something should be done in order to improve relations and send the right political signals. As one of the representatives said, ‘Europe and Russia are paying a very high price for the sanctions’. So, that was the main idea.

26.05.2016 - Approaching International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Planning to go to the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). It is a huge annual international conference on economic and business issues, held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation. The next Forum will be held on June 16 to 18 under the theme “Capitalizing on the New Global Economic Reality”.

25.05.2016 - Primaries – a new practice in Russian political process (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 22 May “United Russia” political party held primary elections, or primaries around the whole country. Nearly 9 million people chose to participate in this major event, which drew the line under a long and large-scale process launched by the party last year. For the first time in history a Russian political party organized such comprehensive and open to general electorate event. The voters had the opportunity to influence the choice of the “UR” candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections in September.

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