5 October 2015
Moscow: 13:08
London: 11:08

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Speech of the President of the Russian Paralympic Comittee Vladimir Lukin at the Solemn ceremony for proclamation of communiqué of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russian Federation, Federative Republic of Brazil and Republic of Korea on 29th August 2012

Dear Colleagues!

First of all, I would like to thank the British side for the initiative to organise this meeting and to develop a Joint communiqué of the countries-hosts of the closest four Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This document will be as I believe, a new step in understanding and application of Universal Declaration of Human Rights through sport and Olympic ideals, in our countries and in the majority of others.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Olympic Charter and Regulations of International Paralympic Committee proclaim such splendid panhuman ideals and principles as equality, humanism, justice, tolerance, social cohesion, mutual understanding and respect, healthy lifestyle.

In order to bring these principles to life one of the most effective instruments is sport. It gives people opportunity to communicate, cooperate, unite and compete on a healthy basis and on equal terms by following the principle of “fair play”.

I’d like to underline that today the very four countries are responsible for the real progress in this undertaking. Because as we all understand during the nearest four years the attention of the world sports public and indeed the whole world community will be drawn to preparation and holding of Olympic and Paralympic Games in our countries. London is already taking up the torch. We are on the starting blocks!

This idea on similarity of principles which lay the foundation of Olympic Charter, Regulations of International Paralympic Committee and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the important role of sport and sporting events in upbringing of youth, struggling with any kinds of discrimination and violence, preventing conflicts and so on, is not a new one.

However it is important today to fill this idea up, with a practical content and effective precise actions. One of these actions as I see is acceptance and proclaiming of our Joint communiqué.

For the first time in history we have a document which not only declares the necessity in  understanding and application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through sport and Olympic ideals, but also commits the countries organising the largest sporting events to do it in practice.

Besides I would like to make a warning which I used to make before, in Geneva, and wish to repeat it today. Under this warning I mean a very fine line between increasing the role of Olympic and Paralympic Games in observing global rights and liberties proclaimed by the Universal Declaration, and aggravation of politicization of the Games. We already know such examples in the history of sport. I am convinced that Olympic and Paralympic Games should not be a vehicle for promoting any particular political agenda but rather a universal celebration of peace and human dignity.

Once again welcome!

Thank you!


23.09.2015 - In times of official sulk, culture and people lead the way (Ambassador A.Yakovenko for RBTH, 22 September 2015)

Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Alexander Yakovenko, about the biggest exhibition of Soviet space artefacts ever seen outside Russia.

19.09.2015 - Transcript of Ambasador Yakovenko's interview for Rossiya TV, 17 September 2015

It is difficult to overestimate the significance of Jeremy Corbyn being elected by an overwhelming, mostly young people's majority, the new leader of the Labour party and, thus, leader of the official parliamentary opposition. This is nothing short of a radical breakthrough in British politics of the last 30 years, which have never stepped beyond the so-called Thatcherist neo-liberal consensus of the establishment. In fact, the establishment, mostly under the pretext of the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, proceeded from the premises that the new era is one of single-option policies, particularly in social and economic matters. This absence of pluralism was all the more visible against the backdrop of an economic downturn as austerity was being enforced upon people despite the fact that, according to independent experts, it offered no solution to the crisis. Now financial inequality is on the rise, the middle class is shrinking, the post-war 'social contract', which aimed to build a social economy or what one might call capitalism with a human face, has been practically scrapped.

16.09.2015 - Ambassador A.Yakovenko on reception at the Russian Embassy to mark the opening of the “Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space age” exhibition

It’s a pleasure and honour for me to welcome you all at this reception to mark tomorrow’s grand opening of the exhibition “Cosmonauts: birth of the space age” at the Science Museum.

19.08.2015 - Russian Embassy to "Financial Times" on Ukraine

14.08.2015 - Comments of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.Kramarenko on some issues of WWII to the “Independent”

May I join the debate sustained by Anthony Beevor and Mick Hall (11 August). Nobody denies that crimes were committed. But what is not taken into account is the fact that the Red Army (unlike, let’s say, the Americans) saw what the Germans had done on their soil on their way from Stalingrad to Berlin. Almost every soldier and officer had personal accounts to settle. That is why strict discipline was enforced as the Red Army entered German territory, including by the security bodies nobody liked.

14.08.2015 - Russian Embassy comments for Russian media (ITAR-TASS Agency) on the state of Russo-British relationship (30 July, translated from Russian)

QUESTION: What would you say on the present state of our relationship with Britain? It looks like after the May parliamentary elections our countries resumed contacts at political level, if we take the phone call of Prime Minister D.Cameron with President V.Putin and Ph.Hammond and S.Lavrov's meeting in Veinna. Still, the same very tough rhetoric by official London at all levels against Russia over the Ukraine crisis is striking. I mean the statements on 'Russian aggression' etc, and all of it in company with the 'Islamic State' and hacking attacks. Where are things moving, and are there changes for the better?

07.08.2015 - Regarding the comment made by the Home Office on issuing visas to the Russian Embassy staff

We have carefully examined the statement of the Home Office concerning the terms of issuing visas for Russian diplomats and other Embassy staff. In particular, it was said (quoted by "Novosti" news agency) that "diplomats must have right documents to come into UK". Does it mean that the Russian diplomatic and service passports raise suspicions of the British side? Our main concern, however, is delays in issuing visas for the Embassy staff. The Home Office spokesman, avoiding a direct reply, referred to what was said on entry into UK territory by all Russian citizens, which is "making sure false representations were not used to obtain the visa, and no facts were withheld".

06.08.2015 - Russian Embassy comments on the “public inquiry” into the “Litvinenko case”

In 2014 judicial authorities of Great Britain suspended a Coroner’s inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, wherein the Investigative Committee of Russia had the status of an “interested person”. In July 2014, against the background of the tragedy of the Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine, the British government decided to hold, instead, a “public inquiry”.

05.08.2015 - Reply by press-secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the UK to Russian media question on UK’s diminishing Russian diplomatic presence in Great Britain

Question: How do you assess the current bilateral relations between Russia and the UK on the visa track, have you advanced? Answer: The word “progress” means moving forward. That does not apply to the present picture of our bilateral relationship as the British side is trying to shape it.

03.08.2015 - Russian Embassy comment on the "Financial Times" editorial on the Litvinenko case

Dear Sir, I find outrageous your editorial on the Litvinenko public inquiry (3 August). It proceeds from the assumption that the inquiry is up to the standards of due process and a competitive scrutiny of evidence it provides for. It is far from that. In the first place, there is nothing public in the inquiry, which will consider the British special services' evidence in secret. It was the main reason, why Russia's Investigative Committee, participating in the Coroner's inquest (now suspended), decided not to be party to the public inquiry. It is notable that one line of evidence in the public inquiry is totally absent. I mean the fact of finding traces of polonium in the restaurant Abracadabra in Jermyn Street two days before Alexander Litvinenko was presumably poisoned in the Millennium Hotel. The owner David West was killed later on and his restaurant closed. Then another crucial witness Boris Berezovsky died under the circumstances, not established by the Coroner's inquest, which ended in an open verdict. Not to mention that any evidence, including his intention to return to Russia, was pushed aside to ensure that suicide version had no credible alternative.

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