14 February 2016
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

29.11.2012

Remarks by Ambassador Yakovenko at the meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on cooperation with Russia

Moving from the wider cooperation between Russia and the United Kingdom I'm glad to say that we always pay attention to promoting genuine and fruitful regional interaction.

Given its cultural and economic resources and the long historical tradition of interchanges, Scotland is no doubt an important partner for us, and there is a massive potential for cooperation here.

We have an increasing number of high profile contacts. This year, for example, Scotland was visited by the Russian Minister of Culture and the Russian President's Cultural Adviser, as well as senior delegation from our Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, local authorities develop their links. In 2012, the cooperation between Scottish town of Stirling and Russian town of Vyborg was finally underpinned by the formal agreement.

Strengthening parliamentary relations is our objective too, of course. Establishment of your group is a very significant gesture and I can't but praise it. As you may remember Holyrood was visited by the Russian parliamentary delegation in 2011. In this regard I would like to confirm that once you feel ready, we would be glad to elaborate on the visit of the Scottish delegation to Moscow.

One of the pillars of our partnership is culture. Maestro Gergiev has been a regular guest at the Edinburgh International Festival and is its honorary president since the last year. Just recently National Museum of Scotland hosted a marvelous exhibition from world-renowned Hermitage that I was, be the way, pleased to see myself. The Edinburgh International Culture Summit, which was a great success, was attended by our minister of culture Mr Vladimir Medinskiy. Meanwhile, following the meeting between the advise on culture to the President of Russia Mr Vladimir Tolstoy and Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop a few projects are developed now between the Leo Tolstoy Museum in Russia and Scottish culture organisations.

Let's not forget educational and academic cooperation. Edinburgh University is a good example here. I have just met the Principal of the University Sir Timothy and glad to be the guest of the centre opened jointly by Scottish and Russian sides. We also appreciate and value the work performed by the Scotland-Russia Forum.

We are always open to the new opportunities to develop and diversify business links. This is the case with Scotland, of course. Both economies have much to offer today and would readily accept foreign contributions both in the form of markets and exports or investments. It's a pleasure to note the approach of the Scottish Government that welcomes and assists in strengthening economic ties of Scotland and promotes it as a rewarding economic partner and investment destination. Scottish companies' expertise and high-quality services, particularly dealing with oil and gas, are very much appreciated in Russia. At the same time we can provide our partners with the best practices, resources, unique goods and services in some areas.

I believe, developing tourism is very promising. Certainly, facilitation of the vise regime would contribute to increasing numbers of the Russian tourists. It will also make people-to-people contacts easier.

Finally, meeting the members of the Cross-Party Group on Russian today I'd like to express our appreciation to the Scottish Parliament and also to the Scottish Government for the support for the efforts at developing links with Russia.




LATEST EVENTS

12.02.2016 - Alexander Yakovenko for RT

Russia and the United Kingdom - these two powers, for centuries, have been tied into the most complicated relations: enemies at one time, and yet allies and cooperators at another. But now the temperature between the two is steadily going down, with Britain leading the anti-Russian sanctions and, just recently, coming out with allegations of Moscow’s involvement with a death of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko. What’s pushing London to make such statements? Does the Cold War-like vector of Cameron’s policy resonate with public opinion? How much is this public opinion is shaped by the voice of mainstream media? And, finally, is there a hope for a thaw? We ask the Russian Ambassador to the UK. Alexander Yakovenko is on Sophie&Co today.


12.02.2016 - Opinion: credibility of British Litvinenko Judgment Doubtful (Eurasia Review, By William Dunkerley, February 10, 2016)

A dark cloud of suspicion still hangs over a 2006 British murder mystery. The Litvinenko affair started as a London spy mystery. It made top headlines back in the day. Riveting allegations claimed Alexander Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Now almost ten years later, the mystery has evolved into a government political scandal. After years of false starts and inaction, an official inquiry was finally called in 2015. Getting to the bottom of things was its ostensible purpose.


11.02.2016 - Opinion: Litvinenko and the Demise of British Justice (by James O'Neill, Dissident voice)

The publication on 21 January 2016 of the report by British Judge Sir Robert Owen on the death of Alexander Litvinenko was predictably seized upon by anti-Russian elements as confirmation of their conviction that Russia in general and President Putin in particular were the personification of modern day evil.


05.02.2016 - Opinion: six reasons you can't take the Litvinenko report seriously (by William Dunkerley, the Guardian)

Inquiry points the finger at Vladimir Putin and the Russian state, but its findings are biased, flawed and inconsistent. An inquiry into the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in the heart of London in 2006 has concluded that he was “probably” murdered on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin. This is a troubling accusation.


29.01.2016 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's opening remarks at the presentation of the of joint forecast “Global System on the Brink: Pathways toward a New Normal”

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's opening remarks at the presentation of the of joint forecast “Global System on the Brink: Pathways toward a New Normal”


27.01.2016 - Speech by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko at wreath laying ceremony on Holocaust Memorial Day

Today we are here, at the Soviet War Memorial, to remember one of the darkest, most tragic and shameful chapters in the history of mankind – the Holocaust. It is a powerful reminder of the perils of discrimination and intolerance, of just how catastrophic and barbaric the incitement to racial hatred can be.


19.01.2016 - Implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran will strengthen regional security

On January 16, the IAEA Director General released a report confirming that Iran has completed the necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed upon in Vienna on July 14, 2015 between the group of six nations (P-5 plus Germany) and Iran with a contribution from Federica Mogherini of the European Union. Under the JCPOA, approved by the UN Security Council, the release of this report signifies the start of the Plan’s implementation.


23.12.2015 - Message by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the British astronaut Major Timothy Peake

Dear Mr Peake, May I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I wish you every success in your mission abroad the International Space Station, which, besides its scientific value, already contributes to development of friendship between the peoples of Russia and Britain. Here in London we witnessed enthusiasm comparable to the Russian emotions in 1961, the year of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight. I strongly believe this enthusiasm will translate into larger contribution of UK agencies and institutions to space research, and Russia is ready to be partner in this ambitious endeavor. I hope that in the coming year Russians and Britons will be able to work together on common tasks just as you did during your training in Russia and are doing now, aboard the ISS.


10.12.2015 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at Digital BBQ-2015

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, Today is the fifth time we are holding our digital BBQ, which gives me reasons to consider it an established tradition and share some reflections of what changes we have seen since 2011. First, at that time most people were already connected, and the use of social networks was heavy – but today it has become a truly inalienable part of life, and even websites as such have largely been overtaken by social networks.


28.11.2015 - Bonds forged by the great game of football can help defeat terrorism (by Consul General Andrey Prisepov for Herald Scotland)

Two weeks ago, we all followed a rather special football game at Wembley: England playing France just days after the attacks in Paris. The innocent victims of these inhuman assaults were remembered with dignity and poignant tribute was paid by players and supporters. Thousands of people shared their passion for the great game and, equally, showed their compassion in a manifestation of unity and solidarity. Once again football embodied human spirit and an affirmation of life. History has numerous examples of what seems to be the inherent qualities of the game. Herald readers may have watched the 1980s film Escape to Victory starring Michael Caine. In the movie, allied prisoners of war play football against their Nazi guards, knowing they will be shot should they win.



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