26 April 2017
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Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, September 10, 2015

Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundegiyn Purevsuren’s working visit to Russia.

Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundegiyn Purevsuren will pay a working visit to Russia on September 10-12. During the visit, talks will take place between the two countries’ foreign ministers. They are expected to address the status and prospects for the further development of Russia-Mongolia relations in the context of the agreements reached at the top level during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Ulan Bator in September 2014 and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj’s visit to Moscow in May. The ministers will also consider the most topical regional and global issues and key aspects of Russia-Mongolia interaction in various international and regional formats.

The visit programme includes Mr Purevsuren’s consultations with Sergey Donskoy, chairman of the Russian section of the Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and minister of natural resources and the environment, and Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachyov, to discuss the development of Russia-Mongolia cooperation on the practical level.

Joint meeting of CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers, Council of Defence Ministers, and Committee of Security Council Secretaries

On September 15, 2015, a joint session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Council of Defence Ministers, and Committee of Security Council Secretaries of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) will take place in Dushanbe as part of the preparations for the upcoming session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, which will be attended by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Participants will discuss ways of upgrading the collective security system and developing military cooperation and allied interaction in the organisation’s framework.

As the CSTO presidency passes from the Republic of Tajikistan to the Republic of Armenia, special consideration will be given to the priorities of Armenia’s CSTO presidency.

A draft statement by the heads of state, as well as a number of documents prepared for the CSTO Collective Security Council session, will be considered.

Participants will also address organisational, administrative and financial aspects of the organisation’s activity.

The situation in Ukraine

The ceasefire, which is generally holding now, is an important step towards the de-escalation of the situation in southeastern Ukraine. Over the past two weeks, the situation in Donbass, where residential areas came under regular shelling attacks until only recently, remains relatively calm. This is confirmed by the Russian and Ukrainian representatives of the Joint Coordination and Control Centre (JCCC) and OSCE observers.

The signing of an addendum to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of December 12, 2015, related to the withdrawal of tanks, mortars of a 120-mm caliber and lower, and artillery systems of a 100-mm caliber and lower, as well as an appendix on verification measures, would help further ease tensions in the region and create prerequisites for a real, long-term truce.

Unfortunately, at its September 8 meeting in Minsk, the Contact Group failed to do so. We hope that the ongoing efforts within the framework of the relevant subgroup will be capped with success and the said documents will be signed by all participants in the Minsk talks.

Unfortunately, at this stage, we have been unable to record positive changes regarding the lifting of the financial and economic blockade of Donbass. Just the contrary, it is only tightening, leading to the further degradation of the humanitarian situation there. This is also recognised by the Kiev office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). At a recent briefing in the Ukrainian capital, its head, Barbara Manzi, said that there was a visible shortage of foodstuffs and medications in the southeast of the country, noting that the people in the region were in a miserable state and on the brink of survival.

Meanwhile, UN experts point out that Kiev lacks the political will to overcome the consequences of the severe humanitarian crisis in Donbass and note its reluctance to help its own citizens who desperately need emergency assistance.

Such a policy pursued by the Ukrainian authorities, which ignores the legitimate rights and demands of the Donbass people and rejects direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, will only lead to the region’s further insulation. The establishment of a direct dialogue is key to peace and stability in southeastern Ukraine. This is related primarily to the fundamental provisions that are unambiguously recorded in the Package of Measures as being subject to coordination with the Donetsk and Lugansk representatives. These include the establishment of Donbass’s permanent legal status, defining the procedure for holding local elections in these territories and taking the interests of the southeast into account on a constitutional level.

In this context, we would also like to remind you that in February, representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk agreed in Minsk not only on a ceasefire but also on a “postwar” stage, if I may say so, in the development of Donbass.

In particular, the Minsk Agreements reaffirm the need to take measures to ensure the region’s economic revival and improve the humanitarian situation there. Right now, ahead of the upcoming winter season, it is critical to address the most pressing problems related to the provision of civilians in southeastern Ukraine with first necessities – water, electricity, food, medical assistance and communications.


25.04.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, Moscow, April 25, 2017

I have held talks with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and his delegation. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier has come to Moscow to attend the sixth Moscow International Security Conference sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Defence. We welcome this opportunity to hold a detailed exchange of views on current issues on the OSCE agenda.

25.04.2017 - Draft OPCW decision on Syria chemical incident that Russia proposed and UK opposed

DRAFT DECISION ADDRESSING THE SITUATION AROUND THE ALLEGED USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE KHAN SHAYKHUN AREA OF SOUTHERN IDLIB IN THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC The Executive Council, Noting with grave concern reports regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib in the Syrian Arab Republic on 4 April 2017; Underlining that the use of any chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as a weapon anywhere by anyone and under any circumstances is reprehensible and completely contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”) and all norms of international law and affirming that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable; Recognising the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and its readiness to continue the cooperation with the OPCW; Welcoming the request of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for assistance in ensuring immediate and impartial investigation in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib and the Shayrat airbase, as well as its readiness to ensure free and safe access to the Shayrat airbase, as contained in the letter to theDirector-General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) dated 11 April 2017;

24.04.2017 - Foreign Ministry statement on the OSCE car explosion in Ukraine

According to statements coming from the OSCE, on the morning of April 23, 2017 an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission vehicle returning from a patrol, experienced a mine explosion in the district of Slavyanoserbsky, Lugansk Region, two kilometres away from the line of contact, resulting in the death of one paramedic from the United States working as a contractor with the OSCE. International monitors who were also in the vehicle were wounded.

21.04.2017 - Victory Day Сelebrations in the UK

Programme of 9 May Victory Day celebrations around UK

21.04.2017 - Embassy Press Officer on Sir Alan Duncan’s comments regarding protection of rights of LGBT community in Russia

On 20 April Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan, speaking in the Commons, accused the Government of Chechnya of inciting violence against LGBT people, persecution of gays and ill-treatment of over 100 men because of their sexual orientation. These allegations are solely based on publications in the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper and are not supported by any other proven data. Russian law enforcement authorities received no notifications from the so-called “victims” of threats. Nevertheless, they conducted proper checks, which didn’t reveal any evidence of violence and ill-treatment of LGBT persons.

21.04.2017 - Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published April 19, 2017

Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump? Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in.

20.04.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 19, 2017

I would like to touch on fake news and hoaxes – in fact, blatant misinformation – in this context. I announced a figure today that shows that Russia has sent over 60 humanitarian convoys to the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Just remember what it all began with: tweets and Western press reports about Russia launching an armed invasion of Ukraine. Convoys in duly marked white lorries were made out to be carrying armoured vehicles and not humanitarian aid.

20.04.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the planned meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Spitsbergen

In connection with media reports on the plans to hold a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Spitsbergen in May, we believe it is necessary to make the following statement.

19.04.2017 - "Diplomacy of Plants" Article by Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov and Regius Keeper of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Mr Simon Milne in "the Herald" newspaper, published 12.04.2017

The key commonality between plant science and diplomacy it is the sensitivity towards passing seasons. Both must learn to adapt to withstand good times and bad. In an unsettled period for world politics and diplomacy some respite is sorely needed. When diplomatic relations are strained, innovative and creative approaches to building bridges between nations is even more in demand.

19.04.2017 - Press release on the Foreign Ministry reception to mark Orthodox Easter

Оn April 18, a reception was held at the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry on behalf of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the occasion of Orthodox Easter. Attending were Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs, representatives of traditional faiths, Russian state officials, public figures, and diplomats.

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