25 March 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

16.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement on Syria

We have taken note of the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made on March 14 at a high-level thematic discussion on Syria at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Having appropriated the role of international arbiter, the high commissioner claims that the situation in Syria is “the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II” and that as a result of the armed conflict, “ the entire country has become a torture-chamber.”

We have first-hand experience of attempts to rewrite history to suit the political situation of the moment. This phenomenon is characteristic of many Western countries. The high commissioner is in effect trying to do the same thing: blame the Damascus authorities for fueling the war in Syria. According to him, vetoes at the UN Security Council have repeatedly pushed back hope for an end to “this senseless carnage.” Meanwhile, he turns a blind eye to the fact that right from the start, this conflict was fomented and fueled by outside forces. He does not use the term “terrorism” at all, and tries to portray terrorists as “victims of circumstance,” which is completely unacceptable.

It is telling that Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s politicised and biased evaluations came almost at the same time as the remarks of UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien at the UN session, where he described the situation in Yemen, not in Syria, as the worst humanitarian disaster. It is regrettable that the Yemen conflict, as well as the situation in a number of other countries requiring urgent attention, in particular around Mosul in Iraq, for some reason drop off the high commissioner’s radar or are commented on indirectly. How is that for his so-called “objectivity”?

We must say that Mr Hussein’s remarks at the 34th session of the UN Security Council are certainly not the first example of his comments or public evaluations that are not befitting of a UN official and that run counter to the professional work ethic of a UN Secretariat official, as defined in the UN Charter. Previously, he took the liberty of making inappropriate comments on the work methods and decisions of a UN intergovernmental agency – the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – making personal attacks on the actions of public politicians and even insulting heads of state in his statements.

This raises the question: Does Mr Hussein’s behaviour measure up to the authority and the high international status of the post that he holds? What goal is he pursuing by antagonising states that have been set on constructive cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms? Perhaps his superiors at the UN Secretariat should also pay attention to this.




LATEST EVENTS

24.03.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 23, 2017

On March 23, the next round of intra-Syrian talks based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 will begin in Geneva under the auspices of the UN. The delegations of the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups invited by the UN will continue consultations in keeping with the agreed-upon agenda, including forming trustworthy, inclusive and non-confessional governance, drafting a new constitution, using it as the basis for holding elections, fighting terrorism and other topical issues. In our view, combating terrorism is a priority topic, because, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in the Damascus suburbs and Hama Province, terrorism remains the main impediment to peace in Syria.


23.03.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the entry ban to Ukraine for Russia’s Eurovision 2017 contestant Yulia Samoilova

The Ukrainian officials have, once again, proved their image of a regime infested with Russophobic paranoia and nationalist insecurities.


23.03.2017 - Condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May

Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May over the tragic consequences of a terrorist attack in central London.


22.03.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

On March 22, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. The officials, who met ahead of the fifth round of the UN-facilitated intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, continued their exchange of opinions on the entire range of issues pertaining to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.


22.03.2017 - Press release on a formal meeting of the General Assembly to pay tribute to the memory of the late Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vitaly Churkin

On March 21, the UN General Assembly held a formal meeting to pay tribute to the memory of the late Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vitaly Churkin. The formal meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere to full house. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the 71st session of the General Assembly Peter Thomson, representatives of Britain, the United States (as the host country) and five regional groups of the UN member states, as well as the leaders of the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN, spoke highly of Vitaly Churkin’s professional and personal qualities.


21.03.2017 - Press release on the results of the second round of Russian-Japanese two-plus-two format consultations

On March 20, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov participated in the second round of the Russian-Japanese consultations of foreign and defence ministers in the two-plus-two format in Tokyo. This dialogue format was resumed in accordance with the leaders’ agreement following President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan on December 15-16, 2016. The previous round was held in November 2013.


20.03.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Foreign Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, Tokyo, March 20, 2017

Thank you very much for your invitation to attend today’s events and for organising them. I believe that it is very important for us to maintain regular, proactive and meaningful contacts.


17.03.2017 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the occasion of the three-year anniversary of Crimea’s unification with Russia

On these March days, we celebrate the third anniversary of a landmark event in the modern history of Russia, which received the poetic name of the Crimean Spring. The proclamation in March 2014 of the independence of the Republic of Crimea and its unification with the Russian Federation were a legitimate exercise of the right of the people of Crimea to self-determination following an armed coup in Ukraine and the mayhem wreaked by radical national forces that did not hesitate to use terror and intimidation on both political opponents and the population of entire regions of that country.


17.03.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 16, 2017

We note with satisfaction that the cessation of hostilities (CoH) in Syria, guaranteed by Russia, Iran and Turkey, has made it possible to significantly reduce the level of violence in that country. Ceasefire violations are limited. The CoH regime has made it possible to concentrate the Syrian Army’s efforts on fighting ISIS. As a result of the successful offensive operation by the Syrian Armed Forces, vast areas in the east of Aleppo Province extending as far as the Euphrates River were liberated. The al-Khafseh water treatment facility, recaptured from terrorists, has resumed fresh water supplies to the provincial capital and the area around it.


16.03.2017 - Why Are Fugitives From Justice Welcome in the UK?

The total number of Russian nationals the British authorities have refused to extradite to the Russian Federation over the period from 2002 to 2016 is 51 persons. Among those wanted and accused of committing various criminal offences in Russia are the following.



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