26 April 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.04.2017

Remarks by Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OPCW, Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, at the 54th Meeting of the OPCW Executive Council, The Hague, April 13, 2017

Madame Chairperson,

Being a responsible party to the CWC, the Russian Federation unconditionally condemns the use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere. We strongly deny any accusations against Russia that it acted as an enabler in the tragic events in Syria or was even complicit in the perpetration of any crime using chemical weapons. This is a blatant falsehood.

The message echoed at this meeting by a number of delegations that Russia is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage and stands on its own following the April 12, 2017 vote in the UN Security Council is totally groundless. This is wishful thinking. In real life, Russia has adopted an inclusive and honest position that is clear for anyone acting in good faith. Russia could not accept the draft resolution during yesterday’s vote at the UN Security Council.

In fact, the Western troika submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that was biased, lacked evidence and also pointed a finger at Syria. It was only formally devoted to investigating the Idlib incident, since it even lacked a provision on the need to work on the ground. Against this backdrop, Russia had no other option but to veto the document. No one should be misled about why Russia used its veto right in the UN Security Council.

I would also like to respond to what US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said about Russia allegedly making false claims about the OPCW, pretending that its executive made statements they had not. That was a very strange thing to hear, to say the least. Let me remind you of a quote from the report of the 76th Session of the OPCW Executive Council, in which the Council noted “the completed elimination by 23 June 2014, i.e. in the first half of 2014 as envisaged in EC-M-33/DEC.1 (dated 27 September 2013), of all declared chemical weapons material and equipment from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, despite uniquely challenging conditions.” May I ask you what this means, if not a confirmation by the OPCW that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria was completed? So my advice for the US Ambassador would be to pay more attention to official OPCW documents. As for the clarification made to the initial declaration by Syria, everyone is aware of the challenging conditions in which it was prepared. It had to be submitted on very short notice and in the midst of a military conflict. It is obvious that the Syrians will have to clarify some points. There is nothing unusual about this, and other states that possess chemical weapons, including the US, have adjusted their initial declarations as well.




LATEST EVENTS

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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