15 December 2018
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286 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     278 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities




The situation around the investigation of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash raises serious questions. The preliminary report conducted by Dutch experts under the agreement with Ukraine can hardly be considered a truly comprehensive, thorough, independent and international one, and does not shed light on the true causes of the tragedy. It is not informative and does not contain convincing data about the details of the crash. It does not lift our concerns and gives reasons for new questions to add to those formulated by the Russian Ministry for Defence in the aftermath of the incident. Full transcripts of air traffic control communications haven’t been published, no follow-up has been given to witnesses’ reports on another airplane seen in the sky at the time of the crash, Ukraine has shown no willingness to share full data on its anti-aircraft systems deployments.
Surprisingly, world mass media, including the British press, have virtually forgotten the issue, though most of those who died were Western nationals. It is in the interest of all to find and bring to justice those responsible through a comprehensive, independent and international investigation, as is required by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166. There is a reason to believe that the real purpose of the investigation is not to determine the cause, but rather to make up a case that puts all the blame on and gives arguments for building-up sanctions against Russia. The delays in preparation and publication of the preliminary report point to a deliberate procrastination and soft-pedaling of the investigation process.
It is also disappointing that ICAO has adopted a passive position in relation to the investigation. A growing number of doubts arise as to the compliance by the investigation with the organisation’s norms and standards. It is regrettable that ICAO might be subject to outside political pressure. The initiative to convene a “task force of international experts” under the auspices of ICAO to assess risks for civil aviation in conflict areas, rather than focusing on establishing the truth in that particular case, seems to be another attempt to impose a biased and politicised version of the crash on the international community.
Russia insists that strict adherence to the UNSC resolution 2166 is the only way to a comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation of the crash. This resolution contains a list of problems that have to be solved in order to allow for a proper investigation. They include the cessation of violence as a basic condition, the preservation of the crash site, the provision of unhindered access thereto, role of ICAO in ensuring that the investigation meets international standards, etc. A detailed report by the UN Secretary-General on each of these matters should be submitted to the UN Security Council according the para 13 of the resolution with the view to taking additional measures to promote international investigation. We believe that it is highly important to enhance the role of the United Nations if the investigation process is to be credible. In this context, it is worth looking at a possibility of appointing a UN special envoy for MH17 crash probe and sending a mission to the crash site in collaboration with the OSCE, ICAO and other relevant organizations.
It is important to remember that this tragedy took place against the background of the attempt at a military solution of the Ukrainian crisis. That is why it is incumbent upon the parties to the conflict to transform the current ceasefire into a permanent one to set up a peaceful negotiation process on the basis of the Geneva statement of 17 April and the Berlin Declaration of 2 July.


09.08.2018 - Letter from Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the Guardian’s editor

In response to the Ambassador Beruchashvili’s letter, offering not so much a recollection of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus, but rather a misleading reiteration of the Georgian claims against Russia I have to refer to some of the universally recognized facts and consequences resulting from those tragic events.

24.07.2018 - Eastern Economic Forum: the East is bright (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

When talking about Russia’s Far East, you invariably remember its stunning natural beauty, abundance in natural resources and vast territories. But when one thinks of its investments prospects, you also invariably remember its harsh climate, low average population density and the lack of transport and other infrastructure. But now the situation is changing fundamentally. The region is undergoing a huge and qualitative revival. The development of the region has been declared one of the national priorities for Russia. In the last 5 years 18 advanced development zones and 5 free ports have been established in the Russian Far East. Long-term tax exemptions have been provided for large investment projects. Paperless e-visas for visitors of Vladivostok are available for citizens of 18 countries.

03.05.2018 - SALISBURY: A CLASSIFIED CASE (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

On 4 March 2018 two Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were reportedly poisoned in Salisbury, Wiltshire with the toxic chemical named A-234 under the British classification. On 12 March Foreign Secretary Johnson summoned me to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attack. He invited us to respond by the next day, whether this had been a direct act by the state or Russia had lost control over this nerve agent. The incident had international repercussions, including expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from 28 countries, notwithstanding the fact that the charges were based on assumptions and unverifiable intelligence. The Western countries lost the same number of Moscow-based staff. Meanwhile, the British government provided no evidence either to the public, its allies or Russia. Subsequent events revealed that no proof of Russia’s involvement existed. On 1 May, National Security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill confirmed that (despite a number of previous leaks) no suspect had been identified, a statement that speaks for itself.

14.02.2018 - The international community needs a unified legal base to combat information crimes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Amid the rapid advance in technologies we face a growing number of cyber-crimes: in 2016, these offences caused damage of $445 billion and by 2020, according to experts, this figure can reach up to $3 trillion, exceeding the overall income received from the Internet.

26.01.2018 - UNGA: Glorification of Nazism must stop (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In December the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the traditional resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. It was supported by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States: 133 states voted for this document, 57 became its co-sponsors, and only Ukraine and the United States voted against.

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?

18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.

05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.

05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.

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