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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

19.11.2015

Vienna meeting on Syria: fighting terrorism should become a priority (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

With the world discussing ways to defeat the ISIS, we are witnessing positive momentum in agreeing a political process for Syria. A second round of constructive multilateral talks on the Syrian crisis was conducted a few days ago in Vienna, meaning that the International Syria Support Group has been established and is operational. One of its important outcomes is that specific steps have been outlined that need be taken with regard to the political process in Syria, notably the request for UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to convene a meeting with the Syrian government and opposition by 1 January 2016. The Syrian Government has already provided information about the members of its delegation who will participate in these talks. Now we have to identify the members of the opposition delegation which has to be representative of the entire spectrum of opposition forces. All participants of the Syria Support Group should do their best to have both delegations sit down and start talking about Syria’s future as soon as possible. For this matter, it is important that the Syrian sides implement confidence-building measures on the ground. 

Another practical decision was that certain deadlines were set for the political process – roughly six months for Syrians to agree on some kind of joint national unity governing body, and another 18 months to jointly draft a new constitution and hold elections based on that constitution. This fits into the logic of the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012, according to which, in any case, the Syrians will have themselves to decide on all the political reforms.

Of course, we would all like to see violence in Syria stop as soon as possible. The majority of the delegations in Vienna were in favour of an immediate ceasefire, but, unfortunately, some weren’t. Therefore, we consider it necessary to reaffirm our commitment to keep working to create proper conditions for a ceasefire. This will help us step up efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Syrians, ensure access to all those in need, and to address the refugee problem.

What still needs to be comprehensively addressed is drafting a list of terrorist organisations in Syria.  It has been agreed in general that ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra are definitely on this list, but other terrorist groups must also become common legitimate targets. We have turned to Jordan to help coordinate drafting such a list, acceptable to all, which will then be approved by the UN Security Council.

We believe that the Vienna meeting’s vital outcome, given the heinous terrorist acts that have taken place in Paris on its eve, as well as in Beirut, Ankara and Sinai, is the growing understanding of the need to build an efficient and broad-based international coalition to fight the so-called “Islamic State” and other terrorist groups. What happened in recent days should convince even die-hard sceptics that not only anything cannot justify terrorism but nothing can justify our inaction in the face of this evil either. We are convinced that coordination is in common interest and that fighting terrorism should not come with any preconditions. We shouldn’t allow terrorists to prevail in that region, as they are trying to play on differences between Russia, the United States and other members of the international community.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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