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1629 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1621 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

27.11.2015

Russia and Britain should beat Isil as we did the Nazis: together (by Ambassador Yakovenko for The Telegraph)

Sir Winston Churchill knew that faced with evil, Britain and Russia must stand united.
As Britain debates its role in fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), Russia and others, including France, would welcome our British partners doing their bit to defeat this evil.
As the atrocities in the Sinai, Paris, Ankara and other places show, we in Europe are in the line of fire, whether we are formally at war with Isil or not. Nobody is immune, nobody is safe. Did the half-hearted US-led bombing campaign save lives in Paris?
At the Guildhall this month, David Cameron rightly invoked the resolve of Sir Winston Churchill in the face of Nazi Germany. As early as September 4 1938, before the Munich agreement, Churchill told the Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky that he would save a bottle of vodka so they could “drink it together when Great Britain and Russia beat Hitler’s Germany”.
"Nobody is immune, nobody is safe. Did the half-hearted US-led bombing campaign save lives in Paris?"
The present situation requires the same foresight, determination and willingness to make common cause, while pushing everything else aside. Isil and other terrorists, who act under various guises, hate humanity and everything our world is based on. They are a horrible and opportunistic marriage of religious fanatics with the rump of the Iraqi Baathist regime and Saddam Hussein’s officer corps. They took advantage of the civil war in Syria to try to make a Sunni-Shia schism the pivot-point of politics in a region left suddenly to its own devices.
Only secular governance can address Syria’s problems. That is one of the core principles the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) agreed in Vienna earlier this month.
A strategy of containing Isil is tantamount to appeasement. And on the experience of the past two months, it looks like we have had another Phony War. A year or so of the US-led coalition’s bombing saw the expansion of the Isil area of control. As Henry Kissinger put it, “inconclusive military effort risks serving as a recruitment vehicle for Isil”.
We were told by our Western partners that Damascus would fall this past October. Should we have waited for that? If so, it would have been much harder to pick up the pieces, given that moderate, secular opposition forces are difficult to find on the ground.
The outrageous downing of a Russian plane over Syria exposes the inherent dangers of Western alliances in the region. The Turks delivered one of our pilots into the hands of terrorists.
It is high time that some regional players stopped solving problems of their own at somebody else’s expense, even by sponsoring terrorists. They must stop exporting poisonous ideology and pursuing agendas that threaten regional security. With allies like these, who needs enemies?
The threats we are facing cannot be effectively dealt with by old alliances. Is the European migration crisis not a harmful act by one Nato member against other members?
Having committed substantial resources in pursuit of a realistic strategy in Syria, Russia provided an impetus for a genuine coalition of nations able and willing to fight Isil in earnest. The ISSG provides a political framework. It helps to keep everyone on board and committed to the Westphalian principle of respect for nation states’ sovereignty. This provides a controlled environment, making the situation more predictable.
Syrians long for the peace and order necessary for reconstruction and development. We have already agreed on many things. Why not agree on the rest over time? We cannot decide for the Syrians. We can only create conditions for that, while dealing with multiple consequences of outside interference in their affairs.
To be clear, Russia makes no linkages between the Syrian situation and those elsewhere, including the Ukrainian crisis. This year, Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany made the Minsk-2 agreement, in the interests of all. The only thing missing so far is Kiev fulfilling its obligation to work with the people of Donetsk and Lugansk instead of branding them terrorists.
Britain modified its narrative in Northern Ireland to work with all sides there. For the sake of peace, Ukraine should follow that example – especially because more regions are seeking decentralisation, hoping to break the hold of the corrupt central bureaucracy in Kiev.
Alexander Yakovenko is the Russian ambassador to London

 




LATEST EVENTS

30.06.2021 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's letter to the Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2021

Sir, Numerous media reports following the Crimea incident (including the Daily Telegraph piece of 28 June by Theo Merz) exploit the idea of Russian military ships “regularly visiting British waters”. This narrative, actively promoted by the Ministry of Defence, creates an impression of frequent violations of British sovereignty by Russia – but is a prime example of British state-sponsored disinformation.


28.06.2021 - Article by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “The Law, the Rights and the Rules”, Moscow, June 28, 2021

The frank and generally constructive conversation that took place at the June 16, 2021 summit meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden in Geneva resulted in an agreement to launch a substantive dialogue on strategic stability, reaffirming the crucial premise that nuclear war is unacceptable. The two sides also reached an understanding on the advisability of engaging in consultations on cybersecurity, the operation of diplomatic missions, the fate of imprisoned Russian and US citizens and a number of regional conflicts.


18.11.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s address on the occasion of the ceremony dedicated to the veterans of the Arctic Convoys

It is an honour for me to welcome you all at this very impressive ceremony dedicated to the veterans of the Arctic Convoys. Whatever the circumstances may be around us, like the coronavirus and the due lockdown today, we should never forget the much more severe conditions that our nations had experienced in World War II.


22.10.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s welcoming remarks on the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition in the British Museum

Dear ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome you all at the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition, dedicated to the history of exploration of the Far North, traditions and culture of its native peoples, as well as the problem of global climate change.


05.08.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s interview to the Daily Mail, 4 August 2020

Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to the Daily Mail newspaper, covering the Russia Report, bilateral relations with UK and a broad international agenda.


21.07.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview with Sky News, 21 July 2020

Q: Thank you Mr Ambassador for speaking to us today. My first question is have you seen the report today, have you read it, what do you think? A: Yes, of course, I’ve seen it and and I have read it this morning. My first impression is that the Shakespeare’s phrase is very much applicable to it: much ado about nothing. The report is called “Russia”. But if you put the name of any other country, it will be the same, because this report is not about Russia. It is about the relationship between different intelligence agencies inside the UK.


03.07.2020 - Open Skies Clouded by Sham and Ambiguity (by Ambassador Andrei Kelin)

Ambassador Andrei Kelin's article published on the website of Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on 2 July 2020.


02.12.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview to Sputnik News Agency

On 27 November, 2019 Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to Sputnik News Agency during the V Russian-British Business Forum.


15.08.2019 - The liberal "end of history": what's next?

Following an interview with President Vladimir Putin published by the Financial Times a month ago, the issue of the future “liberal world order” in its idealistic version has been part of London’s political discussion agenda, with the emphasis being put on moral and political leadership in the present-day world.


09.07.2019 - What has happened to Western liberal idea? (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

In the recent interview with President Putin, the Financial Times seems to have launched a discussion on liberalism only at its own peril. Inadvertently, a real problem was touched upon, whose pressing nature is no longer denied by anyone in the West. The newspaper had to admit it in its Editorial of 29 June. Its authors claim that the threat to liberalism comes from within, including President Trump and his policies, Brexit and, certainly, the rise of “populist nationalism”. They refer to voters’ disillusionment with liberalism and loss of confidence in the economic system and trust in political elites. The latter are invited to redouble their efforts to take into consideration issues raised by voters and “to renew liberalism”.



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