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



BRICS: a new model of global cooperation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RBTH)

BRICS has become a solid inter-continental force within the existing system of global governance. There is nothing revolutionary or iconoclastic about it. It has evolved institutionally and intensified interaction among its members and demonstrated the capacity to contribute to the world’s prosperity and security. Its contribution to global GDP now stands at 31% compared with 24% in 2007.

The 8th BRICS Summit in Goa hosted by India in mid-October has reflected the existing high level of intra-BRICS strategic cooperation as well as presented additional opportunities for the genuine BRICS integration. The summit has ensured continuity and has taken into account initiatives that were put forward in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

The BRICS summit resulted in the adoption of the Goa Declaration and the Action Plan for its implementation, the Provision on the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform and the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies. This clearly demonstrates that the BRICS countries remain committed to inclusive economic growth, financial stability as well as to shaping a democratic and polycentric world order. The member-states share close positions on current global and regional issues, call for resolute action to fight terrorism and joint efforts to address other common threats and challenges. Nobody dictates to anyone, everything is subject to consensus.

The progress in the economic and financial cooperation is exemplified by the New BRICS Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement having begun their work. The Development Bank has already approved the first five investment projects in the clean energy sector (one project in each member-state). On the agenda – to start working with BRICS national currencies. The roadmap for BRICS investment cooperation is readied for adoption, and we’ll start implementing the 2020 Economic Partnership Strategy.

A global player now, BRICS is actively diversifying its activities by increasing the number of initiatives in industrial cooperation, labour and employment, education, agriculture, dealing with consequences of natural disasters, climate change and global health threats, including AIDS, Ebola, Zika and tuberculosis. In November 2017 Russia will host the High-level Global Conference on Tuberculosis, which will examine steps to fight these and other dangerous epidemics.

BRICS engages in discussions with non-BRICS countries to promote global economic cooperation. On the margins of the summit BRICS leaders met the Heads of delegations of the Bay of the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). It have been agreed to “enrich our understanding and engagement” by organizing in the near future an Outreach BRICS – BIMSTEC Summit.

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held very constructive bilateral talks and signed agreements on cooperation in the areas of information and communication, military collaboration, oil and gas, speed railway development, and in deployment of satellite navigation systems, etc.

So, the BIRCS interaction demonstrates much stronger performance as some critics are willing to recognize. BRICS increases its member-states’ global competitiveness, lowers barriers to trade and investment, as well as strengthens their voice in discussion of economic and political agenda. The members are unanimous in the commitment to multilateral diplomacy, the rule of law and the central role of the UN in international affairs.

I’d like to note that BRICS is a direct opposite of the cumbersome entangling alliances of the past. The member-states do not oppose anybody or anything, but join effort in promoting their national interest, defined within the real coordinates of today’s world with issues of development the top item on the agenda. And for Russia it is, among other thing, a major element of our geo-economic pivot to Asia and net-working diplomacy overall.


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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