16 July 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

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04.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply a media question concerning The Sun article on the poisoning of the Skripals

Question: The Sun has informed that “Scotland Yard believes that two-man hit team led Salisbury nerve agent attack on behalf of the Kremlin”. How could you comment on that? Answer: Russia as much as the UK is interested in identifying perpetrators of this crime against Russian nationals. From this point of view, one could only welcome the identification of suspects. However, we cannot seriously comment on a report which is based, true to tradition, on obscure sources and contains numerous caveats. Notwithstanding the Embassy’s request by Note Verbale to the FCO to deny or to confirm this information, there have been no official statements on this matter so far. We have to note yet again that all the information with regard to the Salisbury incident is being made known through unverifiable media leaks.


29.06.2018 - Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Chanel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018 (full text)

Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived? S.Lavrov: Well, I think that we are in the post-West world order, but this order is being shaped and it will take a long time. It is a historical epoch, if you want. Certainly, after five or so centuries of domination of the collective West, as it were, it is not very easy to adjust to new realities that there are other powerhouses economically, financially and politically, China, India, Brazil. African countries are going to be very much on the rise, as soon as they resolve at least some of the conflicts, which are there on the continent. Well, Russia certainly would like to be an independent world player. Independent in the sense that we do not want to violate and international law and norms, but the decisions, which we would be taking on the basis of international law, would not be influenced by pressure, money, sanctions, threats or anything else.


29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning statements of British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow for BBC Russian

Question: British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow has told BBC Russian that the British authorities stand by the decisions made in March against Russia in the aftermath of the Salisbury incident, despite the fact that, as he put it, the Met Police investigation is still in progress. What is Russia’s assessment of what happened in Salisbury? Is there any prospect of cooperation with the British side in the future? Answer: As we have said on numerous occasions, the Russian side has nothing to do with the Salisbury incident. As a responsible State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Russia immediately offered the British authorities cooperation in accordance with Article IX of the Convention and, following a subsequent refusal, sent via official channels a proposal to hold a joint investigation of the incident. Moreover, the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office filed two requests with the Home Office for legal assistance on the criminal case on the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal. We are yet to receive an answer from the British authorities to either of these inquiries or proposals.


29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerningthe British Medical Association’s statement on handling of the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the statement of the annual meeting of the British Medical Association in Brighton criticising the British government for the failure to establish adequate communication following the Salisbury incident? Answer: We have carefully studied the statement of the BMA 2018 Annual Representative Meeting, which deplored “the delay of 12 days before advice on managing potential contact with an unknown toxic substance was produced to GPs” following the Salisbury incident, the “failure to establish a dedicated poisons helpline” and a “register of all those who were possible contacts with the toxic substance”. Such delay has not prevented the British political leadership from declaring Russia responsible for the incident and arbitrarily expelling 23 diplomats from the Embassy. Instead of making real efforts to prevent further contamination, the British authorities, as it turns out, were busy distorting facts to support their politisiced accusations against Russia.


29.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on the outcome of the Ukraine Reform Conference, attended by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Q: What is your assessment of the results of the Ukraine Reform Conference, recently held in Copenhagen and attended by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson? A: The need for political reforms in Ukraine along with solutions to its security, economy and humanitarian problems is well-documented and has been particularly noted during the last “Normandy” meeting in Berlin. From this point of view, one could only welcome the Ukraine Reform Conference. However, we cannot agree with the way the Foreign Secretary has interpreted the results of the conference. Instead of undeservedly hailing Ukraine’s government, Mr Johnson should better provide a public and objective assessment of the internal political situation in Ukraine and Kiev's abuses against its own people. As we know, ethnic and cultural nationalism is being fostered in the country. The discriminating provisions of the Law on Education, which has made the position of not only the country’s Russian but also Hungarian, Romanian and Polish population vulnerable, have not been invalidated. The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate continue to be harassed. Ethnic and religious crimes are reported almost every day. Lots of NGOs working in Ukraine have sounded alarm bells over the increased number of far-right nationalist attacks on ethnic minorities.


28.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on assigning attributive functions to the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons

Q: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has hailed the decision taken at the special session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to assign attributive functions to the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons. How does Russia assess this decision? A: Indeed, London and its allies have, by using political manipulation and outright blackmail, managed to push through this decision, inappropriately assigning to the OPCW Secretariat the power to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We believe this decision to be illegitimate. We are compelled to note that, in taking this decision, the Conference of States Parties went beyond its mandate. The OPCW was created to address clearly defined tasks of technical assistance to national programmes of destructing chemical weapons’ stockpiles. In order to expand its mandate, it is necessary to amend the Convention, especially since there is a corresponding mechanism in place, suitable for all States Parties.


28.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer's reply to a media question concerning reports that UK government will buy Sergei Skripal and Nick Bailey's houses

Question: According to media reports, the houses of Sergei Skripal and Det Sgt Nick Bailey, as well as their other property, which was allegedly contaminated as a result of the Salisbury poisoning, will be purchased by the British authorities for £1 mln of taxpayers' money. How could you comment on that? Answer: We have sent another note to the FCO, requesting to confirm or to deny this information, circulated on 24 June by The Sunday Times with reference to Whitehall officials. We have suggested that the British side should clarify further measures they are planning to undertake as regards this property, in case the intention to purchase it is confirmed. We have reminded that any measures in relation to the contaminated facilities in Salisbury, whether Sergei Skripal’s house, The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant, that would effectively result in their destruction, would only strengthen our conclusion that the British authorities are deliberately trying to make a transparent and joint investigation impossible.


25.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the recent visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury? Answer: We have learned about the visit of the Prince of Wales to Salisbury from media reports, according to which His Royal Highness met with local people, as well as hospital and police staff, including Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who had contributed to the investigation and medical treatment of Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal. On 22 June the Embassy set forth its position on the Salisbury incident in a letter to His Royal Highness: Russia has nothing to do with the incident, and continues to demand access to the investigation and to the victims, who are Russian citizens. Regrettably, the British authorities have either ignored such requests or denied the access, thus blatantly violating international law.


22.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Russia

Question: How would you comment on the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg circulated by the British media concerning alleged Russia’s involvement in the Salisbury incident? Answer: Mr Stoltenberg’s allegation that Russia “has no qualms about using military-grade nerve agents on our streets” is blatant and reckless disinformation misleading British people and the international community. If Mr Stoltenberg has any proof, he must present it immediately. Until he does so, his assertions are nothing but unsubstantiated allegations supported neither by facts nor by evidence.


20.06.2018 - Report by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee “The FCO’s Preparations for the 2018 World Cup”

In the run-up to the World Cup in Russia, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament published a report, “The FCO’s Preparations for the 2018 World Cup.” The first chapter entitled “Risks to UK nationals” stood out in particular. (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmfaff/1011/101105.htm#_idTextAnchor008). It lists “a number of risks that face UK nationals travelling to Russia for the World Cup.” According to British MPs, such threats include “hooligan violence; attacks motivated by racism, homophobia, or anti-British sentiment; and terrorist attacks.” This document is evidence of the traditional anti-Russian approach of the British political class, which, it appears, cannot forgive our country for Britain’s failure to obtain the right to host the 2018 World Cup. The English, by the way, lost not only to Russia, but two other candidates as well.


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