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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

26.06.2014

Syria: setting up effective work on the ground (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The most positive news came these days from Syria – a large-scale and unprecedented international operation for removal of all components of the Syrian chemical weapons has been successfully completed. That means that the most important and difficult stage of the plan for destruction of chemical weapons abroad, developed by the OPCW and approved by UNSC Resolution 2118, has been finished. It is worth reminding that the adoption of this plan has become possible due to the Russian President Vladimir Putin's initiative brought forward in 2013 at the most severe phase of the Syria crisis.
One can only welcome the political will of the Syrian Government, which, after acceding to the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with the support of the international community has managed in the harsh conditions to implement within record-breaking time a unique operation that has no analogues in the 17-year history of the Convention and the OPCW. And that represents a vivid example of the international community’s ability to solve in cohesion the most complex disarmament and nonproliferation tasks.
In the meantime the situation in Syria after the presidential elections indicates the serious intentions of the Syrian authorities to further improve the political climate in the country by implementing a set of trust measures. Several thousand people were freed within the framework of the general amnesty. Syrian judicial bodies in correctional facilities all over the country are working actively on the examination of cases of detainees and prisoners. As a result of this important mission, the latter have a chance to return to normal life. The government has even taken a step to allow the people, who left the Syrian Army, to return to their military duty.
The main conclusion based on the events in the post-electoral Syria is that the Syrian society, despite provocations of extremists, maintains national unity and does not demonstrate any signs of ethnic and religious split. International partners should respect the democratic choice of the Syrian people, continue the efforts to assist the political and diplomatic settlement in this country, and revise the intention to build up support for the armed opposition in Syria, which would have far reaching negative consequences.
The humanitarian situation in Syria remains a matter of serious concern. The main problems facing the delivery of humanitarian aid relate to the remoteness of areas and destroyed infrastructure, not to mention the opposition’s refusal to let humanitarian convoys pass through the populated areas under their control. The fractured groups of the armed opposition and lack of coordination among them also seriously complicate the work of humanitarian agencies.
At the same time, despite the mentioned difficulties, the work on carrying out humanitarian operations continues. The Syrian Government directly participates in this process, including by spreading the practice of local cease-fires, which allows stabilizing the situation in regions receiving supplies of humanitarian aid.
For its turn, Russia continues to make active efforts to help the recovery from the severe humanitarian situation in this country. In an effort to gain further improvements in this sphere Russia submitted a statement in favor of extending the practice of local cease-fires to the UN Council on Human Rights. It has a depoliticized, constructive and unifying character – that's why it was supported by states of various regional groups.
Considering all this, it is quite hard to understand the position of some of our partners who not only have refused to support the statement in favor of ending the violence in Syria, but did not hesitate to publicly speak out against the initiative to save lives and alleviate the humanitarian situation in Syria. And this despite the fact that the UN has been actively involved in mediation efforts to achieve local cease-fires, and the ceasefire agreements allow humanitarian agencies to provide assistance to those in need.
We believe that at this stage the main emphasis should be on the practical aspects of setting up effective work in Syria. We are also convinced that the final success in international efforts in this direction mainly depends on the effectiveness of the inter-Syrian political process within the framework of the Geneva-2, the quicker renewal of which Russian continues to insistently call for.




LATEST EVENTS

21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.


17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.


26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.


17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.


13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.


08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)


25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.


20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.


16.10.2017 - Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times (sent 12 October)

Sir, If British MPs are free to speak out, wherever they wish, on any issue, why try to block their freedom of speech (“Helping Putin”, 11 October)? If a TV channel wants (and is legally bound) to present different points of view, why slam those who express these views? If the mere act of giving an interview to foreign media amounts to high treason, why does The Times interview Russian politicians without fear? And finally - while MPs critical of Russia are welcome guests on the Russian TV channel RT, does your paper give the same treatment to those critical of the paper’s owner? Konstantin Shlykov Press Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation


25.09.2017 - PRESENTATION by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Christian Future of Europe Conference 22 September 2017, London

Your Eminences and Your Excellencies, dear Mr. Ambassador, conference organizers and participants, I cordially greet all of those gathered today at the Russian Embassy in London to partake in this conference dedicated to the question of the future of Christianity in Europe. This topic is not only not losing any of its relevance, but is resounding ever anew. Experts believe that today Christianity remains not only the most persecuted religious community on the planet, but is also encountering fresh challenges which touch upon the moral foundations of peoples' lives, their faith and their values. Recent decades have seen a transformation in the religious and ethnic landscape of Europe.



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