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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

11.07.2014

A MORE STABLE MIDDLE EAST IS IN THE INTERESTS OF ALL (by Alexander Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Recent events in the Middle East have become a tipping point not only for the region but the entire world. The biggest concern now, not to mention Syria, is an extremely complex situation in Iraq. A so-called “Islamic caliphate” has been established in this country and neighboring Syria. It is obvious that appetites of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” extend far beyond Iraq and Syria: the Levant historically includes areas now occupied by Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. This is a vast territory, and it is clear what the consequences would be in the worst case scenario.
Of course, one should not exclude that the terrorists’ far-reaching plans to dismember Iraq may trigger the creation of new entities along religious and ideological lines, as well as population’s ethnic composition. However, Russia proceeds from the fact that Iraq has been and remains a single state.
Concerted efforts aimed at preserving the territorial unity and independence of Iraq are vital. They can bear fruit only if consolidation and mutual understanding are found within the Iraqi society, between the leaders of the three main communities – Shia, Sunni and Kurdish. In that case, Iraq may count on assistance of its international friends. We hope that our Western and regional partners will stand united in the shared desire to help the Iraqis defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty.
It is equally important for the international community to join efforts to effectively combat terrorism. This imminent threat deserves wider understanding. An international meeting is called for in order to collectively address this common problem that now splits the Arab society and the region at large, and threatens to spill over the boundaries of the Middle East.
International terrorist activity is fully felt in Syria, causing further deterioration of the humanitarian situation. That the position of the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria still remains vacant certainly doesn’t help mitigate the Syrian crisis. We continue to believe that the potential of Geneva-2 process is far from having been exhausted. Obviously, more time is required for negotiations: given the confidence crisis, Syrian parties need to accommodate to each other’s positions. Part of the problem was related to the poor representation of the Syrian opposition at the conference.
Regrettably, now we are told that the Geneva process has no prospects. At that, nobody offers anything that could help end the bloodshed. Instead, there are plans underway to arm and finance the opposition to “change the balance of forces”, which in reality means continuing the war, and even encouraging it.
The situation in the region is being exacerbated with a flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence. Shortly after Palestinian-Israeli negotiations resumed last summer, it became clear that there are a number of profound contradictions between the parties. The task of finding early mutually acceptable solutions, set by the US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013, beyond any doubt, was a tall order. But one of the American diplomacy’s fundamental errors was an attempt to direct the negotiation process in such a way that it was carried out almost from a clean slate, while the existing international legal framework for the Palestinian-Israeli settlement was pushed aside. If talks between the Palestinians and Israelis are to resume, it is necessary for those to rely upon the well-known international legal instruments, including the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the “road map”.
In today's reality it is fundamentally important that the international community is united by an understanding that fighting against terrorism and preventing the collapse of states in the Middle East is the primary task. With all the well-known differences between various international and regional players, a stable, secure and prosperous Middle East is in the interests of all.

 

 




LATEST EVENTS

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.


23.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at presentation of the book "The Mystery of Repentance" held at the Russian Embassy

I’m glad to welcome you here to a discussion of two prominent hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, on Christian future of Europe.


12.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the exhibition opening (“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” 12 September, British Museum)

Today the British Museum and the State Hermitage of Saint-Petersburg are once again proving their unique world class by bringing a whole new civilization to London. Ancient, and almost mythical, but creative, powerful and very different from what we have all known about antiquity – the Scythians.


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone's sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone\'s sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?


03.07.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at breakfast event: Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia (3 July, British Museum)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m happy that Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia exhibition is gaining momentum. We have all seen the excellent teaser reviews in the papers. They are a good sign, but one always expects world class events from the State Hermitage and the British Museum. The public expectations are high and no doubt they will be met.



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