24 March 2018
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Aggressive actions by the so-called “Islamic State”, which is also known as ISIS, threaten the future of Iraq as well as that of its neighbouring countries, including Syria. Moreover, the terrorists have openly declared their intention to edge the whole region of the Middle East and North Africa to the abyss of religious wars and to impose on Muslims unacceptable attitudes towards other confessions and the outside world. They murder and humiliate Christians; they advertise their horrific executions of journalists and aid workers. All this is absolutely has nothing to do with genuine values of Islam as one of the world’s leading religions.
In order to effectively address the terrorist challenge, it is imperative to understand its roots and real scale and to develop a comprehensive strategy. The resolve to fight all forms and manifestations of terrorism without distinguishing between “bad” and “good” terrorists has always been at the centre of international anti-terrorist efforts. Regrettably, in the Middle East and North Africa, this cornerstone principle has begun to fail. In Libya, some countries turned a blind eye to the rise of extremists. We now see what Libya looks like today as a result of such reckless policies, and what consequences they have had on the region, including Syria. The fact that President al-Assad was declared by some “illegitimate” more than three years ago, has prevented a timely and adequate response to the surge of terrorist groups in Syria.
In Iraq itself, the post-Saddam situation was badly mismanaged, thus bringing it into the turmoil of a prolonged civil war and creating a huge risk of its falling apart. Russia welcomes the intention of Iraqi leaders to overcome that legacy and to promote national reconciliation, and consistently stands for the continued independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. We strongly support the inclusive political process with a view to ensuring accord among all political fractions and ethno-confessional groups in that country.
If we want to achieve success, all our actions must be based on a firm and clear understanding that the rise of extremism constitutes the main threat to the region. All states, both in the region and outside, who are genuinely committed to oppose terrorists should unite in deeds, not just in words. A truly collective approach should be developed through putting our minds and capabilities together. And of course, we must build our common action on the solid foundation of United Nations Charter and UN counter-terrorist instruments and mechanisms. We face the same enemies in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and there is no room for double standards. For instance, no one may attack ISIS positions in Syria’s territory without coordination with the Syrian government. The terrorist threat is too serious to be addressed from a position of ideological bias and disregard for international law. Syria, as well as Iran, is a natural ally of the international community in the fight against ISIL.
Russia has already provided concrete military and other relevant assistance to strengthen the counterterrorist capability of Iraq, Syria and other frontline states of the region. Moreover, we propose to initiate a deep and comprehensive study of extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa through the UN Security Council. We believe it is necessary to address root causes, not just the symptoms of the rise of extremism.
We hope that the outcomes of the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq held in Paris on 15 September will help address the needs of the government of Iraq and contribute to mobilizing practical support for more concerted global counterterrorist efforts under the auspices of the United Nations.



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.

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.

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