18 March 2018
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Ambassador A.Yakovenko on reception at the Russian Embassy to mark the opening of the “Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space age” exhibition

Ladies and gentlemen,

 Dear friends,

 It’s a pleasure and honour for me to welcome you all at this reception to mark tomorrow’s grand opening of the exhibition “Cosmonauts: birth of the space age” at the Science Museum.

 I am proud to greet Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space who is also here with us today, as well as Elena Gagarina, Yuri Gagarin’s daughter and director of the Kremlin Museums, and Olga Korolyova, a granddaughter of our space rocket creator.

 Russia remains one of the world leading space powers. Outer space exploration is an essential component and driver of our economy. On agenda there are some new projects to be carried out. Among them – a Moon Program, Mars exploration, development of new families of launchers. New Russian national Space centre «Vostochny» is currently under construction in the Russian Far East.

 One of examples of international cooperation is the International Space Station. I took part in the multilateral talks on this project. During latest flight to the station Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has established the new world record of staying in space for the total of 878 days. This exhibition, never seen before, even in Russia, shows the origins and achievements of the Soviet and Russian space programme. The scale of the display makes it unique and I understand it’s the biggest event in the history of the Museum. The interest of the public is already enormous, and we all know that the British people have been fascinated by the feats of space exploration ever since Yuri Gagarin visited London and Manchester in 1961.

 In English, the common expression for something very difficult to understand or accomplish is “rocket science”. Actually, assembling and bringing this exhibition to London was “rocket science” – so many challenges had to be addressed. This is why I’d like to give special thanks to the persons without whom this fascinating event would hardly be possible. From the Russian side it’s Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, who will join us tomorrow at the Science Museum, and from the British side it’s the Director of the Museum, Ian Blatchford. Mr. Blatchford has shown great commitment to this ambitious project and his contribution to the imminent success can’t be overestimated. This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has petitioned the President to award him with the Pushkin Medal, the Russian state decoration bestowed for cultural achievements, and the decree is about to be signed. In the meantime this is how it looks. 

 This exhibition is an excellent example of cultural cooperation between Russia and Britain which continues to link our peoples in times of political disagreements. Our job is to maintain these ties that bind.

 I’d like to thank Bob Dudley for sponsoring the exhibition and our reception.

I’d like also to draw your attention to the watches, which were worn by our cosmonauts. They are produced now and you can buy them at the Museum. Edgar Volodko insures that they are produced to the high quality standards. He is also here with us.

 And I think that you’ll be interested in the new space magazine “ROOM”, produced by Russian publishers in Europe in two languages. Editor-in-chief is Igor Ashurbeyli. It gives us new trends in the sphere of outer space technologies.

 May I now give the floor to Ian Blatchford.


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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