17 December 2017
Moscow: 15:06
London: 12:06

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

18.11.2015

Syrian solution demands truly inclusive compromise (article by Ambassador Yakovenko for the Daily Telegraph supplement, 17 November 2015)

Upon Russia’s insistence, a truly inclusive multilateral process was launched in Vienna on Oct. 30 to help find a compromise solution to the Syrian crisis. Iran, a major player, took part for the first time, as well as China. All agreed to the U.S., Russia and the U.N. co-chairing the meeting.

Heated exchanges took place on the issue of President Bashar al-Assad’s future. As was the case three years ago, this could derail the entire process. But ultimately it was agreed to disagree on that issue. Lack of agreement on this subject resulted in three more years of bloody impasse. We should know better than that this time. All the more so that those are the differences between the outside players. Why not leave it to the Syrians to decide?

A joint statement was adopted by consensus. The middle ground agreed included such major principles of the outside world’s approach to the Syrian settlement as independence, territorial integrity and secular nature of the Syrian state; the preservation of state institutions, protection of the rights of all the Syrians irrespective of ethnicity and religion; humanitarian access and intensification of diplomatic efforts to put an end to the armed conflict.

The extremist approaches failed to win the support of the majority of the participants. The Geneva Communiqué of June 30 2012, backed by the U.N. Security Council, will serve as a basis for political process. It means the opposition and the government will have to agree on Syria’s future. Mutual agreement is key to any political settlement as opposed to a military solution and a solution that’s imposed from outside. As the examples of post-war Germany and Japan show, imposed solutions mean a military defeat, a long foreign occupation and a total commitment by major outside powers, including the provision of long-term economic and financial assistance. Short of that, a compromise looks the only viable option.

The second meeting in Vienna, held in the aftermath of the atrocities committed by terrorists in Paris, reflected in its statement a growing sense of unity in the face of this terrorist threat that went global. It is now agreed that the inter-Syrian talks will start under U.N. auspices by Jan. 1. The two parties will have to agree an inclusive mechanism of governance, a new constitution and elections. The latter will be prepared under UN control, including help for all the Syrians to take part.

It is envisaged that, with the launch of the political process, a ceasefire will come into force for all of the participants. The current military action will continue to suppress terrorists, who have tried to hijack the cause of the legitimate opposition. Terrorism is the single most important factor that has distorted the Syrian conflict from the beginning, when many had bet on a foreign intervention like that in Libya.

The past four years have provided enough experience for a sober and realistic assessment of the situation by all. This experience, paid for in blood and destruction, human misery on an immense scale and the proliferation of terrorism, should not have been in vain. Like in Egypt, it provided a glimpse of a future based on conquest rather than negotiated solution. After all, why not trust the wisdom of the silent majority who never outsourced their choice to people making their point with guns?

What is critical now is the compilation of the two lists of the opposition groups to make up a united delegation at the talks with the government and for the terrorist organisations to be proscribed by the U.N. Security Council. This is the only way to make something coherent out of the mess that the Syrian situation has degenerated into with all outside players acting at cross purposes.

It is for the Syrians to decide their future. The most the outside world can do is to come up with a clear-cut common position. That is the promise of the Vienna talks.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


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?



all messages