22 October 2021
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1328 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1320 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



HMS Belfast's extraordinary war service is recognised by Russia

FOR two years, HMS Belfast was part of the Arctic convoys that kept Russia supplied and able to fight with the Allies during the Second World War.

Now Russia is repaying its debt by funding the restoration of the former Royal Navy cruiser (below) and honouring its surviving veteran sailors.

HMS Belfast A ceremony will tomorrow be held on board the ship, now an Imperial War Museum piece moored in the Thames, to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the war. Commemorative medals will be presented to 14 retired sailors and Russian firms are expected to confirm they will fund the ?500,000 replacement of HMS Belfast’s two badly-eroded masts.

HMS Belfast is known as the "last witness" to the extraordinary wartime feats that saw 40 convoys sail to the north Russian port of Murmansk, supplying munitions, tanks and aircraft. Of the 811 ships that took part, 68 were sunk.

Admiral Lord West (right), the former First Sea Lord who is a trustee of the Imperial War Museum, told the Standard: "She has played her part in history, Belfast. I’m really delighted the Russians now recognise what the Arctic convoys did for their nation, and the bravery of our sailors. Admiral Lord West

"It was very arduous but very important for keeping Russia in the war. That was the key reason we managed to defeat the Germans. The Russian Army ripped the guts out of the German Army."

One Belfast veteran, William Light, 85, who was born in Highbury, said he was honoured to receive a medal. "It’s something I shall appreciate until I’m dead," he told the Standard.

"I’m glad we did it, because without us and the main ships, the small ships wouldn’t have stood a chance. We saved the lives of people who really had no chance without our help."

Edward Cordery, 86, who was a torpedo operator on HMS Belfast, involved in the epic Battle of North Cape over Christmas 1943, when Belfast was part of an Allied convoy to destroy the massive Nazi battle cruiser Scharnhorst. He also served on Belfast when she led the sea attack during the Normandy landings in 1944.

He said: "We were told it was important we protected the [Arctic] convoys and made sure they were successful. It would help to stop the war. It was as simple as that."

Allan Beer, 84, who was an anti-aircraft gunner on HMS Belfast, said: "I know it was 66 years ago but it is nice to be recognised."

He added: "The thing that left an impression on me was hearing a ping and being ordered to shut watertight doors and waiting for an explosion, which fortunately didn’t come. There were a few submarines about, and occasionally we had to shut down our engines. It was a game of cat and mouse."

Sovcomflot, the world’s largest commercial shipping company, and Lukoil, the largest oil company in Russia, are both expected to announce "significant" contributions to Belfast’s restoration. Two Russian naval shipyards are ready to compete to build the replacement masts free of charge.

Yury Fedotov (below), the Russian ambassador in London, told the Standard: "It’s impossible to underestimate the role played by British sailors during the Second World War to provide vital supply routes across the Arctic ocean. The sailors are still remembered in Russia for their bravery and self-sacrifice.

Yury Fedotov "For Russian people and the Russian government, HMS Belfast is first of all a symbol of the unity with the British people during the war. It is great we still have such symbols but unfortunately time does not spare anyone or anything."

Tim Lewin, whose late father, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin, was a junior officer on HMS Belfast, said: "Belfast went to the rescue of the Russians for two years. Now the Russians have come to the rescue of Belfast."

Information source: http://lydall.standard.co.uk/2010/03/hms-belfasts-extraordinary-war-service-is-recognised-by-russia.html


21.10.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the third meeting of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan, Moscow, October 20, 2021

The Moscow format’s main and indisputable advantage is that it unites Afghanistan with all neighbouring countries and other influential states of the region without exception. We regret the fact that our US colleagues are not participating in this meeting. We noted the fact that this is the second time in a row that the Americans have avoided an expanded troika meeting (Russia-United States-China-Pakistan).

20.10.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following the 18th annual session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Sochi, October 19, 2021

Question: The day before yesterday, Moscow announced measures in response to NATO’s aggressive moves. Are these measures prompted by Russia’s belief that NATO has to take the first step towards improving relations with Moscow? Sergey Lavrov: Yes, this is our approach. We have never been the first to start aggravating our relations with NATO, or the European Union, or any other country in the West or elsewhere. Everyone knows the following story: when in August 2008, Mikheil Saakashvili issued the criminal order to bomb the city of Tskhinval and the peacekeeper’s positions, including Russian peacekeepers, Russia insisted that the Russia-NATO Council meet to consider the situation. US Secretary of State at the time, Condoleezza Rice, refused flatly, although, according to the Founding Act, which was signed by Russia and NATO when they established the Council, it must be effective in any “weather,” particularly in the case of a crisis. This was one example [in a series of events] that led to the status quo of today in relations between our country and NATO.

27.09.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York.

27.09.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the General Debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the 76th session of the General Assembly in New York.

16.09.2021 - Presiden Putin's address to citizens of Russia ahead of State Duma elections

President Vladimir Putin addressed the citizens of Russia ahead of the State Duma election.

04.08.2021 - Russia`s position at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

1. The goal of the 76-th session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs. Owing to its representativeness and universality, the UN is rightfully viewed as a unique platform for an equitable dialogue aimed at reaching compromise solutions with due regard to different opinions. Attempts to undermine the authority and legitimacy of the UN are, in our view, extremely dangerous, as they can lead to the dismantlement of the multipolar system of international relations.

04.08.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow, August 4, 2021

Question: Russia was not only the first country to register a vaccine – Sputnik V – but has also extended a helping hand to many countries that urgently needed it. Some of them accepted Russia’s assistance with gratitude. Tiny San Marino overcame the pandemic within just a matter of seven days. Thanks to Sputnik V, the number of new cases in Argentina is now down to less than one percent. Do other countries really appreciate our support, and should we continue helping them? Sergey Lavrov: Indeed, we were not only the first to register a vaccine, but we also declared our readiness to supply it on a transparent and non-discriminating basis. I am quite sure that our partners appreciate what we are doing.

23.07.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on recent statements by MI5 Director General Ken McCallum

We have noted statements by MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, which have been taken up by the British media, referring to security threats facing the United Kingdom, allegedly emanating from the actions of hostile states, namely, cyber-attacks, misinformation, etc. Director General Ken McCallum also lists Russia among such hostile states. At the same time, all of his assertions are in the well-known “highly likely” style. He provides no evidence or specific facts and merely speaks about certain hybrid threats. There is no specific example to confirm all this; however, this creates a narrative that is detrimental for and has a destructive effect on interstate dialogue and the normal development of bilateral ties.

22.07.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with Interfax news agency, Moscow, July 21, 2021

Question: The German-US draft agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline ties up Ukraine's energy security with new sanctions on Russia that the Germans will be able to impose. Does Russia think the latest threat of sanctions is acceptable? Will it affect the implementation of the project? Sergey Lavrov: Any threat of sanctions, be it new, old or ongoing, is unacceptable, because only the UN Security Council can impose them. Our Western colleagues, primarily the United States and the European Union, which is quickly adopting these “bad habits,” are quite often carried away by sanctions. They are no longer interested in the culture of diplomacy or talks. In fact, they are losing it. They want instant results.

17.07.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation between China and Russia, published by the newspapers Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Russia) and Renmin Ribao (China), July 16, 2021

Relations between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China have reached an all-time high, setting an example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century. Just as in any story of success, there are backbone pillars in our relations that set the tune for our forward development in the years ahead. One such pillar in the development of modern Russian-Chinese ties was the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Twenty years ago, it was signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of China Jiang Zemin.

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