5 March 2021
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1097 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1089 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in connection with the Paris Normandy format summit’s anniversary

Kiev’s continued reluctance to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk Package of Measures and the Normandy format agreements, and Berlin and Paris’ connivance with the Ukrainian authorities’ destructive policy are a cause for concern.

One year ago today, on December 9, 2019, at the Normandy summit in Paris, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine reiterated that there was no alternative to the Minsk agreements as the basis for resolving the conflict in Donbass and outlined seven priority steps to be taken by Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. It included observing the ceasefire, separating forces, demining, exchanging detainees, opening contact line checkpoints, coordinating the legal aspects of Donbass’ special status with the inclusion of the Steinmeier formula in Ukrainian legislation, which determines the procedure for the gradual entry into force of the special status.

Kiev and Donbass were expected to implement this programme in four months. In April, another Normandy summit was supposed to come up with more steps to implement the Package of Measures. However, even after a year, only two of the seven Paris decisions have been implemented, and only partially. In July, following persistent resistance from Ukraine, additional measures to consolidate the ceasefire went into effect, which had been largely distorted or disavowed by Kiev unilaterally by September. At present, the ceasefire is being somewhat observed only because Donbass is not responding to Ukraine’s shelling and violations of other measures. Two detainee exchanges have taken place, in December 2019 and in April 2020. But in fact, Kiev failed to clear all of these individuals, which is why some people may be arrested again.

There is no progress on the other Paris decisions. Kiev continues to replace practical work with going through the motions and a feigned constructive approach. The opening of the Shchastye and Zolotoye checkpoints in the Lugansk region in early November is a case in point. Throughout the year, Kiev has been slowing this process, has refused to provide security guarantees, and has kept the OSCE and Lugansk in the dark about the work underway on its territory. As a result, it built crossings only for pedestrians, knowing full well that Lugansk was preparing vehicle crossings that are critical for humanitarian aid deliveries.

The situation is about the same with other Paris directives. The political aspects are in the worst shape. Ukraine has still done nothing on agreements with Donbass on all aspects of a political settlement, including making the Steinmeier formula part of the law on the special status of Donbass, which expires on December 31. Representatives of Ukraine refuse to provide even general outlines for the future status of Donbass. Even if Kiev formally renews the current law, this will again be done without the aforementioned formula or any other agreed to special status, as provided for by the Minsk agreements and the Paris summit decisions.

A resolution adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in July on holding local elections in Ukraine, except Donbass, came as a major irritant that blocked the Contact Group’s activities. The conditions that the parliamentarians put forward for Donetsk and Lugansk grossly violate the Package of Measures. To get beyond the impasse, Donbass suggested that Kiev agree on an action plan for the deputies in the vein of the Minsk agreements, and provided a draft of this document. In response, Kiev presented its Plan of Joint Steps which to an even greater degree trampled on the Package of Measures, and ignored the proposals advanced by Donbass. In the Contact Group, the representatives of Ukraine came up with an absurd proposal for recognising as “non-existent” the project introduced by Donbass and officially received by Ukraine.

Unfortunately, Ukraine's destructive actions did not elicit a proper response from the settlement co-sponsors, namely, Germany and France. Doubts about the sincerity of their intentions to help overcome the Ukraine crisis were confirmed by their efforts to disrupt the Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council on December 2, which was dedicated to implementing the Minsk agreements, in which representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk took part. Fearful of hearing the truth, Germany, France, Ukraine and a number of other countries refused to participate in this meeting.

Admittedly, the situation that we witnessed after the Normandy summit in Berlin in 2016 is here again. It took Kiev more than three years to implement only some of its decisions, and this was only possible after the presidential and parliamentary elections. We hope that this time France and Germany will help convince our Ukrainian partners of the need to implement a simple set of practical steps that are clearly outlined in the Package of Measures and the decisions of the Normandy format summit in Paris, through a direct dialogue with representatives of certain regions of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions.


24.02.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on the EU’s new illegal restrictive measures against Russia

We are disappointed by the February 22 decision of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to impose new illegal, unilateral and unsubstantiated restrictive measures on Russian citizens. The European Union has missed an opportunity to rethink its policy of artificial linkages, sanctions and pressure in its relations with Russia, a policy that has proved to be completely ineffective over the past few years. Instead, guided by its bloc discipline and anti-Russia stereotypes, Brussels has instinctively pressed the ineffective sanctions button. Moreover, contrary to all logic, the EU first adopted a political decision, and plans to choose the candidates for the sanctions later on.

18.02.2021 - "Centenary of Russia-UK trade relations" conference

This year marks the centenary of the first Russian-British trade agreement. We are delighted to invite you to participate in the online-conference organized by the Embassy and Trade delegation of Russia in the UK on March 16, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (UK time).

10.02.2021 - Vladimir Putin's greetings on Diplomatic Workers’ Day

Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the current and former staff of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on the occasion of their professional day, Diplomatic Workers’ Day.

04.02.2021 - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the extension of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms

On February 3, 2021 the MFA of Russia and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow exchanged diplomatic notes regarding the completion of internal procedures required for the entry into force of the Agreement to extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of April 8, 2010 (New START). Accordingly, this Agreement entered into force on the same day. Thus the Treaty will remain in effect exactly as it had been signed, without any amendments or additions, until February 5, 2026. The telephone conversation between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the U.S. President Joseph Biden on January 26, 2021 became key for this development to proceed.

28.01.2021 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on actions of American internet monopolies

We support the Statement by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in connection with the violation of the principle of freedom of speech by global American Internet companies. The restrictive actions taken by the administration of American social media giants with regard to the content posted on their platforms have delivered a blow to the democratic system of values and the international information architecture.

27.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East settlement held in videoconference format, Moscow, January 26, 2021

Mr Minister, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Tunisian friends for convening today's meeting in a timely fashion. Clearly, a candid exchange of views on the Middle East settlement (MES) in the Security Council is long overdue. It is necessary to review the previous stage, to identify the reasons for the continuing deadlock in the MES, and to outline the key areas of joint work for the future.

21.01.2021 - Press release on the future of New START

When it comes to arms control, the previous US administration worked consistently and systematically to destroy the agreements which prevented Washington from arbitrarily building up, projecting and using military force and which it saw as an obstacle on its way to “victory” in the “great power rivalry” it itself declared.

19.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2020, Moscow, January 18, 2021

This is our traditional news conference on the foreign policy outcomes of 2020. It is traditional, but remote. We opted for a format that was widely used over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions imposed in almost all countries, including Russia.

15.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Moscow, January 14, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, We had substantive and meaningful talks. We discussed the further development of the friendly and trustworthy relations between our countries in accordance with the agreements reached during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Riyadh in the autumn of 2019, and subsequent telephone conversations at top level.

01.01.2021 - President Vladimir Putin's New Year Address to the Nation

Citizens of Russia, friends, The year 2020 will be over in just a few minutes. As we were welcoming it a year ago today, just like people around the world, we thought and dreamed of changes for the better. No one could have imagined back then what kind of trials would come our way. Now, it appears that the outgoing year has taken in the burden of many years. It was a difficult year for all of us, with worries and serious financial difficulties, bitter experiences and, for some, loss of the loved ones.

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