24 January 2019
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326 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     318 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

11.03.2016

The Russian Embassy’s statement On HMG policy of dragging Russia into the Brexit debate

For quite a while the British Government has been referring to perceived Russia/the Kremlin’s interest when facing a problem of selling its policies to the public opinion at home, otherwise suspect and unconvincing. It is done at various levels of the Government including Foreign and Defense Secretaries. What all the pronouncements of this sort have in common is the claim to know better than the Russian Government where our national interest lies and what our policies are. In a sense Russia is scapegoated for almost everything that has gone wrong in Britain and the West over the past 25 years, i.e. the War in Iraq, misadventure in Libya, global financial crisis, advent of deglobalisation (the term, coined by Gordon Brown), the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, and now the rise of anti-establishment sentiment in the West and the migration crisis of the EU.

That behaviour has reached a new high now that Russia is being dragged into the domestic debate on Brexit. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking at the Chatham House on 2 March said, that “the only country who would like us to leave the EU is Russia.” And that, according to him, “should tell us all we need to know.” First of all, why is the wicked Russia thesis used to explain a Government policy, be it the presumed deal struck with the EU partners or a more fundamental issue of the EU membership, which must be defended on its merits? Secondly, why is it all the British public need to know?
And why shift the topic? The EU is not a military alliance, which is Nato. It is not about the special relationship with the US. Neither is the British nuclear deterrent involved, not is, for that matter, London’s permanent seat at the UN Security Council at stake.
It goes without saying that we have a huge problem with this strategy/tactics. It seems that the present British Government has a vested interest in a disfunctional bilateral relationship with Russia. Another conclusion one may draw therefrom is that the authorities thus admit that they cannot win the argument in an open and straightforward debate. Of course, we wouldn’t oblige. We find this unfair towards both Russia, with whom Britain maintains diplomatic relations, and the British people, who deserve a better treatment from their own government.
We expect our British partners to explain themselves. In the meantime, we’d like the British people to know that those pronouncements have nothing to do with Russia’s policy. As a matter of fact, our Government doesn’t have an opinion on Britain’s place in the EU. We have nothing to do with the very idea to hold this referendum. It is for the British to decide. We’ll accept any outcome. We have enough problems of our own to mind somebody else’s business. More than that, we believe that if our Western partners had minded their own business well enough, all of us would have had fewer international problems on our hands.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t have problems dealing with the EU. Overall, we share the concern over the bias in the form of political expediency/correctness that stifles debate on real issue, forces real life into the straitjacket of ideological constructs and schemes. In reality, these leads to crises like the EU unilateralist foray, under the previous Brussels team, into the Ukrainian affairs.
We are even blamed for the migration crisis in Europe. And that contrary to the fact that it started well before our limited military intervention in Syria on 30 September 2015, which radically changed the dynamics in that country, helped establish the IGSS and bring hope of peace. Was it not the West, who by way of Libyan intervention as a precedent misled the Syrians on both sides and then outsourced the regime change to its regional allies, who have their own accounts to settle, have designs on Syrian territory and still insist that Syria become a Sunni state. Russia, on the contrary, is hugely contributing to finding a political solution in Syria and, thus, alleviating the migration crisis. This is done at least at four levels: fighting Isis (our limited Air Force deployment), working in tandem with the US in the IGSS, mediating support for the ceasefire at the grass-root level on the ground and providing humanitarian aid. We’d like to know what the British record on Syria is.
We wouldn’t have dwelt on that, had HMG not alluded to the Russian threat to British national security at every opportunity. We leave it to the conscience of our British partners. As to the Brexit debate, we find any outside interference unacceptable and counterproductive for the cause of the Government, especially given the fact that the issue is viewed by many in Britain in existential terms.
This statement is circulated to both referendum campaigns, to all the main political parties and British media.

11 March 2016




LATEST EVENTS

22.01.2019 - Embassy press officer’s response to a media question concerning possible further EU sanctions against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the news that the EU has adopted further sanctions against Russian nationals allegedly involved in the Salisbury incident, upon British initiative? Answer: Russia’s political assessment of this decision has been made clear in a commentary of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To add to what has already been said, this is yet another example of bloc decision-making based on the ill-conceived “solidarity” rather than facts. The UK Conservative government has so far failed to provide the Russian side, the public or even their EU and NATO allies with any reliable and verifiable information as to what happened in Salisbury last March.


22.01.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the EU decision to add Russian citizens to the sanctions list

On January 21, the EU Foreign Affairs Council approved restrictions against a number of Russian citizens for their alleged involvement in the Salisbury poisoning in March 2018. By so doing, the EU tested a new mechanism against our compatriots of restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. The new accusations against Russia and Russian citizens under the so-called Skripal case do not stand up to scrutiny. The information campaign was launched by the British government over this case for predominantly domestic political purposes. It is indicative that the renewal of this campaign has coincided with the latest crisis in the Brexit talks.


21.01.2019 - Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a media question regarding a teenager receiving an award for administering first aid to Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the media reports suggesting that it was Abigail McCourt, 16, who was the first to help Sergei and Yulia Skripal after they were poisoned? Answer: If this is true, let us express sincere admiration and gratitude to Abigail for having saved the lives of our two compatriots. At the same time, we have to say that these reports, as many others related to the Salisbury case, are unofficial and unverifiable. Moreover, the fact that Abigail was present at the crime scene together with her mother, Alison McCourt, who happens to be a Colonel and the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, adds to the numerous extraordinary coincidences characteristic of the Skripals poisoning. Furthermore, one has to wonder why this information, unusual as it is, has only been made public ten months after the incident.


18.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the UK position on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Question: Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Alan Duncan, addressing the Commons Defence Committee, has once again accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and of the planned US withdrawal from it. He found it difficult to explain the Russian position, calling it a “mystery”. How could you comment on that? Answer: Indeed, the discussion between the FCO Minister of State in charge of Russia and members of Parliament’s Defence Committee was startling. After repeating a standard set of accusations against Russia widely used by the US to cover its urge to unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty, Sir Alan visibly struggled to explain the Russian position, not to mention our well-known concerns with regard to the US compliance. Moreover, in order to understand our motives the Minister, referring to the Beatles, suggested one would need to take “a magical mystery tour”.


17.01.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 Moscow, January 16, 2019


08.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on the latest media publication on the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the Daily Telegraph publications alleging that British authorities have established full details of the assassination attempt of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and describing their current life in England? Answer: We are dealing with yet another media leak, unofficial and unverifiable. It provides no new facts on the Salisbury incident, let alone evidence. The circumstances of the incident remain as confusing as ever.


05.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements on Russia by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Question: How would you comment on Jeremy Hunt’s speech in Singapore, in which he named Russia’s actions on the international arena as the prime example of a threat to the rules-based international system? Answer: Such rhetoric of British officials is not new. It again combines manipulation of international norms with distortion of facts. As stated repeatedly, Russia does not accept the concept of a “rules-based international system”. The international order is based on international law, i.e. legally binding norms that have been agreed on and accepted by all states. By substituting “international law” with obscure “rules”, the UK and other Western countries aim to shed the responsibility for their unlawful behaviour, while assuming the right to randomly blame other countries of breaking “rules” to which they had never signed up.


04.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Syria

Question: How could you comment on the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a “Sky News” interview on President Assad’s future and the role of Russia in the Syrian peace settlement? Answer: We have taken note of Mr Hunt saying that “regretfully” Bashar al-Assad “is going to be around for a while and that is because of the support that he’s had from Russia” and “Russia may think that it’s gained a sphere of influence [but] you’ve also gained a responsibility”.


31.12.2018 - Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov for the show, Moscow. Kremlin. Putin, Moscow, December 30, 2018

Question: What is the main outcome of the year for you? Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to highlight something specific. If we speak about foreign policy, I cannot make an evaluation myself. We have tried to do everything that is necessary in order to fulfill the instructions of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, to implement the foreign political course set by him. It is not for me to judge how successful we were. This should be left to the people to decide, of course, and to the leadership of the Russian Federation.


28.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the situation with the staffing of the Russian and British diplomatic missions

Question: Could you comment on the statement by Ambassador Yakovenko regarding the forthcoming restoration of the number of Russian and British diplomats, which was subsequently denied by the UK Foreign Office? Answer: We saw the rebuttal by the British side. Here are the facts. In December Russia and the UK have, for the first time since March, issued a number of visas for future employees of the diplomatic missions of the two countries, on the basis of reciprocity.



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