23 January 2020
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690 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     682 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Open letter of Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UK Alexander Yakovenko to Members of Parliament on the situation in Syria

I would like to refer to the recent parliamentary debate on Syria. I fully share the concern voiced over various aspects of the humanitarian situation in that country, including in relation to Aleppo, but not only its eastern part.

The debate has left the feeling that there is a lack of an integrated vision of the Syrian situation and its genesis. Short of that, any assessments are fragmentary and superficial. But the fact is that during the Syrian crisis that began 5 years ago the armed opposition to the legitimate authorities has been actively nurtured by external sponsors. Two thirds of the country’s territory came under the control of these factions, of which the main striking force turned out to be the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and “Jabhat al-Nusra”. They were about to take Damascus, which would have led to the creation of a terrorist state in the territory of Syria that would be a direct threat to the security of Russia and the whole of Europe. Russia’s intervention a year ago helped reverse this trend military-wise. Since then 35 thousand terrorists, most of whom were foreigners, have been destroyed, a truce at the local level with 783 settlements has been reached with the assistance of the Russian military who established the Center for the Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides.

At the same time, we have been working hard with the United States within the framework of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), as well as on a bilateral basis in order to ensure a sustainable ceasefire and transition to a political settlement in Syria. All of this was being done on the basis of the principles enshrined in the documents of the ISSG and endorsed by the UNSC Resolution 2254, which emphasizes the need to “prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL, al-Nusra Front and all the other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council, and that “the ceasefire will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against these individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities”.

We are committed to the fight against terrorism, and will not “run out of this road”. In their speeches MPs rightly focused on the humanitarian situation, especially in the eastern part of Aleppo. But the atrocities committed by the terrorists against the population of Western Aleppo, Damascus, and other Syrian cities were left out of the picture. Unfortunately, the British media keep silent on that. Furthermore, it is presented in a distorted way.

Personally, I have been surprised why the United Kingdom did not support the proposal of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Syria Staffan de Mistura to allow “al-Nusra” fighters out of the Eastern Aleppo and thereby ensure a sustainable ceasefire and humanitarian access to all those in need, and ultimately, normalize the situation in the whole of Aleppo. Obviously, if a significant number of those fighters with weapons could be withdrawn from Aleppo, that would alleviate the sufferings of all who are held in this part of the city as hostages. Let us not forget about the disastrous humanitarian situation in other parts of Syria, where there is also a risk of a humanitarian disaster similar to that observed in both parts of Aleppo.

That is not to mention the fact that the solution of humanitarian problems in that city would promote the separation of the so-called “moderate” opposition from the terrorists, which the US has failed to do, despite repeated - since February of this year - promises of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Members of Parliament with no grounds whatsoever accused Russia, along with the Syrian government, of deliberate strikes against civilians, which the Foreign Secretary tried to qualify as “war crimes”. 10 days ago the Russian Embassy formally requested the Foreign Office to provide the proof that supports these allegations of Boris Johnson. Otherwise, we will consider these accusations to be outright lies that serve to protect “Jabhat al-Nusra” and, probably, the British military personnel in Syria. The whole point of the response received by us is that the British side is not in possession of such evidence. Moreover, speaking in Parliament and accusing us of the strike at the UN humanitarian convoy near Aleppo, Boris Johnson referred to the information in the social networks. That is bizarre, since serious accusations must be supported by strong evidence. The Embassy also requested the Foreign Office to send us this information from those social networks used by the British government. We are waiting for a reply.

The British side is constantly accusing us of strikes “not at the right targets”. Although we believe otherwise. Moreover, a year ago I personally met the then Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond and officially requested cooperation in establishing contacts with the “Free Syrian Army”, as well as in coordination between our militaries in targeting which would allow take possible British concerns into account. The Russian side received a decisive refusal to those proposals. Later, I repeatedly raised this issue at various official levels - the answer was always negative. I should add that our military has also requested information on areas, where the British Special Forces operate in Syria, in order to avoid possible casualties among them as a result of the Russian Air Forces actions. This was also met with silence.

I would like to use this opportunity to point out that the destruction of the terrorists is the first part of the task that the international community should implement in Syria in accordance with the UN Security Council mandate. The second is the launch of a political process, development of a new constitution and holding of democratic elections in that country. This is the only way to avoid “Libyan scenario” and ensure that Syrians have the opportunity to determine the future of their country in accordance with democratic norms and without outside interference.


09.01.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement for the media following talks between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul, January 8, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, Today, in addition to the launch ceremony for the TurkStream gas pipeline that you witnessed, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan held intensive bilateral talks. They adopted a joint statement following the talks. I would like to highlight several points of this document.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the latter’s initiative.

04.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

On January 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu.

04.01.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the death of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani

We were concerned to learn of the death of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US military strike on Baghdad airport.

03.01.2020 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

On January 3, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

23.12.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US sanctions against gas pipelines

We are watching with interest how the US is crossing a landmark line in foreign policy by launching sanctions, which Russia has long become accustomed to, against their own allies. It is exactly what the provisions stipulate in the December 20 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 which contains a section entitled Protecting Europe’s Energy Security.

01.12.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s answer to media question on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s article in the Sunday Telegraph

Question: How would you comment on today's article by Dominic Raab entitled “We couldn’t confront Putin if Corbyn were PM”? Answer: In the heat of the election campaign we wouldn’t want to comment on ideas of what would happen if a certain politician came to lead the government. We would just like to mention that this is another example of short-term exploitation of the fictional “Russian threat”. We realise that this is done in the run-up to the elections as well as the NATO summit in London. Yet such publications are not helpful for Russian-British relations as a whole.

27.11.2019 - Press-Release on the V Russian-British Business Forum in London, 27 November 2019

The V Russian-British Business Forum is taking place in London on November 27, organized by the Russian Embassy and the Russian Trade Delegation to the United Kingdom with support by the Roscongress Foundation, the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce and a number of Russian and British companies. The event is traditionally held as part of the Eastern Seasons, a week of Russia-related business, cultural and sports events.

22.11.2019 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin arrives in UK

On 21 November 2019 the newly appointed Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UK, Andrei Kelin, arrived in London. On 22 November, His Excellency has submitted the copy of his credentials to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and officially assumed his duties.

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