3 December 2021
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1370 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1362 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.


01.12.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on the planned US “summit for democracy”, November 30, 2021

In connection with the so-called summit for democracy to be held on December 9-10 at the initiative of the US administration, we consider it necessary to make the following statement. The organisers and enthusiasts behind this strange event claim to lead the world in advancing the cause of democracy and human rights. However, the track record and reputation of the United States, Great Britain, and the EU member states in terms of respecting democratic rights and freedoms at home, as well as in the international arena, are, to put it mildly, far from ideal. The evidence suggests that the United States and its allies cannot and should not claim the status of a “beacon” of democracy, since they themselves have chronic problems with freedom of speech, election administration, corruption and human rights.

24.11.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs “International agenda of Russian businesses: Challenges, risks and cooperation strategies with the state,” Moscow, November 23, 2021

The Russian Foreign Ministry has always proceeded and continues to proceed from the premise that our work and that of other government structures must be in harmony with the efforts of business associations, the main participants in foreign economic activity. Together this should enhance the competitiveness of Russian companies, expand their opportunities abroad and help protect their lawful interests. This is one of the priority goals of Russian diplomacy. It is set forth in the Concept of Foreign Policy approved by the President of Russia. A new version of this concept is being drafted now, and this goal will be expressed even more prominently.

19.11.2021 - Embassy comment on the Home Office announcing a public inquiry into the death of Dawn Sturgess

The announcement by the Home Secretary Priti Patel of a public inquiry into the death of Dawn Sturgess in 2018 to be established by the government came as no surprise to us. This is the turn of events we have predicted earlier having taken into account what we observe in the UK, including the bellicose mood of the British establishment. It confirms our earlier assumption that the situation around Salisbury and Amesbury ‘poisonings’ and the tragic death of Dawn Sturgess would develop in accordance with the painfully familiar Litvinenko Case playbook. As the Home Office statement demonstrates now, London doesn’t conceal it anymore.

18.11.2021 - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on NATO Secretary General’s comments on Russia, November 17, 2021

NATO continues its propaganda efforts targeting people in European countries as it tries to convince them that Russia and its “aggressive” behaviour are the source of instability on the continent. Recently, the NATO Secretary General used a meeting of the 73rd session of the Nordic Council to repeat accusations that our country has interfered in other states’ affairs, which has become a bad habit of his. As usual, he did not provide any evidence. He just used stock phrases and clichés to advocate stepping up NATO activities in northern latitudes, drawing Finland and Sweden into the process of militarising the Arctic and turning it into a space for geopolitical competition rather an area of cooperation.

18.11.2021 - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Anti-Russia statements by British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, November 17, 2021

We noted the anti-Russia statements by British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, which were published by The Sunday Telegraph. She tried to pin the migration crisis on the Belarus-Poland border on Russia and urged European countries to oppose the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in a united front.

18.11.2021 - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Signing of a British-Ukrainian agreement on building up military cooperation, November 17, 2021

It was announced on November 13 of this year that Britain and Ukraine signed an intergovernmental framework agreement on naval cooperation, which provides for the allocation to Kiev of a 10-year 1.7 billion-pound-sterling loan. These funds are supposed to be spent on purchasing or building ships and the construction of naval bases for the Ukrainian Navy in Ochakovo and Berdyansk. This is the legal formalisation of the bilateral accords on military and defence industry cooperation following the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the United Kingdom in 2020.

17.11.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on aspects of the space activities of Russia and other states, November 16, 2021

In light of the numerous media inquiries we have received, it is necessary to provide some clarification regarding the Defence Ministry’s successful test on November 15 of this year. The test resulted in the destruction of the inactive Russian satellite Tselina-D that had been in orbit since 1982. The test was conducted in strict conformity with international law, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and was not directed against anyone.

16.11.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following his visit to France, Paris, November 12, 2021

I would like to say a few words about the meeting of the foreign and defence ministers of the Russian Federation and the French Republic, which were held today in the 2 + 2 format.

15.11.2021 - Press release on the adoption by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session of a resolution on combatting the glorification of Nazism

On November 12, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session adopted during a meeting, held in New York, the resolution “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” initiated by the Russian Federation.

13.11.2021 - Assessment of the Responses of France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom to the Russian Request under Paragraph 2 of Article IX of the Chemical Weapons Convention dated 7 October 2021 regarding the Incident with Alexey Navalny

On 7 October 2021, in response to the démarche made against Russia within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) by a group of 45 States “concerned” about the 2020 incident involving Russian blogger Alexey Navalny, the Russian Federation submitted through the OPCW Technical Secretariat (TS) a counter-démarche to the representatives of France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom under paragraph 2 of Article IX of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

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