29 June 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

16.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement on Syria

We have taken note of the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made on March 14 at a high-level thematic discussion on Syria at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Having appropriated the role of international arbiter, the high commissioner claims that the situation in Syria is “the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II” and that as a result of the armed conflict, “ the entire country has become a torture-chamber.”

We have first-hand experience of attempts to rewrite history to suit the political situation of the moment. This phenomenon is characteristic of many Western countries. The high commissioner is in effect trying to do the same thing: blame the Damascus authorities for fueling the war in Syria. According to him, vetoes at the UN Security Council have repeatedly pushed back hope for an end to “this senseless carnage.” Meanwhile, he turns a blind eye to the fact that right from the start, this conflict was fomented and fueled by outside forces. He does not use the term “terrorism” at all, and tries to portray terrorists as “victims of circumstance,” which is completely unacceptable.

It is telling that Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein’s politicised and biased evaluations came almost at the same time as the remarks of UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien at the UN session, where he described the situation in Yemen, not in Syria, as the worst humanitarian disaster. It is regrettable that the Yemen conflict, as well as the situation in a number of other countries requiring urgent attention, in particular around Mosul in Iraq, for some reason drop off the high commissioner’s radar or are commented on indirectly. How is that for his so-called “objectivity”?

We must say that Mr Hussein’s remarks at the 34th session of the UN Security Council are certainly not the first example of his comments or public evaluations that are not befitting of a UN official and that run counter to the professional work ethic of a UN Secretariat official, as defined in the UN Charter. Previously, he took the liberty of making inappropriate comments on the work methods and decisions of a UN intergovernmental agency – the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – making personal attacks on the actions of public politicians and even insulting heads of state in his statements.

This raises the question: Does Mr Hussein’s behaviour measure up to the authority and the high international status of the post that he holds? What goal is he pursuing by antagonising states that have been set on constructive cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms? Perhaps his superiors at the UN Secretariat should also pay attention to this.




LATEST EVENTS

28.06.2017 - Remarks by Andrey Rudenko, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second CIS Department, at the Special Session on ensuring security and stability in the OSCE region in light of developments with respect to Ukraine at the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, Vienna, June 27, 2017

I would like to join our colleagues in expressing condolences to the family of Joseph Stone. His death is a heavy loss for his family and friends and a severe blow to the peace-making efforts of the Special Monitoring Mission and the OSCE. We hope the truth in this case will be established soon and those responsible will be held accountable.


28.06.2017 - Speech by Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko at the opening of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference (ASRC) in Vienna, June 27, 2017

Looking back it is impossible not to see all the missed opportunities. The legacy of the Cold War – primarily mental and political – has not been overcome. Western countries have proved to be unprepared for equitable cooperation with Russia in areas of common interest and in the construction of a European security architecture without dividing lines. The OSCE has not been institutionalised. The corner stone of European security – arms control in Europe – has been destroyed for purely political reasons.


27.06.2017 - Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s answer to a question from Rossiya Segodnya news agency

Question: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently commented on a change in Russia\'s position on North Korea. Did Moscow really change its policy? Is Russia ready to try to influence Pyongyang, possibly together with China, to make it stop the moves that violate the UN Security Council resolutions? Answer: Russia\'s principled position on ways to resolve the North Korean issues remains unchanged and consistent. We support a comprehensive resolution of all the problems on the Korean Peninsula exclusively by peaceful means, through dialogue of all parties involved without preconditions, and above all, the main antagonists – the United States and North Korea. It is our strong conviction that any military provocations, any saber rattling, bellicose statements, from whatever party, only exacerbate the situation, bringing it to a critical point that might be followed by a slide towards a large-scale armed conflict, even with the likelihood of using nuclear weapons.


26.06.2017 - Press release on a new procedure of issuing short-stay tourist visas to the State of Qatar for citizens of the Russian Federation

As of June 22, 2017, the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior has added the Russian Federation to the list of countries whose citizens can have a one-month tourist visa issued at Hamad International Airport in Doha.


23.06.2017 - Comment on incident with British fans in Kazan

Q: Can you comment on the incident with the British fans, who were found in possession of flares? A: According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan, a group of British nationals, who arrived in the Russian city of Kazan for 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup game between Chile and Germany teams, were found in possession of 61 flares. It is well known that possession of such pyrotechnic devices for use in sports venues is prohibited.


23.06.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, June 22, 2017

We are pleased to note the generally steady positive momentum in the way the military and political situation in the Syrian Arab Republic has been developing since the May 4 signing of the Memorandum on the Establishment of De-Escalation Zones in Syria by the guarantor countries of the Astana process – Russia, Turkey and Iran.


22.06.2017 - Russian-Brazilian talks

Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Michel Temer, who is in Russia on an official visit.


22.06.2017 - Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on new US sanctions against Russia

On June 20, Washington announced plans to significantly expand US sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities. It was clearly a political gift to President Poroshenko who was in the United States at that time. The sanctions were imposed under the old pretext of events in Ukraine, which is clearly inadequate, especially since the Americans are apparently holding the Moscow Bike Centre and a well-known catering company, to name a few, accountable for the developments in Ukraine. In their absurdity, such decisions can be compared only with the US decision last year to add the Chaika swimming pool in Moscow to the sanctions lists (its location next to the Krymsky Bridge across the Moscow River was apparently the pretext).


21.06.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, Moscow, June 20, 2017

We have had very productive talks with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. They were held in accordance with the agreements reached between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of France Emmanuel Macron during their recent meeting in Versailles. This allowed us to hold substantive and in-depth discussions of a wide range of issues and to outline the priorities of our cooperation, including that of a schedule of meetings at various levels.


19.06.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a media question at a joint news conference of BRICS foreign ministers, Beijing, June 19, 2017

The BRICS countries are at one on the necessity of enhancing the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts. We have a Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which has held two meetings and has a considerable potential. These efforts should be taken in an interdepartmental format. We have common views on the need to involve foreign policy departments and the concerned counterterrorism agencies, prevent terrorist attacks and exchange related information.



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