29 June 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.03.2017

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the occasion of the three-year anniversary of Crimea’s unification with Russia

On these March days, we celebrate the third anniversary of a landmark event in the modern history of Russia, which received the poetic name of the Crimean Spring.

The proclamation in March 2014 of the independence of the Republic of Crimea and its unification with the Russian Federation were a legitimate exercise of the right of the people of Crimea to self-determination following an armed coup in Ukraine and the mayhem wreaked by radical national forces that did not hesitate to use terror and intimidation on both political opponents and the population of entire regions of that country.

In these circumstances, on March 17, 2014, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Crimea, based on the results of the general referendum in Crimea on March 16, decided to proclaim Crimea an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea. On March 18, the Republic of Crimea signed an international treaty to join the Russian Federation. As a result, the Russian Federation gained two new constituent entities, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.

The future has proved the legitimacy of the decision to reunite with Russia taken by Crimeans three years ago. The legality and validity of this exercise of the right to self-determination are on graphic display today, in light of the disgraceful bloody campaign waged by the Kiev regime against its own people. Extrapolating Ukrainian political realities of recent years to Crimea, it is easy to imagine what would have happened to the peninsula had it remained part of Ukraine. It is even easier to imagine if we recall the deplorable outcome of the twenty-odd years in which Crimea was part of the Ukrainian state.

Today, the task of ensuring sustainable socioeconomic development of Crimea continues to be a top priority. Over the past three years, extensive work has been done to establish and integrate the region into the Russian Federation. Active work is underway to build new and upgrade old infrastructure; a bridge is being built across the Kerch Strait; the construction of the Tavrida Motorway has begun, which will connect the Kerch Bridge to Sevastopol, crossing the peninsula from east to west. The Free Economic Zone with its preferential regime in the sphere of land relations, construction, and special terms for entrepreneurial activity creates a wide range of opportunities for investors in Crimea.

There is a trend toward economic growth, including through developing the energy and recreation sectors, and expanded housing construction. Industrial output is higher and unemployment is lower than the average for Russia. These are important economic and social development indicators. With regard to Crimea, this includes jobs and good salaries for the Crimeans, and innovative products made by local enterprises. All of these changes have taken place amid the sanctions imposed on the peninsula by Western countries, as well as unending provocations on the part of Ukraine, including attempted water and energy blockades and severing air, sea, passenger rail and mail services.

The situation on the peninsula is not perfect. However, despite objective difficulties, the federal and local authorities have already done a lot to improve the life of Crimeans and to ensure the comprehensive development of the peninsula as part of Russia. Still, more needs to be done.

Crimea has fully preserved its multinational population. Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and representatives of other ethnicities who have been living on the peninsula from time immemorial, are building a future together in peace and harmony. Since 2014, Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar have been official languages in the Republic of Crimea.

Over the past three years, Russia has been attending to and promoting the socioeconomic, cultural, religious and other interests of all the peoples and ethnicities living in Crimea at the micro and macro levels. This includes Armenians, Greeks, Crimean Tatars, Italians, Germans, and, of course, Russians and Ukrainians. The efforts of the authorities to strengthen interethnic stability are clearly visible to an unbiased observer. As a result of this policy, according to opinion polls, more than 90 percent of Crimeans say they do not experience any significant interethnic tension in their daily life.

The past three years have clearly shown that despite all the difficulties and controversy with regard to Crimea, there is strong interest in developing cooperation with the peninsula on the part of foreign parliamentary, business and sociopolitical circles, as well as representatives of culture, sports and the media. In particular, over 100 foreign delegations visited Crimea last year as compared to 73 in 2015, and over 70 international events were held.

Preserving its uniqueness and boasting vast potential for development, Crimea attracts attention not only by its remarkable natural beauty and cultural and historical heritage sites of international importance, but also by the hospitality of its people, who are open to dialogue and cooperation.

Anyone can form an impartial opinion of their own by visiting Crimea and Sevastopol and seeing for themselves the actual state of affairs in these two constituent entities of the Russian Federation.




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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