17 October 2017
Moscow: 12:27
London: 10:27

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

21.04.2017

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published April 19, 2017

Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump?

Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in.

We confirmed our willingness to organise such a meeting during our contacts with our American colleagues. Last week’s visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow has strengthened our belief that the new US administration is also willing to move towards this goal. However, for a meeting of our leaders to be successful, we need to prepare for it, which is what we are doing.

Question: When can it be held?

Sergey Ryabkov: The tenor of our relations with the United States is such that any premature announcements or any information planted ahead of time will play a negative role. So, I will end my answer by repeating that we are working towards this.

Question: Several weeks ago, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the meeting could be possibly held before the G20 summit, which is scheduled for July in Hamburg, Germany. Is this still possible, or is there too little time left to prepare for this meeting?

Sergey Ryabkov: Anything is possible. Overall, the issue concerns the coordination of our leaders’ schedules, as well as our expectations of such a meeting.

Question: What do you expect from it? Will it be just a chance to feel each other out, or do you expect practical agreements to be reached at it?

Sergey Ryabkov: We have formulated a series of priorities, which we believe should be discussed during preparations for this meeting. Our American colleagues also have practical and clear issues they plan to raise. We cannot say that our priorities coincide always or on all issues. However, this is normal, especially considering the low level of our relations with the new US team, the obstacles that have been deliberately erected by the previous US administration, and the efforts taken by certain forces to hinder the normalisation of Russian-US relations.

Question: Talking about priorities, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a news conference in Moscow that Russia has handed the US some cooperation proposals, including on cybersecurity. In what other areas did Moscow propose cooperation to Washington?

Sergey Ryabkov: I would probably be disloyal to my profession if right here and now I provided you detailed information about what was or was not done in this respect. I can only say that specific ideas and proposals can be presented in various forms. In particular, there is a non-paper format.

Question: This sounds paradoxical…

Sergey Ryabkov: This does not refer to tweets or emails. Such proposals are typically presented on paper. The non-paper format makes it possible to send a less official signal than, say, a message or a diplomatic note. It is rather an invitation to dialogue, to sharing comments. Overall, the status of this kind of document is lower than of any other written form.

Question: Why did Russia choose this format for making its proposals to the US?

Sergey Ryabkov: We don’t want to do anything that would inconvenience the other side. We understand that everything related to Russia or relations with Russia is, unfortunately, a source of controversy in the US today, especially in Washington, where the concentration of political thought, which is not always conducive to normalising bilateral ties, is the highest. Far from everything that comes from us is taken neutrally, in a business-like manner by the Americans. On the contrary, much of what we say, write or ask about becomes – to use a word that is common in the US today – toxic.

On the whole, however, I believe we have found a form in which we can get our ideas across to the US side. And we received some comments from it. Now our priorities have become clearer.

The information security issue that you’ve mentioned is multi-dimensional. It includes fighting cybercrime in the classical sense of the word (say, bank card scams) and encroachments on intellectual property. The Americans have brought in the issue of “political hacking.” It is not a taboo to us, either, even though it was “overheated” by the Obama team’s efforts. We are willing to discuss the entire range of these issues with the Americans. We proposed this dialogue to the previous administration but got no response. Now we have renewed this proposal and hope that the response will be more positive.

Question: Following Mr Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, the creation of a Russia-US working group to normalise relations was also announced (it has been dubbed the “impasse-busting group” in the media). Do I understand it right that you will head it on the Russian side? Who else will be there, and when will it start working?

Sergey Ryabkov: No decision has been made yet, including on the group’s composition, and it would be irresponsible of me to say that I could head this group on the Russian side.

There were various forms of dealing with controversial issues. Under George W. Bush, there were so-called check lists. The sides exchanged lists of issues that caused tension or irritation. And then those issues were addressed, with different degrees of success, in an effort to reduce the number of items on those lists.

Under Barack Obama, there was a bilateral presidential commission where issues were analysed and addressed by issue-specific groups. This work was coordinated at the level of Foreign Minister and Secretary of State. However, this format is history now.

Today it seems some compact mechanism will be put in place. Not a top-heavy structure with the participation of representatives of numerous agencies but a fairly flexible structure that will be able to change its configuration depending on specific issues. However, we have yet to reach the point of finalising this effort to announce officially who will be in charge of this mechanism on both sides – above all, because not all vacancies have been filled on the US side yet. This process is not going smoothly, but we take an understanding view of it. The most important thing is that as a result of the talks with the Secretary of State in Moscow, a firm decision was made to establish such a group. It is expected to work without excessive rhetoric or historical digressions (although it is impossible to do without that completely), and its participants are expected to focus on specific issues. I believe they will be making proposals for the leaders – ideas that would help clean up the “mudflow” that was generated under the previous US administration.




LATEST EVENTS

16.10.2017 - First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov’s answer to a media question regarding British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit to Russia

Question: The Foreign Office announced yesterday that Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson would visit Russia. Do you have any comments to make on this?


11.10.2017 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Khalil Karzai

On October 10, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met with visiting Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Khalil Karzai, who arrived in Moscow to attend the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group meeting.


11.10.2017 - Foreign Ministry statement on the situation in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain

Guided by the fundamental principles of international law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation views the developments in Catalonia as the internal affair of Spain.


10.10.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the expanded meeting of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council, Sochi, October 10, 2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the expanded meeting of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council, Sochi, October 10, 2017


10.10.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

On October 9, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the latter’s initiative.


09.10.2017 - Russian Energy Week Forum plenary session

President Putin attended a plenary session of the first Russian Energy Week (REW) Energy Efficiency and Energy Development International Forum.


09.10.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press department on the upcoming meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers

On October 10, a regular meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers will be held in Sochi within the framework of Russia’s CIS Chairmanship in 2017. The agenda is comprised of 18 topics covering a broad range of issues related to CIS cooperation. The CIS foreign ministers will discuss practical measures for promoting multilateral cooperation between the CIS countries and will exchange opinions on current international issues. The documents they will adopt following this meeting will be forwarded to the CIS Council of Heads of State.


06.10.2017 - Embassy Press Officer on the adoption of the Ukrainian law “On education”

On 25 September the President of Ukraine signed the discriminatory law “On education” that violates human rights and infringes the rights of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens belonging to national minorities.


06.10.2017 - Interview of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Asharq Al-Awsat Pan-Arab Newspaper, October 2017

Question: Regarding the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Russia, how do you assess the Russian-Saudi relations at the bilateral level and in terms of discussion over the region’s crises? Answer: We share the opinion that there is a need for further progressive development of multidimensional Saudi-Russian relations, including for the purpose of ensuring regional and global stability. Saudi Arabia and Russia maintain a confidential political dialogue, inter alia, at the highest and high levels. In early September, I paid a working visit to the Kingdom, during which I had an audience with King Salman and held talks with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. I am satisfied with the results.


05.10.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, October 4, 2017

It has to be stressed that this year the Ministry hired the largest number of university graduates in the last five years. All in all, 115 graduates have been hired this year.



all messages