29 June 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

14.06.2017

Comments by the Information and Press Department on the latest report issued by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

1173-14-06-2017

We have familiarised ourselves with the eighteenth report produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for the period from February 16 to May 15, 2017.

We are deeply concerned over a dramatic surge in tension in Donbass resulting in a 48 per cent rise in the number of civilian casualties during the period under review: 36 persons died and 157 were wounded. We support the Monitoring Mission’s call to strictly abide by the ceasefire agreement, addressed to the parties of the conflict. We share the concern made by the members of the mission over the unending shelling of civilian infrastructure facilities, in particular water supply and power supply systems, schools and hospitals, which is contrary to Kiev’s international commitments to protect civilians.  In this connection, we again entirely support the Monitoring Mission’s recommendations on the need for scrupulous compliance with the Minsk Agreements.

We are extremely troubled with the mission’s data on the new cases of illegal or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearances, and the Security Service of Ukraine’s systematic use of torture to obtain confession evidence from detainees suspected of involvement in the Donbass conflict. We agree with the UN that the lack of due investigation of the said crimes by the Ukrainian authorities is conducive to the expansion of lawlessness in the country as a whole.  

We share the Monitoring Mission’s anxiety in connection with official Kiev’s inhuman and discriminatory efforts to maintain the socioeconomic blockade of Donbass. Introduced in 2016, the so-called verification procedures have deprived over 400,000 Ukrainians of their legal pensions, while the new rules regulating the crossing of the line of contact not only lead to a considerable restriction of the freedom of movement in Ukraine and further separation of families but also expose more than 900,000 people a month to the real mortal danger as they cross the internal border. The bans imposed by the Ukrainian government on the transfer of cargoes across the line of contact are totally irrational and lead not just to the closure of businesses but also to the loss of sources of income and means of livelihood for thousands of people.

The UN Mission’s alarming conclusions about the lack of improvement in the Ukrainian judiciary system or progress in the investigation of the May 2014 Odessa tragedy command attention as well.   

We expect the Monitoring Mission to work on efforts to prevent restrictions concerning freedom of expression and pressure on the media in Ukraine and we urge Kiev to create safe working conditions for journalists.

At the same time, we must note that a portion of the report is politically motivated. An attempt is made in a number of its sections to exculpate the Kiev authorities and gloss over the crimes they commit against their own people. Also we would like to remind those concerned that the Republic of Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation  as well as the federal city of Sevastopol and that the attempt to include in the UN report on Ukraine an assessment of the human rights situation in this Russian region is illegal.

We are convinced that the UN and the human rights community will  make Kiev comply strictly with its international human rights commitments and norms of international humanitarian law and implement in good faith the Minsk Agreements, something that is due to facilitate the attainment of durable peace in that country.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2782015




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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