21 June 2018
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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

20.06.2018 - Report by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee “The FCO’s Preparations for the 2018 World Cup”

In the run-up to the World Cup in Russia, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament published a report, “The FCO’s Preparations for the 2018 World Cup.” The first chapter entitled “Risks to UK nationals” stood out in particular. (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmfaff/1011/101105.htm#_idTextAnchor008). It lists “a number of risks that face UK nationals travelling to Russia for the World Cup.” According to British MPs, such threats include “hooligan violence; attacks motivated by racism, homophobia, or anti-British sentiment; and terrorist attacks.” This document is evidence of the traditional anti-Russian approach of the British political class, which, it appears, cannot forgive our country for Britain’s failure to obtain the right to host the 2018 World Cup. The English, by the way, lost not only to Russia, but two other candidates as well.


18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the British Authorities Response to the Complaints of the Russian Nationals about Unjustified Actions Towards Them upon Arrival in the UK

Question: Has there been a response from the British authorities with regard to the information sent to the Embassy by Russian citizens experiencing biased approach from the UK Border Force officials upon arrival in the UK? Answer: In response to the Embassy’s requests to the British Side to put an end to the practice of excessive and inappropriate security measures against Russian citizens (including minors) at the border in the points of entry to the UK, the UK Home Office has issued a formal reply. A letter printed on the Home Office form addressed to the Embassy consists of three sentences, does not contain any signature and is in essence a runaround reply reduced to “routine checks”. This demonstrates the lack of responsibility and ignorance towards serious concerns of the Russian Side and ordinary citizens travelling to the UK.


18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the Consideration of the Russian Requests for Legal Assistance in the Cases of Nikolay Glushkov and Yulia Skripal by the British Side

Question: Are there any changes in the UK position on cooperation with the Russian Federation on the investigation of the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempt on the lives of the Skripals? What is the current status of the requests by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia received by the UK Home Office? Answer: The British Side continues to keep deafening silence and has not provided answers neither to the Prosecutor General’s Office, nor the Embassy on the status of the official requests for legal assistance on the criminal cases initiated in Russia after the murder and the attempt of murder of Russian citizens on the British soil. Clearly, the UK is showing zero interest in cooperating on the investigation of these high-profile cases. These actions undermine law enforcement and other legal procedures aimed at establishing the truth and justice.


16.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, 15 June

Q: What is your reaction to the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, where he claims UK chose not to boycott World Cup in order not to be unfair towards players and sport fans, because they “have a dispute solely with the Government of Russia”? A: We took note of the abovementioned article. We agree that politics should not intervene in affairs of international sport. And Mr Foreign Secretary is right claiming that British fans in Russia have no reasons to feel threatened. Russian authorities, in cooperation with foreign partners, took every precaution to ensure maximum comfort and security for all World Cup guests. We are happy to have over 600 000 guests from practically every country in the world, including 10 000 British fans.


15.06.2018 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s meeting with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow, 15 June 2018

On June 15, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov met with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow at the latter’s request.


15.06.2018 - President Putin's speech at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium, 14 June 2018

Friends, I welcome all guests to the legendary Moscow stadium Luzhniki, everyone gathered in the numerous fan zones of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and those watching us on television or online. I congratulate you – the entire large, multinational, tightly-knit international football family – on the start of the top tournament on the planet!


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Russia’s response to the G7 statement on the Salisbury incident

Q: What is your reaction to the G7 Communiqué, where Russia is again accused of having poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A: Just as in the case of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in April, we have again witnessed unfounded allegations against Russia, not supported by any evidence. The British authorities continue to rely on allies’ “solidarity” while offering their partners nothing but assertions that there is “no other plausible explanation” of the incident except that Russia is responsible.


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the inquest into the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q: Today marks three months since the death of Nikolay Glushkov. How would you comment on the course of the investigation by the British authorities of this case? A: We have to note that the British authorities are still refusing us cooperation on the investigation of the death on the British soil of ex-Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Nikolay Glushkov that occurred on 12 March.


08.06.2018 - Russia-Belarus border control rules for attendees of major sports competitions in Russia

On June 1, 2018 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Belarus on certain issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons to international sports competitions came into force. The document in particular regulates the entry procedure for certain categories of foreign citizens into the territory of the Union State during the preparations and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Agreement provides for visa-free entry into the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for the holders of spectator identity cards (fan passports or FAN IDs) or information about them provided they have an authentic ID. The said citizens can also cross the Russia-Belarus border if they travel via the following motor roads: M-1, P-23, A-240 and following railway routes Vitebsk-Pskov, Minsk-Smolensk, Gomel-Bryansk.


08.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new legislation introduced to Parliament in the context of the Salisbury poisoning

Question: How would you comment on the new bill introduced by the British government to give police new powers to investigate all forms of “hostile state activity” and to stop, question, search and detain individuals at the UK border to determine whether they appear to be a person who is, or has been, engaged in hostile activity? Answer: We do not have the opportunity to review and assess the whole text of the bill. Meanwhile, it is unclear from publicly available information, how these new sweeping powers of British law enforcement, border and customs agencies will be applied in practice. In regard to whom and how will they be used? Who and how will examine the level of “hostility” of foreign States’ activities?



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