20 February 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

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

Question: Terrorism is one of the main challenges facing the international community. Could the BRICS nations consolidate their efforts in Syria? Could a mechanism be created so that BRICS representatives monitor the ceasefire, including in those areas where this is being established? Yesterday, the United States assumed control of the al-Tanf border crossing in southern Syria. Could the strengthening of the US role without coordination with the Syrian government complicate the efforts toward a settlement?

Sergey Lavrov: 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.

Of course, it takes more than our five countries to rout global terrorism, and the BRICS countries agree on the necessity of broader international efforts. I would like to remind you about President Putin’s initiative of a broad counterterrorism front, which is still vital. I hope that the recent UN General Assembly decisions based on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposal for a new office for counterterrorism will give momentum to our movement towards this goal. Russia will actively contribute to this.

As for a settlement in Syria, the BRICS countries stand for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We are grateful to our colleagues and friends for the high appreciation they have expressed today for the efforts taken by Russia, including jointly with Turkey and Iran, in the framework of the Astana process. The next meeting in Astana will be held on 10 July. It will be attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. The sides involved have agreed to complete the coordination of the parameters and modalities of the regime in the de-escalation zones and around them at the upcoming meeting. When this initiative was advanced at the previous Astana meeting on May 4, the related memorandum said that Russia, Turkey and Iran as guarantors would welcome any contribution from other parties, even those that are not involved in the Astana process. As I said, when we know the parameters, we will be ready to consider proposals from other countries that are willing to contribute to the implementation of this initiative.

As for the developments on the ground in Syria, we believe that respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be ensured in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and other UN documents. Any actions on the ground, where many sides are deployed, including those who are involved in the hostilities, must be coordinated with the Syrian government. This is what Russia, Turkey and Iran are doing in Astana. We coordinate all our initiatives and proposals with the Syrian government. We believe that this is how everyone should act, especially when the issue concerns control of any area in Syria and when such actions may raise questions about their real goals.

We urge the United States and all other countries that have military forces or advisers on the ground in Syria to coordinate their actions. De-escalation zones are a possible form of moving forward together. We urge everyone to avoid acting unilaterally, to respect the sovereignty of Syria – as I have said – and to join the common efforts that are coordinated with the Syrian government.




LATEST EVENTS

20.02.2018 - DRAFT UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING INFORMATION CRIMES



15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON


10.02.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on Boris Johnson’s comments on the humanitarian situation in Syria

Q: Would you please comment on the yesterday’s statement by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the humanitarian situation in Syria? What is Russia’s position on this issue? A: The humanitarian situation in Syria remains predictably difficult. Russia continues to take efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both directly and through international organizations. As regards to the situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib as well as in Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Rukban camp and other areas, we share concerns of the UN agencies in Syria and we have repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities.


09.02.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a ceremony on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day, Moscow, February 8, 2018

Colleagues, friends, We are grateful to our guests and comrades for accepting our invitation. I have the honour to declare this ceremony devoted to Diplomats’ Day open. (Anthem of the Russian Federation) * * * I would like to again express our gratitude to all those who have joined the Foreign Ministry staff and veterans on this occasion, including our colleagues from the Presidential Executive Office, the Government Executive Office, the Russian Security Council, ministries, agencies and other offices with which we maintain close and fruitful cooperation. My special thanks go to Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.


09.02.2018 - MFA comment on the humanitarian situation in Syria

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies, and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies. In this context, we paid attention to a statement issued by the UN agencies in Syria released on February 6 regarding the humanitarian situation in a number of areas, including Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Idlib, Rukban camp, and Eastern Ghouta, with a call for a month-long break in hostilities in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate wounded and sick people.


07.02.2018 - Shelling of the Russian trade mission building in Damascus

A 120-mm mortar shell hit the Russian trade mission building in Damascus (currently mothballed, but still under diplomatic immunity) on February 6 at approximately 4 pm local time. No casualties have been reported. The building was badly damaged. We strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation in Damascus, which is part of a string of recent crimes committed by terrorists against civilians in the Syrian capital.


05.02.2018 - MFA statement on New START

According to Article II of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, Russia and the United States were to meet the following aggregate limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018: - 700 deployed ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. The Russian Federation has fully complied with its commitment to reduce its strategic offensive weapons.



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