21 June 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.07.2017

“Russia has helped bring stability to Syria” Article of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov in "the Herald" newspaper, published 14.07.2017

In October 2015, I argued against the leader comments in The Scotsman that “Russian airstrikes in Syria have heightened international tensions to new levels” and calls for “wide international pressure to stop these actions”.

Since then quite a lot has transpired, yet the UK media seems unaware of the fact that the situation in Syria has seen a positive change following the launch of Russia’s military operation. That makes me write again.
A brief reminder would be appropriate. Twenty months ago, after an ineffective 440-day long Western aerial campaign, the situation in Syria could not have been any worse. Conflicting parties did not talk, the Islamic State (IS)-held territories were vastly expanding, the Syrian capital Damascus was about to fall to the IS onslaught, and an acute refugee crisis in Europe was unfolding. It is against this background my country met the request of the Syrian government and agreed to send Russian air force and military advisers to help fight terrorists in Syria.
After the first year of the Russian aerial campaign in Syria 12,000 sq km were liberated from terrorist groups, with 586 settlements and 150 cities being freed.
1500 tons of humanitarian cargo was delivered.
Back in 2016 in the IS and Al-Nusra-controlled territories the situation was critical. Residents of Aleppo – Syria’s second largest city – were trapped by the terrorists in their homes and held as a human shield against attacks.
The Russian military risked their lives to liberate 108,076 civilians, amongst them 47,183 children, and led them to safety under heavy bombardments. Several humanitarian corridors were established in order to give the residents a safe passage from ongoing hostilities. In December 2016 the Russian military negotiated the peaceful evacuation of 28,762 combatants, amongst them 691 wounded, and their family members to be transported unharmed to Idlib province. 6,490 fighters laid down their weapons following the amnesty offered by the Syrian government.
With the help of the Russian military police the city is steadily going back to normal. 16,000 families have returned to their homes in eastern Aleppo comprising more than 69,000 people, amongst them 40,000 children. In eastern districts of Aleppo only from December 2016 to February 2017 Russian field engineers de-mined 2,956 ha, 945 km of roads, 4,500 buildings (including 90 schools, four nurseries and 25 hospitals) and defused 36,000 explosive devices.
From December 2016 to April 2017 Russian doctors provided medical aid to 12,840 civilians living in villages nearby. They conducted 742 surgical operations, half of them being of a sophisticated nature. More than 25 tons of medicines and medical equipment were provided to patients.
In the last two years IS funding has been cut dramatically as a result of the Russian aerial campaign. According to our latest data, the terrorists are experiencing a sharp decline in their monthly oil revenues, that are almost halved, from $50 million more than a year ago to $12-20 million now. Russian air forces have destroyed more than 4,000 IS petrol tankers, 206 oil production facilities, 176 oil refineries and 112 oil pumping facilities.
Let’s be honest. You would never have been aware of these numbers, if you had not read this article, would you? This information is easy to find in open sources in Russia, but who reads in Russian? So the decision was made on your behalf, that it is better for you to think that this data is irrelevant and can be ignored as Russian propaganda.
Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict after almost two years of Western “strange war” has finally laid a basis for stability and dialogue. The future of Syria should be finally in the hands of the Syrian people.

Andrey A.Pritsepov
Consul General of the Russian
Federation in Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/andrey-pritsepov-russia-has-helped-bring-stability-to-syria-1-4502888

 




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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