15 August 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

25.07.2017

Embassy comments on The Sunday Telegraph Christopher Booker’s piece on Dunkirk

        It is preposterous to say that Russia would rather forget Dunkirk. We had a similar tragedy in the summer of 1941, and had no other option but keep on fighting. Russia was the means of last resort in dealing with that existential threat to European civilization.

In our Twitter poll (on 19 July) we wanted to draw attention to the origins of that calamity on the Western front. And those are in the policy of appeasement. In fact, the British and French troops were badly let down by their Governments. Since they stayed idle along the border with Germany for eight months (September 1939 to April 1940), it was impossible to see where the will to fight would have come from. All the more so that the Germans executed the same Schlieffen plan, they couldn’t successfully accomplish in August 1914 because of an early action by the Russian army in East Prussia. Like in 1914, they moved through Belgium, and the Maginot Line didn’t protect that breach. We didn’t mention the Cliveden Set, Munich etс. for the sake of level-headed debate.

         But the most important thing from the point of view of contemporary European politics is that the Versailles system was utterly flawed. It marginalized Germany and the Soviet Union, leaving them no other choice but to cooperate bilaterally. Unlike the Western neighbours of Germany, her Eastern neighbors’ borders were not guaranteed. The plans for an Eastern Locarno were defeated by the Western elites. What came out of this project was a system of two bilateral treaties between Prague and Paris/Moscow. In the fall of 1938 the Soviet Union was willing to come to Czechoslovakia’s assistance, but could do so only together with France, and the French Government preferred a sellout to Hitler in Munich. Obviously, Nazi Germany was easier to defeat in 1938 than in 1939, and in 1939 than 1940.

We didn’t say that the Revolution in Russia was to a great extent due to the consequences of WWI, and even the Provisional Government could have done better and haven’t lost control, had it not been pressed by the allies to continue the war effort that the country couldn’t afford. Shall we mention that the Western powers were well aware of the futility of the war by the first Christmas, but still didn’t have enough wisdom to stop the slaughter? Another chance for peace arose in the spring of 1917, but was also missed. Then Paris and London failed the Wilsonian “peace without victors” test. J.M.Keynes in his “Economic Consequences of the Peace” made a convincing argument why the Versailles created economic conditions for another war in Europe. A big issue of causality in terms of European order/national regimes.

It is obvious that the Western powers failed to create a region-wide collective security system to prevent war in Europe. Instead they reacted to “the mass political awakening” (Zb.Brzezinski) with the “Soviet threat” in mind, and wouldn’t mind fascism as a way to manage it. That is why the appeasement and the effort to channel the German aggression eastwards. The partitioning of Czechoslovakia and invasion of Poland were viewed as necessary to ensure direct territorial contact for a military clash with the Soviet Union.

         We are very much in favour of good knowledge of history, including the Phoney War and Dunkirk. By the way, the Phoney War proved Moscow right in that it couldn’t count on Western powers had it chosen to stand up to Hitler in 1939. The Phoney War is hardly ever mentioned in history books here. It ought to be explained, however difficult it might be. But without that one cannot understand the tragedy of Dunkirk and the scale of courage of the troops put in that impossible position by their own government’s folly. It also illustrates the elites’ capacity for self-delusion and outright lunacy, which is always useful to bear in mind.

         Naturally, bigger issues of history arise. It is easy to understand the eagerness to disown Germany as black sheep (or later prodigal son) of the West. Yes, indeed, Germany was the first major European power to occupy another major European power since Napoleon in its war with France in 1870-1871. Prior to that Prussia had wars with Denmark and the Austrian empire. But the European order, agreed at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, was destroyed by the Crimean War in 1853-1856, which re-introduced war into European politics. Orlando Figes calls it, quite rightly, the first total war. Some historian would call it unnecessary. For others it was World War Zero, for it started the countdown to WWI, having provided the window of upportunity for the wrong unification of Germany, i.e. as a Prussian empire. 20 years before it happened, Fedor Tyutchev predicted that it would bring about a European catastrophe. Here, in Britain, that war is mostly remembered for the Charge of the Light Brigade. As Lord Tennyson put it, “someone had blundered.” It was the least consequential of the blunders in European politics that followed, including the British Government’s insistence on humiliating provisions in the Peace of Paris. Overall, this is about the importance of being knowledgeable in history, the view that we wholly share.




LATEST EVENTS

13.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian assistance to Syria

Q: How do you assess the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian people? A: Our contacts at the FCO clearly show that the UK government, unfortunately, is not ready to change its position and join the international efforts aimed at providing assistance for the people of Syria. We do not see any practical steps by the official London in this direction, although, in our opinion, now is just the right time to act. However, British authorities do not go beyond expressing concerns over the Syrian population’s sufferings.


13.08.2018 - Foreign Ministry statement

On August 8, the US administration announced the imminent imposition of new sanctions against Russia on the basis of the US national law on Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination. Our country is accused of having used chemical weapons in connection with the so-called Skripal case, although no one has yet been able to provide any evidence of this, and the British side, despite our repeated requests, refuses to cooperate in the investigation of the March 4 Salisbury incident.


10.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q.: 12 August marks five months since the mysterious death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London. Has any clarity been established in this case? A.: Unfortunately, we have to state that no clarity has been established as the British authorities continue to ignore our requests. Since 26 April, when Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police Mr Neil Basu QPM informed us about the course of the investigation into Mr Glushkov’s death, only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has contacted the Embassy with the request to address all correspondence on this case not to the police, as it was advised earlier, but to the FCO in the first instance.


10.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new US sanctions against Russia in relation to the Salisbury incident

Question: How does the Embassy assess the introduction of the new US sanctions following the accusations that Russia is responsible for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury? Answer: It seems as if the US, as it was in the case of the Russian diplomats’ expulsion in March, has come to the rescue of London in their double game, while the British authorities are unable to present any credible evidence in support of their argument that Russia is responsible for the Salisbury incident. It has been publicly claimed for a long time that the decision of the Western bloc countries to expel Russian diplomats attests to Russia’s guilt in the Salisbury incident. The same logic is exploited herein: if the US is imposing new anti-Russian sanctions for the Salisbury incident, then a critical mass of evidence that allows to act in such way has been allegedly accumulated. At the same time the US itself, according to our Embassy in Washington, “refused to answer our follow-up questions, claiming that the information is classified”.


08.08.2018 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus

Ten years ago, on the night of August 7-8, 2008, the Government of Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia breached the agreement on a peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict by launching a full-scale military operation against South Ossetia.


08.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new invitation of the OPCW experts to the UK

Question: How would you comment on the recent statement of the FCO concerning the new invitation to the OPCW experts to return to the UK to assist in the investigation into the Amesbury incident? Answer: The Embassy is not in a position to comment on the investigation into the Amesbury incident related to the British nationals. Meanwhile we are interested in establishing the truth of what happened in Salisbury as the UK has again invited the OPCW experts to continue their work on identifying the nerve agent. Our approach is absolutely clear – we seek the truth and wish to know what happened to the Russian nationals in Salisbury and where they are now. Unfortunately, we have to note once again that no substantive answers have been provided by the British authorities to our numerous legitimate and comprehensive questions. Over the last five months the Embassy has sent a number of Notes Verbales requesting the FCO to clarify as to how and by whom blood samples from Sergei and Yulia Skripal were collected; how it was documented; what was the procedure of sample collection; what assistance from the OPCW was requested; what information and material evidence the British side provided to the OPCW experts, etc.


07.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning visas for the staff of the Russian diplomatic missions to the UK

Question: Has the Russian Embassy work got back to normal, after the reduction of its staff in March 2018? Are visas being issued to new staff members? Answer: The arbitrary mass expulsion of our diplomats in March has further exacerbated the already difficult situation of the Russian diplomatic missions to the UK. The attitude of the British Side to reduce the Russian diplomatic presence is still there. As far as we can tell, the set of tools remains the same: visa limitations, meaningless extended delays in visa application processing for newly appointed staff members, along with three-month incremental visa extensions for personnel accredited in the UK, accompanied by withholding of diplomatic passports.


07.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the publication of “The Daily Telegraph” regarding the “Perepilichny сase”

Question: How can you comment on the information published in «The Daily Telegraph” on 6 August that, at the start of the police investigation, the higher authorities were allegedly kept in the dark despite indications of political aspects in the death of A.Perepilichny? Answer: We have had a close look at the publication. It is regrettable that some British media outlets remain tools for throw-ins of unsupported theories in the course of the Coroner’s inquest into the death of a Russian citizen A.Perepilichny (who died in the UK in November 2012). Clearly, this is yet another attempt to question the investigation conducted by the police and the results of the two postmortem examinations, performed by the UK Home Office experts after the death of the Russian national, which established the cause of death as “non suspicious”. Moreover, during main hearings at Old Bailey, started in June 2017, the Surrey police have stated that the experts have not established any indications of poisoning, violent death or third-party involvement.


07.08.2018 - Russian-British Business Forum in London

The Russian-British Business Forum (RBBF) under the theme «Partnership in Innovations» will be organized on 26-27 November 2018 in London by the Russian Trade Delegation in the United Kingdom with the support of the Russian Embassy in the UK and a number of other prominent organisations. The event will aim at furthering the Russian-British trade and investment cooperation through a direct dialogue between the authorities and business communities of both countries. The Forum will host representatives of governments, regional authorities, CEOs of leading corporations, banks, investment funds, service sector companies, innovative enterprises and edge-cutting start-ups as well as professional and business associations (around 500 people altogether). Numerous business meetings on different aspects of economic cooperation between Russia and the UK are foreseen to take place on the margins of the Forum. The event will be held in premises of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE) in the framework of the traditional «Eastern Seasons» Russian business and culture week organized by «BSI Global Group» company.


07.08.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veteran

On 4 August 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medal to the Arctic Convoys veteran Mr Peter John LAKER.



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