24 February 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

28.08.2017

Comment by the Information and Press Department on compliance with transparency measures during preparation for West 2017 drills

The commotion in the Western press regarding the Russian-Belarusian military drills, West 2017, does not get weaker. The media go on reporting on the aggressive nature of the drills. Further references have been made that the number of troops and military vehicles involved in the drills has been intentionally lowered, and that transparency measures are not being duly complied with.

The joint strategic drills of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, West 2017, are of exceptionally defensive nature.

The total number of troops and vehicles does not exceed a level which is subject to obligatory supervision over specific types of military activity defined by a document signed in Vienna in 2011. Up to 12,700 soldiers (7,200- from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, 5,500 – from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, with around 3,000 of them in the Republic of Belarus), around 70 jets and helicopters, up to 680 machinery units, including approximately 260 tanks, about 200 cannons, multiple rocket launch systems and grenade launchers and up to 10 ships are planned to be involved in the drills. This is far from the numbers which are thrown in by the media regarding the upcoming drills.

We would like to highlight that despite the real number of forces and means involved, the Republic of Belarus has proactively sent invitations to take part in monitoring of the active phase to representatives of international organisations (UN, OSCE, NATO, CIS, CSTO, ICRC), and military-diplomatic corps of foreign countries accredited in the Republic of Belarus and military supervisors from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Sweden and Norway. A corresponding briefing was held at the OSCE Forum. We salute the steps taken by Belarus.

On July 13, 2017, Russian military experts held a similar briefing at NATO’s headquarters. They thoroughly described the tasks that will be accomplished during the drills, the training fields where forces will be deployed and provided information about the manpower and tools that will be involved, including troops and the main armaments and machinery to be utilised.

Additionally, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, jointly with its Belarusian counterparts, plans to hold another briefing regarding this issue by the end of August for representatives of a military-diplomatic corps of foreign countries accredited in the Russian Federation.

The hype around the event is artificial and it has been designed to demonstrate to western society the “justification” of costly measures to deploy an enhanced forward presence and increase NATO’s military activity in Poland and the Baltic countries. We would like to emphasise that these specific actions by the West lead to the rising of military tensions in Europe, and exactly that which the Western brotherhood of “pen and microphones” demonstratively bemoan.




LATEST EVENTS

23.02.2018 - Four years since the coup in Kiev: Embassy Press Officer on the article by Boris Johnson on Crimea

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson published an article entitled “Four years since the illegal annexation of Crimea”. It is a pity that it is not accompanied by a piece on the fourth anniversary of the coup d’état in Kiev that was backed by the UK and the West in general, and blatantly violated not only Ukraine’s Constitution, but also the agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition mediated by Germany, France and Poland on 21 February 2014. It was precisely the forcible removal of the lawfully elected President that paved the way to power to the self-styled “government of winners”, a bizarre mix of pro-European liberals and far-right extremists, and triggered the sequence of events that resulted in Crimea re-joining Russia.


23.02.2018 - Embassy’s comment on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Several thousand fighters are remaining in Eastern Ghouta, including those associated with terrorist organizations, primarily Jabhat al-Nusra. They are shooting at Damascus, and the intensity of those attacks is increasing every day. The population in Eastern Ghouta has been held as hostages, they are not allowed to leave the territory controlled by the terrorists. Military installations are disguised as medical facilities.


22.02.2018 - Agricultural Attache Derbenskiy took part in the Conference of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)

On 20-21 February Vladimir Derbenskiy, Agricultural Attache of the Russian Embassy, took part in the annual NFU Conference in Birmingham on the invitation of the Union.


22.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Q: Could you comment on the statement regarding the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta made by Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on 21 February? A: The best way to improve the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is for Jabhat al-Nusra fighters to withdraw. Instead, this terrorist group that controls the area constantly attacks residential areas and diplomatic facilities in Damascus, keeps civilians as hostages and uses them as a human shield. Information on civilian casualties mostly comes from Nusra-affiliated structures, which cannot be seen as impartial. Several medical evacuations have been arranged but met with refusal by the terrorists, who are preventing any attempts to negotiate a larger-scale civilian evacuation.


21.02.2018 - MFA comment on the accusations by UK against Russia of staging massive cyber attacks against Ukraine’s cyber infrastructure

A new era of information warfare against Russia is upon us. It is now alleged that Russia had something to do with the June 2017 cyber attack against Ukraine. The UK Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence have now joined the Western media in spreading these accusations. This time, however, instead of laying the blame on the anonymous and now legendary “Russian hackers,” they went as far as to accuse the Russian government. In keeping with the tradition adopted by the West in general, London failed to provide any specific facts, preferring to make groundless and exasperating statements and allusions and pretending that everything is clear even without coming up with any evidence.


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



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