24 June 2018
Moscow: 02:23
London: 00:23

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

07.09.2017

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s comment on the seizure of Russian diplomatic buildings by US authorities

We have taken note of the awkward attempts by US representatives to justify the unceremonious decision to seize Russian diplomatic property on September 2 in an attempt to give them the appearance of "legitimacy." However, there can be no justification for such outrageous actions.

What the US State Department calls "inspections" were in fact an illegal invasion of Russian diplomatic premises accompanied by what was in effect a search from basement to attic. In particular, desk drawers and closets were thoroughly checked. FBI agents searched every nook and cranny, even opening up the ceiling. Some of these actions were videotaped and made public.

Importantly, the buildings, which constitute the property of our state, were not sealed but seized. The Americans "in civilian clothes" remain there. Armed police stand guard along the perimeter of the adjoining grounds.

The Americans are doing some obscure kind of work inside the Consulate General in San Francisco – sawing, planing, all of which we understand is causing major damage to the historical interior. US agents are walking on the roof. In other words, they are behaving like occupiers.

To reiterate, these actions are a flagrant violation of the fundamental norms of international law, including those specified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, and the bilateral Consular Convention of 1964.

The US officials resort to blatant lies without batting an eye, claiming that we "allowed them to enter the premises." Let's get the facts straight. We were directly threatened that special tools would be used to break down the entrance doors. This was also the case at our trade mission in Washington, where the Americans broke the gate mechanism in order to let in vehicles bearing agents who searched the house and large boxes with unknown contents that were brought into the building. All of that happened without our representatives, who were allowed to stay only during the initial stage of the search.

Another important fact is that there were small children of the families of our employees in the residential part of the Consulate General in San Francisco, whose safety would have been in jeopardy in the event that the building was taken by force. We could not take that risk.

If the State Department wishes to use the term “inspection” to describe such outrageous actions, where uninvited guests drive the hosts out onto the street, they should consider what this word means in the sphere of arms control. Inspectors are sent in to monitor compliance with various agreements on a reciprocal and parity basis. This begs the question: Does Washington believe that we also have the right to similarly "inspect" the buildings of US diplomatic and consular missions in Russia?




LATEST EVENTS

22.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Russia

Question: How would you comment on the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg circulated by the British media concerning alleged Russia’s involvement in the Salisbury incident? Answer: Mr Stoltenberg’s allegation that Russia “has no qualms about using military-grade nerve agents on our streets” is blatant and reckless disinformation misleading British people and the international community. If Mr Stoltenberg has any proof, he must present it immediately. Until he does so, his assertions are nothing but unsubstantiated allegations supported neither by facts nor by evidence.


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.



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