24 February 2018
Moscow: 05:24
London: 02:24

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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

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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