24 June 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

11.09.2017

Facebook statement on fighting fake accounts

We were pleased to hear about the statement by Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos made on 6 September. It states that an investigation conducted by the website’s administration identified a group of 470 fake accounts, which spent about $100,000 to promote their Facebook posts in 2015-2016.

We are glad that Facebook is at last beginning to take the issue of fake accounts seriously. They should have done it long ago. We could not get the attention of this social network’s administration when fake accounts appeared, and not just some incognito structures but those that presented themselves as official agencies and claimed to be the only official accounts of, for instance, a Russian embassy in some country. We tried everything – publishing our Ministry’s comments, drawing attention to this in social media, making official statements during briefings – but there was no reaction. And, finally, a breakthrough! We hope that now when we publicly mention fake accounts posing as Russian foreign missions, these accounts will be promptly blocked.
Moreover, I have mentioned this many times during briefings, interviews and media comments, let alone in social media, we tried to draw attention to attacks by Lithuanian fake accounts and bots on the social media accounts of Russian foreign missions and the Foreign Ministry. Unfortunately, once again, no reaction from the Facebook administration followed.
We see that this discovery by Facebook security experts has expectedly turned once again into an element of the anti-Russia information campaign. Allegedly, these accounts were managed from Russia and, again, were directly connected with the US elections. I have just one recommendation or a proposal to the administration, the management team, the owners: let us coordinate the efforts of the social network’s administration and the relevant Russian government authorities (law enforcement agencies, oversight bodies), and all other agencies that should be involved in this matter. Provide us with your information, and we will make our information readily available to you too. Why should we always operate through third parties? Why should these things always turn into information campaigns? We have a great opportunity here to launch a constructive dialogue. You will hear us and we will hear you, and this will turn into a normal exchange of information as it should be. If we encounter any issues or problems on this path, we can share these problems with the media. Today, in order to block a fake account of a Russian embassy, we have to come to a briefing and speak from the rostrum in a conference room. Unfortunately, there is no normal communication between us and Facebook administrators. This is a problem not just for us, but also for many Russian government agencies that cannot get the attention of Facebook and other social media in their attempts to get the fake accounts blocked. Now the social network itself has faced the same problem. To reiterate: Russia is open to cooperation at the level of relevant agencies.




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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