18 March 2018
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Statement by Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting

Statement by Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting, Vienna, January 11, 2018

Mr Chairperson, Mr Minister,

We are grateful for the detailed account of the priorities of Italy's OSCE chairmanship in 2018, many of which we share.

Your chairmanship falls on a complex period in history. There is neither accord nor trust between the OSCE countries. Hopes for building a single and indivisible security system in the Euro-Atlantic area have failed. Contrary to the assurances that we heard following the Cold War, we have observed and continue to observe the eastward expansion of NATO’s military infrastructure. The foundations of strategic stability, including treaty-based ones, have been systematically eroded over years. We have witnessed the aggressive policy of the “colour revolutions,” interference in internal affairs of states, and changes of unwanted governments. The policy of sanctions and restrictions has gained currency, the true purpose of which is to create trade and economic advantages for some while holding back competitors. Instead of equitable cooperation, we see double standards and hear statements about the “exceptionalism” of individual nations and countries. All of that does not help us resolve today’s problems, but instead gives rise to more problems and conflicts, and makes us all weaker in the face of common threats, such as terrorism, illegal migration, drug and human trafficking, and organised crime.

We agree that reviving the Helsinki spirit and restoring confidence among the OSCE countries is Europe’s top priority. We hope that taking advantage of its inherent grace, insight and finesse, Italian diplomacy will be able to effectively use the OSCE's dialogue capabilities to overcome disagreements, converge positions and develop consensus answers to common challenges.

Mr Minister,

We fully share your commitment to maintain the OSCE’s efforts to resolve regional conflicts. Above all, this applies to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. We look forward to the constructive role of the chairmanship in promoting a peaceful settlement. The Contact Group, as a key format for direct talks between the conflicting parties – Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk – is in need of all-round support. Full compliance with the Minsk Package of Measures approved by the UN Security Council is the key to restoring peace in Donbass. It is necessary to achieve a ceasefire, withdraw weapons and implement the entire political package which includes providing Donbass with special status, carrying out constitutional reform, and holding amnesty and local elections. In addition, the chairmanship will need to ensure the truly objective and impartial work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

We cannot relax our focus with regard to other conflict tracks, either. We are interested in a political solution to the Kosovo issue based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244. We will support the chairmanship’s efforts in the processes of the Transnistrian and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlements. We highly value the OSCE’s role in maintaining a dialogue between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of the international Geneva discussions on security in Transcaucasia.

We are pleased that the Mediterranean matters and the migration crisis rank prominently on the Italian chairmanship’s agenda. We share your assessment of this crisis as one of the biggest challenges to European security. In fighting it, it is important to address the root causes underlying the mass population outflow from the countries of origin, to create additional channels for legal migration, to promote the social integration of migrants, and to counter intolerance and xenophobia in host countries. We support the chairmanship’s commitment to working with the OSCE partner countries.



To be continued...



18.03.2018 - Statement by Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, at the Security Council meeting on letter dated 13 March

Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on letter dated 13 March 2018 from the Chargén d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

17.03.2018 - Press release on summoning UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow to the Russian Foreign Ministry

On March 17, UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where he was handed a note stating that in response to the provocative actions of the British side and groundless accusations against the Russian Federation with regard to the incident in Salisbury, UK on March 4, 2018, the Russian side has taken the following decisions in response. Twenty-three diplomatic staff of the UK Embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and are to be expelled from Russia within a week. Taking into account the disparity in the number of the two countries’ consular missions, the Russian Federation recalls its agreement on the opening and operation of the Consulate General of the United Kingdom in St Petersburg. Respective procedures will be followed in accordance with international legal practice. Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in the Russian Federation, its activities are terminated. The British side is warned that in case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures.

16.03.2018 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry

The decision by the Ukrainian authorities, released on March 16, 2018, not to allow citizens of the Russian Federation to the Embassy and general consulates of Russia on the day of the election of the President of the Russian Federation causes nothing but indignation. Such actions are unprecedented and do not fit into generally accepted ideas about civilised countries. The above steps contradict not only the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, but also international human rights standards, in particular, the provisions of the 1950 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

14.03.2018 - Embassy Press Secretary comments on the death of Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov and the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Q: Can you comment on the mysterious death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London? A: Regretfully, the Embassy has received no information whatsoever regarding the circumstances of the death of Mr Glushkov. The investigation is not transparent, the British side appears not inclined to cooperate. This can only cause regret. Today the Embassy made an official request to provide all the information in possession of the British side regarding this Russian citizen whose death, as you said, appears mysterious. Overall, we are surprised with UK authorities’ reluctance and unwillingness to provide us with full details of both the poisoning of Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the death of Nikolay Glushkov.

14.03.2018 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry

The March 14 statement made by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament on measures to “punish” Russia, under the false pretext of its alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter, constitutes an unprecedented, flagrant provocation that undermines the foundations of normal dialogue between our countries.

14.03.2018 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on US threats to launch military strikes at Syria

During the discussion of Resolution 2401 on the ceasefire and the humanitarian pause in Syria in the UN Security Council on March 12, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley implied that the US might launch military strikes at Syria similar to last April when such actions were based on unfounded unilateral US accusations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government. Russia and Syria were also accused of violating the ceasefire and causing the suffering of civilians, primarily in East Ghouta.

14.03.2018 - Statement of the Russian Embassy

On 14 of March Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko was summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he was informed that 23 diplomats were declared personae non gratae. We consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted. All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-UK relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain.

13.03.2018 - Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, at the 87th session of the OPCW Executive Council on the chemical incident in Salisbury, The Hague, March 13, 2018

Mr Chairperson, In connection with the vicious attacks launched by British officials in London, as well as the statement by the head of the British delegation to the OPCW with regard to Russia concerning the suspicious story of two persons poisoned with a toxic agent in Salisbury, we would like to state the following. The British authorities’ unfounded accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in using poisonous agents on their territory are absolutely unacceptable. Our British colleagues should recall that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the OPCW which is one of the most successful and effective disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal framework of the chemical convention, which makes it possible to resolve this kind of situation.

13.03.2018 - Press release on summoning the UK Ambassador to the Russian Foreign Ministry

On March 13, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Russia Laurence Bristow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov strongly protested the evidence-free accusations by the UK authorities of Russia’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. It was stated that the actions of the UK authorities are a clear provocation and that the Russian Federation was not involved in the incident that took place in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. From the Russian side, it was emphasised that Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring and until the UK demonstrates compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention that stipulates a joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready. Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take “punitive” measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.

13.03.2018 - Press Secretary responds to media question

Q: Can you comment on yesterday’s threats of cyber attacks against Russia? A: Statements by a number of MPs, “Whitehall sources” and “experts” regarding a possible “deployment” of “offensive cyber-capabilities” cause serious concern. Not only is Russia groundlessly and provocatively accused of the Salisbury incident, but apparently, plans are being developed in the UK to strike Russia with cyber weapons. Judging by the statements of the Prime Minister, such a decision can be taken at tomorrow’s meeting of the National Security Council. We invite the British side to once again consider the consequences of such a reckless move.

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