17 February 2019
Moscow: 07:30
London: 04:30

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

350 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     342 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



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.

These journalists describe as “rebels” Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the group that claimed responsibility for downing on February 3 the Russian Su-25 assault aircraft piloted by Major Roman Filippov. He was monitoring compliance with the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham emerged as an offshoot of the terrorist organisation Jabhat al-Nusra in 2017, which took under its operational control a number of other units of the anti-government armed opposition. Jabhat al-Nusra, which severed ties with al-Qaeda at one point, and its spawn Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are blacklisted by the international community as terrorist organisations despite the assurances of al-Nusra leaders that they have split with al-Qaeda. Nobody takes such statements seriously. The attempts of the Western media to disavow Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s links with al-Qaeda on this basis are unfounded and only designed to mislead the public in the West about the nature of the targets attacked by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Army.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has emphasised many times that terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra continue to be able to offer resistance because they have external support, including from the media. The elimination of this terrorist group, no matter what name it assumes, is one of the key goals of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria.

It is telling that representatives of the White Helmets are quoted in these articles. This organisation has discredited itself to the point that its mere mention as a source gives cause to doubt the authenticity of a story. Social media is littered with videos showing “rescuers” from the White Helmets putting makeup on “victims of the Syrian Government’s brutality” or alleged bombing by the Russian Aerospace Forces. They are closely cooperating with terrorist organisations and are often seen with weapons in hand on the side of terrorists during combat operations. The video showing White Helmets “helping” already dead children caused a stir.

The authors of some articles are making new attempts to hold Russia and the lawful Syrian Government responsible for the use of toxic agents in Idlib. To the contrary, Russia has consistently advocated the complete elimination of chemical arms in Syria. Owing to Moscow’s peacemaking initiative, an agreement was reached on the liquidation of Syria’s chemical arsenal. In the middle of 2014 precursors of chemical arms were removed from Syria with Moscow and Washington’s cooperation.

Moreover, in October 2017 the US Department of State reported the use of toxic agents by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib, thereby admitting that terrorists have chemical weapons. Nonetheless, this high-profile statement did not garner the attention of world media.

These bogus stories are being published against the background of Russian diplomatic efforts, including the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi on January 29-30. An anti-Russia campaign was also launched by the Western media simultaneously with the successful liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian government troops and the Russian Aerospace Forces, which suggests some parallels.

These attempts of the Western media to discredit Russia’s role in the struggle against terrorists are regrettable. We see them as part of the double game played by some of our Western partners that divide terrorists into good and bad in the pursuit of their myopic geopolitical interests.


The Washington Post, February 5: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (By Erin Cunningham and Louisa Loveluck)



The Guardian, February 6: “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet.”



Newsweek, February 5: “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down.”



Deutsche Welle , February 5: “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria.” 



Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5: “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed.” 



16.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the interview by Dawn Sturgess's parents

Question: The Guardian has published an interview with the parents of the British citizen Dawn Sturgess, who died in July last year allegedly from “Novichok” poisoning. They put the blame for the non-transparent investigation on the UK government. How would you comment on their statements? Answer: We have studied carefully the interview and fully agree with Dawn Sturgess's family. Numerous questions regarding the tragedy in Amesbury remain unanswered, the British authorities continue to conceal the circumstances of that incident. We fully understand the fair indignation Dawn Sturgess's relatives feel.

14.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning recent appeals of the British officials to impose new sanctions against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the recent statements by the British officials calling upon their European partners to impose new sanctions against Russia over the incident in the Kerch Strait last year? Answer: We have not been surprised with such an active UK’s approach. Those statements have clearly shown the anti-Russian essence of the current Conservative government’s policy. British officials are doing their utmost to avoid conducting a normal intergovernmental dialogue with Russia, while using only the language of ultimatums and sanctions.

13.02.2019 - Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

Mr. President, Above all, let me thank today’s briefers: Mr. M.Jenča, Mm. U.Müller, Mr. E.Apakan and Mr. M.Sajdik. We have initiated this meeting in order to discuss the course of implementation of “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” – the most important document for the settlement of Ukraine’s internal crisis. It was signed 4 years ago, on 12 February 2015 by the representatives of OSCE, Ukraine, Russia, DPR and LPR.

11.02.2019 - Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Kosovo

Thank you, Mr. President, Above all, we would like to thank our colleagues from Equatorial Guinea for their principal position and for inclusion of a meeting on Kosovo in the Council’s agenda for February in order to discuss the situation in the Province and the report by Secretary-General of 31 January on the implementation of UNSC resolution 1244. We welcome the participation of Mr. Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia. Distinguished Minister, we share the profound concerns about the situation in Kosovo that you talked about.

09.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s Reply to a media question regarding the UK position on Kosovo at the UN Security Council

Question: How would you comment on the UK position on Kosovo at the UN Security Council (UN SC)? Answer: The developments in the province are still worrying. As we have stressed earlier, Pristina’s decision to transform the Kosovo Security Force into full-fledged “armed forces” is a flagrant violation of the UN SC Resolution 1244 that only allows for the deployment of internationally controlled multinational contingents in the province. What is more, it goes against Kosovo’s own “constitution”.

08.02.2019 - DIPLOMATS’ DAY

On 10 February Russian diplomats mark their professional day – Diplomats’ Day, which was established by a Presidential Decree in 2002 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Diplomatic Service in 1549. The date itself is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first foreign affairs agency – the Ambassadorial Department (or “Posolsky Prikaz” in Russian). On 10 February 1549 the Ambassadorial Department, established by Czar Ivan IV, was first mentioned in official chronicles.

06.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the latest UK statements on the INF Treaty

Question: How would you comment on the statement made by FCO Minister of State Mark Field in the House of Commons regarding the threat posed by the Russian 9M729 cruise missile? Answer: We have taken note Mr Field’s comment with regard to the INF Treaty calling for Russia to destroy the 9M729 cruise missiles. Such statements by the UK officials are designed to maintain the US-initiated campaign to accuse Russia of violating the INF Treaty, primarily with the aim to justify Washington’s long-planned decision to withdraw from the Treaty. UK Government is perfectly aware that the US has refused to provide any objective data supporting their conclusion that the Russian 9М729 cruise missile has a range prohibited by the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly confirmed that its missile programs fully comply with its obligations under the INF Treaty. This also applies to the 9M729 cruise missile, on which Russia provides maximum transparency. During the talks in Geneva on 15 January the Russian side invited US military experts to inspect the missile in order to address any existing concerns. However, this unprecedented step was rejected out of hand, confirming that Washington was simply not interested in maintaining the INF Treaty.

05.02.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the UK position on Venezuela

Question: How would you comment on the statement by the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt recognising National Assembly President, Juan Guaido, as the interim President of Venezuela? Answer: We have repeatedly stated that attempts to change the leadership of Venezuela from outside and by unconstitutional means flagrantly violate the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, which is one of the cornerstones of international law and the UN Charter.

05.02.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the NATO Council statement on the INF Treaty developments

We have read the NATO Council statement of February 1, 2019 and noted that it was released much earlier than we received a formal notification from the United States about suspending its participation in the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles and beginning the exit procedure. Such haste is no surprise for Russia. This is yet another demonstration of the fact that NATO has fully blended with Washington’s line aimed at the final scrapping of the arms control system painstakingly built over many years. The collapse of the INF Treaty will have grave and far-reaching consequences for the entire European security architecture NATO is allegedly deeply concerned about – and naturally, for the US allies in Europe.

04.02.2019 - Foreign Ministry statement

On February 2, the US Department of State issued a press statement officially notifying the Russian Federation that the United States had suspended its obligations under the 1987 Soviet-US Treaty on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) and had launched the procedure of withdrawing from it. At the same time, the Americans announced that they no longer consider themselves to be bound by the treaty obligations, which means that they can openly design, produce and deploy the weapon systems prohibited under the treaty.

all messages