17 July 2019
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500 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     492 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.” 



10.07.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the Russian delegation to the Global Conference on Media Freedom not given visas

Question: How would you comment on UK’s decision not to issue a visa to the Russian delegate who intended to participate in the Global Conference on Media Freedom? Answer: It is well-known that visas for official travel have become one of the problems of the current Russia-UK relations. But even in these conditions not issuing a visa to a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry travelling to participate in the conference looks really weird. The UK side itself invited the Russian side to participate in the conference, accredited the Russian delegate, but then refused to issue him a visa, thus sabotaging the visit.

09.07.2019 - Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova's answer to a media question on the refusal of the British authorities to accredit Russian news agencies at an international conference in London

Question: What could you say about the refusal of the British authorities to accredit the Russian news agencies RT and Sputnik at the Global Conference for Media Freedom? Maria Zakharova: One gets the impression that having announced an event with a flashy title, London decided to show the whole world an example of manipulating public opinion. Judge for yourself. One of the main declared goals of this forum is to unite diplomatic efforts to protect media freedom and discuss violations of the rights of media workers. So what do we have in reality?

06.07.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the seizure of the Panama-flagged tanker by Gibraltar authorities

We condemn the seizure of the super tanker sailing under the Panama flag on July 4, conducted by the Gibraltar authorities aided by Great Britain’s Royal Marine Commando unit. We view the seizure of the vessel and its cargo as a deliberate action aimed at aggravating the situation around Iran and Syria. Laudatory comments by top US and British officials immediately after the operation confirm this conclusion and prove that the action had been long in the making with the involvement of respective services and agencies of several countries.

05.07.2019 - Embassy Press Release on RT channel’s accreditation to the Global Conference for Media Freedom

As we have learned, British organisers of the Global Conference for Media Freedom, due to take place in London on 10-11 July, have refused to accredit journalists from the RT channel. The reason given was that the quota of journalists invited to the Conference had already been reached – and that despite the fact that RT had sent the request several weeks ago and has long been trying, unsuccessfully, to get a meaningful reply.

04.07.2019 - Embassy comment on the situation concerning the Salisbury incident with Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal

16 months have passed since the mysterious incident in Salisbury. The British side continuously ignores multiple appeals by Russia to clear up the circumstances surrounding the incident, provide transparency of the investigation, allow access to the affected Russian citizens and launch substantive cooperation to establish, what and how happened in Salisbury in reality. As before, more than 80 Notes Verbales sent to the Foreign Office and the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for legal assistance over Russia’s own criminal case have been left unanswered. At the same time the British authorities continue to take an aggressive stance towards Russia, while claiming to have irrefutable evidence that our country was behind the incident. However, the British side does not bother to present the “evidence” either to Russia, or to their own allies, or to the public.

04.07.2019 - Embassy press officer’s comment regarding access to Crimea for international monitors

On 3 July Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that during general debate in the UN Human Rights Council the British delegation called on Russia “to grant international human rights monitors access to illegally annexed Crimea”. Leaving aside the issue of “illegal annexation” (Russia’s stance on this subject is well-known), we would like to stress that the Republic of Crimea is open for visits of all international delegations and any foreign guests in general, on equal terms with all the other regions of our country. The FCO statement is therefore confusing. We consider it as yet another example of abuse of human rights issues by our British colleagues.

01.07.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the BBC’s publication on the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the BBC’s publication of 28 June which contains new “information” on the supposed “coordinator” of the Salisbury poisoning? Answer: As previously, this publication is based on reports from the untrustworthy “investigative” group Bellingcat and information provided by anonymous sources to the journalist Mark Urban, which are impossible to verify. This, predictably, raises a number of questions.

01.07.2019 - Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on the meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Theresa May, 28 June 2019

Question: What was President Putin’s answer to Mrs May’s question on the Skripal case? He outlined his position in the «Financial Times» interview but what did he say directly to Mrs May? Was she satisfied? Answer: It’s hard to say whether she was. Mrs May had indeed raised the Skripals incident in a rather tough manner, while the Russian President gave a detailed explanation on everything worth explaining. We all know that the British side has so far provided no evidence to support its accusations on the case. Neither to us, nor to their European allies, nor to North American ones. Otherwise, the evidence would have already been somehow made public.

01.07.2019 - E-visas introduced for visiting Russia’s Kaliningrad Region

From 1 July 2019, electronic visas are introduced for visiting the Kaliningrad Region of Russia. E-visas may be obtained online at http://electronic-visa.kdmid.ru/klgd_home.html. Nationals of 53 states are eligible for an e-visa. These include all EU member states, except the United Kingdom.

29.06.2019 - President Putin’s news conference

Following the G20 summit, the President of Russia answered journalists’ questions. June 29, 2019, 10:50, Osaka

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