17 February 2019
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London: 04:38

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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

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

12.04.2018

Statement of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation

Anti-Russia campaign launched by the British authorities over the alleged poisoning of former officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate Sergey Skripal and his daughter has been following the pattern that was already used to groundlessly accuse the Russian Federation in connection with the alleged attempted murder of Boris Berezovsky in London in summer 2003 and the death of Alexander Litvinenko in the UK in November 2006.

As the subjects of those provocations, all three cases featured persons who had been prosecuted for serious crimes in Russia and who had repeatedly criticized Russian authorities, which made it appear as if Russian authorities had a motive for their elimination.

All three cases involved mass disinformation and unfounded accusations that Russian special services used poisonous substances in the British soil, which was used as grounds to demand sanctions against Russia.

In all three cases, counter to the 1959 European Convention of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the British authorities refused to cooperate with Russian law enforcement agencies, classified information on the progress and findings of investigations into the mentioned events in the United Kingdom and thus excluded the possibility to assess their objectiveness.

In these circumstances, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation intends to disclose the facts established in the course of two criminal investigations: an investigation into accused Boris Berezovsky's illicitly obtaining asylum in the United Kingdom in September 2003 having falsely stated that Russian special services had been preparing his assassination in London in summer 2003, and the investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

These facts were objectively proved in the course of investigations conducted in Russia and confirmed by the conclusions of foreign, including British, law enforcement agencies, which British political authorities have been deliberately concealing and distorting.

The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation is also prepared to make an unprecedented step and publish in the mass media copies of certain documents from relevant criminal cases, including its correspondence with the British Home Office, including directly with Theresa May when a Home Secretary.

These materials clearly demonstrate that as British authorities were granting refugee status to Boris Berezovsky, they were aware that his asylum application was based on false allegations that an attempt on his life had been prepared in summer 2003.

These materials also show that, some months before Alexander Litvinenko's death, the British Home Office had been informed that he and a number of other persons involved in Berezovsky's obtaining asylum through a staged attempt at his life were at a real risk; however, it made no timely steps to protect these persons.

Statement of facts

In July 2006, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation received a written application from Vladimir Terluk, a stateless person originating from Kazakhstan who had resided with his family in the United Kingdom since 1999.

He stated that, between May and September 2003, Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Litvinenko, Alexander Goldfarb (vice-president of the US‑based International Foundation for Civil Liberties financed by Boris Berezovsky) and their British lawyers (whose identities are known), in order to create fictitious grounds for Boris Berezovsky's asylum application, tried to threaten and bribe him to make a false statement to British law enforcement agencies confessing that he was a member of Russian special services and was involved in preparing an assassination of Boris Berezovsky.

As Terluk refused to bear this false witness, Litvinenko and Goldfarb, acting under instructions of Berezovsky, submitted on 31 July 2003 and 4 August 2003 respectively to the competent British authorities knowingly false information alleging that Terluk was a Russian special services agent tasked to kill Berezovsky using a poisonous substance (copies of the statements are available).

         A similar statement was made by lawyer Clare Montgomery during the hearings at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London on granting asylum to Yuly Dubov, Berezovsky's associate who also fled to the UK to avoid prosecution in Russia. James Lewis of the Crown Prosecution Service, who participated in the hearings, demanded that Mrs Montgomery's statement be officially investigated into.

         As part of this investigation, in September 2003 Scotland Yard officers Simon Rose (service badge No. 192637, tel. 02072302991) and David Cadman (service badge No. 170715, tel. 02072302175) questioned Terluk if he belonged to the Russian special services and had the task to kill Berezovsky with a poisonous substance. Terluk categorically rejected these groundless statements and described in detail the whole scenario of Berezovsky's staging of the attempt on his life in order to obtain asylum in the UK as well as the actions of Litvinenko, Goldfarb and other persons involved in staging this provocation. Later on, Terluk confirmed his evidence under oath in High Court of Justice of England and Wales during the trial against Berezovsky in 2010.

         As a result of the investigation, on 13 January 2004 Home Office representative Hazel Blears made an official announcement about its completion due to the lack of objective evidence of an attempt on Berezovsky's life in summer 2003 in London. This notwithstanding, the British Home Secretary decided to grant Berezovsky a refugee status and refused on these grounds to extradite him to Russia at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office. At the same time, various mass media published Berezovsky's statement claiming that the reason for granting him asylum was the fact of preparation of an attempt on his life in London of which Berezovsky and his lawyers notified the British Home Office.

         Since Terluk testified against Berezovsky and his associates, he repeatedly received threats from them and, because of the inaction of the competent British authorities, had to appeal to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office requesting state protection.

On 7 August 2006, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation transferred to the UK Home Office the said Terluk's statement so that necessary measures aimed at ensuring his safety could be taken.

This letter also indicated that during the period from spring to autumn 2003 Berezovsky, Litvinenko, Goldfarb and other persons attempted, using various means, to persuade Terluk into providing knowingly false information about the preparation of an attempt on Berezovsky by the Russian special services.

(Copies of the letter of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and the investigator's request of 7 August 2006 with translation into English were provided)

On 12 October 2006, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation sent another letter to the British Home Office supplemented with an investigative request of 4 October 2006 to provide copies of materials that had served as a basis for granting asylum to Boris Berezovsky, i.e. copies of knowingly false statements of Alexander Litvinenko and Alexander Goldfarb.

(Copies of the letter of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office of 12 October 2006 and the investigative request of 4 October 2006 with translation into English were provided)

Thus, the British Home Office received the said requests of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation when Alexander Litvinenko was still alive – before 1 November 2006, the formally announced date of his poisoning. That means the British authorities had an opportunity to conduct a timely interrogation of Litvinenko in connection with the circumstances specified in the requests of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and to protect that key participant in the events under investigation but did not do it.

Moreover, on 23 October 2006, the British Home Office sent a letter to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, in which it refused to provide state protection of witnesses in the Boris Berezovsky case, explaining that witness protection was allegedly beyond the framework of mutual legal assistance, as stipulated in the provisions of the 1959 European Convention, and recommended that the issue be dealt with through Interpol.

(A copy of the letter from the British Home Office of 23 October 2006 in English and Russian was provided)

In the period from August 2006 to December 2011, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office sent to the British Home Office a total of 39 requests demanding protection of Vladimir Terluk, which were supplemented with requests to carry out an interrogation of accused Boris Berezovsky and his accomplices who were engaged in provocation that led to his obtaining refugee status, as well as to conduct a face‑to‑face confrontation between those persons and Mr. Terluk.

The British Home Office ignored the requests for the said investigative actions; consequently, the interrogation of Litvinenko became impossible due to his death on 23 November 2006.  It is quite obvious that Litvinenko's death was very convenient both as a way to get rid of one of the main witnesses who could testify against Boris Berezovsky and as yet another reason to launch a new anti‑Russia campaign.

It was only after the death of Alexander Litvinenko, on 14 December 2006, that the City of London Police started taking measures to provide state protection to Vladimir Terluk and his relatives, of which the British Home Office reported in its official letter of 13 March 2007.

(Copies of the letter from the British Home Office of 13 March 2007 and the report by the London police of 11 January 2007 in English and Russian were provided)

However, the measures to protect Vladimir Terluk and his family turned out to be ineffective. Thus, on 31 July 2010, after Vladimir Terluk gave his testimony against Boris Berezovsky in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, unknown persons attacked and brutally beaten him and his wife with a metal bar near the Stevenage and Graveley localities, inflicting severe injuries on both.

(Photographs of Vladimir Terluk and his wife showing marks of beating were provided)

On 4 August 2010, the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation sent a personal letter concerning the investigation of this crime to Home Secretary Theresa May, raising once again the issue of the inadequate protection offered by the British authorities to Vladimir Terluk and other parties to criminal proceedings in the case of Boris Berezovsky, including Alexander Litvinenko.

(A copy of the letter of the Prosecutor General's Office of 4 August 2010 with translation into English was provided)

Neither this letter nor subsequent messages from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office addressed to Theresa May were ever answered. Until now, those responsible for the attack against Terluk and his wife have not been identified; no additional state protection has been offered to Terluk and his property, either. Due to the inaction of the British competent authorities, on 14 October 2011, the Terluk family's car was stolen by unknown individuals. This crime has also remained unsolved.

The Home Office withdrew in a similar way from performing its obligations arising from the 1959 European Convention while investigating the circumstances of Alexander Litvinenko's death.

For instance, since 16 December 2006, when the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation initiated a criminal investigation into Alexander Litvinenko's death, the UK Home Office has failed to satisfy in full any Russian requests for investigative measures in the territory of the United Kingdom and refused to provide the results of expert studies aimed at establishing the cause of Litvinenko's death.

The Russian side was also denied any evidence obtained in the course of the investigation conducted by the British police. Those materials were classified.

In the meantime, in accordance with the official stance repeatedly articulated by British senior officials and circulated by the engaged mass media, it was maintained that Alexander Litvinenko had been poisoned in London on 1 November 2006 by Russian nationals Andrey Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun using Russia-produced radioactive polonium‑210.

These allegations have been refuted based both on the evidence obtained by the Russian Investigative Committee and on the results of the investigation conducted by the Hamburg Prosecutor's Office.

Thus, the German Prosecutor's Office, similarly to Russian investigative authorities, confirmed the fact that on 1 November 2006 Andrey Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun met Litvinenko in London, where they had arrived by plane the same day from Moscow and Hamburg, respectively.

However, Senior Prosecutor Redder's decision of 6 November 2009 states that the analysis of all the evidence obtained by the Hamburg Prosecutor's Office, including the data provided by the United Kingdom on the sites that had been identified by the British investigative authorities as contaminated with polonium‑210, revealed that polonium had been present in London before the arrival of Lugovoi and Kovtun on 1 November 2006. Traces of the radionuclide were found in Berezovsky's London office and in the organism of Italian national Mario Scramella, whom Litvinenko had met in London on 1 November 2006 prior to his meeting with Lugovoi and Kovtun.

In view of the above, the Hamburg Prosecutor's Office by its decision of 6 November 2009 discontinued the proceedings in this matter pursuant to p. 2 para. 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Federal Republic of Germany for lack of grounds for the accusation.

(Extracts from the decision of the Hamburg Prosecutor's Office of 6 November 2009 in the Russian and German languages bearing Prosecutor Redder's signature were provided)

And yet, the UK authorities still continue with their unfounded accusations against Russia and Russian nationals in relation to Litvinenko's death as well as attempts to draw unsubstantiated analogies between this event and the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March 2018 in the United Kingdom. 




LATEST EVENTS

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

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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.



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