28 May 2018
Moscow: 04:39
London: 02:39

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Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question concerning Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan’s statement on the opening of the Crimea Bridge

Q: Yesterday Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan made a statement, in which he criticized the opening of the Crimea Bridge, accused Russia of the “annexation of the Crimea” and expressed concerns over the alleged human rights violations on the peninsula. How can you comment on that?

A: Unfortunately, we have to state that the British political establishment continues to deny current international realities. We would like to remind that the tragedy in Ukraine, which continues to this day, was preceded by a coup d’état in Kiev supported by the West, including the UK. It was a blatant violation not only of the Constitution of Ukraine, but also of the agreement reached on 21 February 2014 between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition, mediated by Germany, France and Poland. The forcible removal of the legitimate President paved the way to the so-called “government of winners”, which connived at actions of far-right groups.

In that situation, the Crimean population faced a direct threat to its safety. They were in fact deprived of an opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination within the Ukrainian state. The legitimate local authorities decided to hold a referendum, where citizens were asked whether they preferred Crimea to join Russia or to remain part of Ukraine. 96.8% of the voters supported joining Russia with an 83.5% turnout.

         Coming back to today's situation, it cannot but cause concern that British authorities prefer criticism of Russia and the Crimeans, who have exercised their right, over a proper response to countless violations of human rights, freedom of speech and harassment of journalists by Ukraine authorities.

Meanwhile, the UK has its own territorial disputes, which they prefer not to mention. Take the Malvinas/Falklands, for example. Despite numerous resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Special Committee on decolonization, the British authorities constantly refuse to launch direct negotiations with Argentina to find a solution of the status of Malvinas/Falklands. Instead a referendum on the status of the islands was held. The population voted in favour of retaining the status of the Malvinas/Falklands as the British Overseas Territory. Now the United Kingdom refers to the will of the islanders as the basis of the Malvinas/Falklands being part under British Sovereignty. According to this logic, a referendum can be held on the Malvinas/Falklands, but it is somehow impossible in Crimea. Refusal to respect the right of the Crimeans to determine their future is another example of “double standards” of British authorities.

The Crimea Bridge is 19 km long, is the longest in Russia and one of the biggest in Europe. We are confident that it will hugely contribute to the prosperity of the peninsula and the welfare of its population, will help protect the rights and interests of the Crimeans that are so cherished by Britain.

We are ready to share experience of building such complex structures with the UK, for example, across the Channel, if there is an interest from the British side.


25.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s response to a media question about the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q: How would you comment on the investigation by British authorities of the death of Mr Nikolay Glushkov? A: Unfortunately, British authorities continue to refuse to cooperate on the investigation of the mysterious death on 12 March in London of former Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Mr Nikolay Glushkov. On 24 April, the Embassy sent to the Home Office an official request of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation on legal assistance in the criminal case on the death of Mr Glushkov. However, there has been no reply. This amounts to a disregard by the British side of their obligations under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959.

25.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question concerning current state of the investigation of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Q: Did Yulia Skripal’s video statement of 23 May provide answers to the questions raised by Russia in relation to the Salisbury incident? A: Unfortunately, no, it didn’t.

25.05.2018 - Statement by the Foreign Ministry regarding the press conference of the Joint Investigation Team

Statement by the Foreign Ministry regarding the May 24, 2018 press conference of the Joint Investigation Team on the preliminary findings of the criminal investigation into the July 17, 2014 crash of the Malaysian Boeing in eastern Ukraine

25.05.2018 - Embassy press officer’s comment on the Skripal case

Almost three months have passed since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal on 4 March in Salisbury. The British political leadership has put forward serious accusations against Russia, but has not yet provided any evidence in support of its position.

24.05.2018 - The Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018

Today in Saint Petersburg, the traditional International Economic Forum will start its work. SPIEF is one of the key international discussion platforms for the global and regional economic trends and challenges. Heads of states and governments, prominent public leaders, heads of international organizations and major companies, leading world experts and analysts as well as numerous media representatives attend the event. The last year’s SPIEF was a record high in terms of the number of participants – over 14 thousand people. 475 investment agreements totaling $30 bn were signed.

23.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer comments on Yulia Skripal’s video address

We are glad to have seen Yulia Skripal alive and well. The statement she read out contains new information. However, the video shown only strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held. Obviously, Yulia was reading a pre-written text. More than that, judging by quite a few elements, the text was a translation from English and had been initially written by a native English-speaker.

21.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning a new report on Russia by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

Q: Today the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee published a report “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK”. How would you comment on that? A: We are carefully studying this report and its recommendations. Meanwhile, one cannot help but notice at first sight that it is another anti-Russian undertaking by the parliamentary committee aimed at supporting the UK claims to play a leading role in the Western bloc to “deter Russia”. The 2015 National Security Strategy, Prime Minister’s Banquet Speech in November 2017, unsubstantiated accusations against Russia of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the “fusion doctrine” outlined on 1 May by National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill are all integral parts of the reckless policy of UK political leadership against Russia.

21.05.2018 - Embassy’s press Secretary answers media question on the detention of the journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine

Q: How did UK authorities react to the detention of “RIA Novosti Ukraine” journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Kiev on 15 May? A: The reporter’s detention by the Ukrainian authorities caused worldwide outrage. It was condemned by a number of countries, international organizations and journalists’ professional bodies, including the UK National Union of Journalists. Regretfully, the UK Government, which so often calls on Russia and other countries to respect freedom of speech, has preferred to keep silent on this case.

18.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question about Sergei Skripal’s discharge from the hospital

Question: According to the recent reports, Sergei Skripal was discharged this morning from the hospital in Salisbury. How could you comment on that? Answer: We are satisfied that the treatment Sergei Skripal received was successful and he is well enough to leave the hospital. We wish him full recovery.

18.05.2018 - President of Syria Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to Russia

Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad in Sochi.

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