25 April 2019
Moscow: 15:16
London: 13:16

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417 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     409 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

09.09.2018

Embassy response to Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s remarks at the Andrew Marr Show, 9 September 2018

     Sajid Javid: This [the Salisbury incident] was the act, we now know unequivocally, crystal clear, this was the act of the Russian state.

Comment: If Mr Javid has evidence that allows him to make this kind of direct accusations, why wouldn’t he share it with the public? So far, what the public has seen is nothing but photos of two Eastern-European-looking men walking around Salisbury on two different days. Everything else, including exact dates and names, let alone these gentlemen’s involvement in the Skripals poisoning and their links to the Russian state, is only assertions based on unverifiable “intelligence” and on the “lack of alternative explanations”. If the “crystal clear”-level evidence exists, it is in everyone’s interest for it to be published.

Sajid Javid: Russia is against the International Rules-Based System. The same system by the way that since the end of the Second World War has brought us prosperity and peace, relative peace throughout the world. Russia doesn’t like that system.

Comment: The “international rules-based system” is not what was agreed at the end of the Second World War. It is a recent invention by the West aimed at distorting the real UN-centered international system based on International Law. The notion of a “rules-based system” allows Western countries to pick and choose whatever “rules” suit them (regardless of whether they have been agreed universally, regionally or have only been proposed) and to try to make them pass for something universally recognized.

For its part, Russia has always been, and remains, a staunch supporter of International Law as agreed between all states. We cherish the unique legitimacy of the United Nations, as opposed to the numerous “global alliances” and “groups of friends” created by proponents of the “rules-based system” in order to achieve aims which don’t find enough support at the UN.

The difference between the universally accepted International Law and the “rules-based system” is well known to the people of Iraq, Libya or Syria: where International Law would have protected them from armed aggression, the “rules-based system” has, on the contrary, encouraged foreign intervention under false pretexts and with disastrous consequences. It may have brought “peace and prosperity” to “us”, as Mr Javid puts it, i.e. to the West. But for many, it has only brought war and devastation.

So the Home Secretary is right: Russia does not like the “rules-based system” as long as that “system” aims at arbitrarily dismantling International Law, agreed and developed by all states ever since the Second World War.

Sajid Javid: We have enormous capability to defend ourselves. […] We have considerable powers and we’ll bring all those powers, both covert and overt to bear on Russia and what it represents today.

Comment: Mr Javid knows full well that Russia represents no threat from which Britain needs to be defended. We don’t intend to kill British people, to grab British territories, to harm British infrastructure, to disrupt British trade. It is a pity that more and more members of the UK Government and Parliament are joining the large-scale anti-Russian propaganda campaign which essentially intimidates the British people. This is another Project Fear, aimed at securing popular support for the Conservative Government, budgetary allocations for defence, and UK’s continued standing in NATO and vis-à-vis EU partners, at risk because of Brexit.

At the same time, Mr Javid and the whole Government must realize the unhelpful nature of their provocative rhetoric which may be seen as preparing the public for aggressive actions against Russia under the disguise of “defending ourselves”. It is worth recalling that back in March, we invited the UK Government to confirm that they are not planning cyber attacks against Russia. No such confirmation has been forthcoming.

Sajid Javid: Russia has no extradition treaty with the UK. It has a history of not extraditing its citizens.

Comment: This is a relatively minor point, but one that aptly demonstrates the level of competence of the British government and civil service.

Actually, Russia and the UK do have an extradition treaty. It is called the European Convention on Extradition, 1957. It does not only exist on paper but is a working instrument, with the two countries occasionally extraditing suspects to each other (even if the level of UK’s compliance with Russia’s extradition requests leaves much to be desired).

True, Russia does not extradite its own citizens. That is not because we have “a history” of refusing to do so, but because this is directly prohibited by the Russian Constitution, in the chapter on human rights that cannot be amended except through adoption of a fully new Constitution.

Yet, this does not preclude Russia-UK cooperation on a particular criminal case, even when the suspects are Russian. Alongside the European Convention on Extradition, there exists the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, 1959. Assistance under that Convention might include taking evidence from a witness, servicing a writ etc. We fail to understand why the UK excludes the possibility of seeking Russian cooperation within the framework of that Convention. This would be the natural course of action for a country genuinely interested in a progress of its investigation.

Furthermore, given that competent Russian authorities have opened a criminal case of their own, the existing cooperation framework might lead to suspects being brought to court in Russia. Quite obviously, this is impossible without evidence being transferred from the UK to Russia. Again, the British refusal to explore this avenue only testifies to the lack of evidence capable of standing up to judicial scrutiny.




LATEST EVENTS

23.04.2019 - Embassy’s comment regarding UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt congratulations to Volodymyr Zelenskiy

We have taken note of the statement by the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, congratulating Volodymyr Zelenskiy on being elected President of Ukraine. In his statement Mr Hunt said the UK interest in supporting Ukraine was due to the country’s position “on the front-line of Russia’s challenge to the rules-based international system”. The Foreign Secretary also mentioned that Ukraine’s “stability is essential for Europe’s security”. “Cooperation on defence and security” was identified as the first among the areas of future cooperation between London and Kiev.


19.04.2019 - Presentation of the Novgorod Region, Moscow, April 18, 2019

Novgorod, is one of the oldest cities in Russia with population around 230 thousand people. The Sofia First Chronicle makes initial mention of the city in 859, when it was already a major Baltics-to-Byzantium station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. Novgorod is also traditionally considered to be the cradle of Russian statehood.


18.04.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on media reports regarding children hospitalised and ducks killed as a result of the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the New York Times report, reprinted by British media, alleging that CIA Director Gina Haspel persuaded President Trump to take strong measures against Russia following the Salisbury incident by showing him photos of children exposed to chemical poisoning and those of ducks killed by nerve agent? Answer: As everyone else, we learned of the existence of such photos from the New York Times piece. The information on hospitalised children and killed ducks is surprising. The British authorities and media have indeed reported that some members of the public, including children, underwent medical checks as a precautionary measure. However, none of them had any signs of poisoning. Similarly, it has never been reported that ducks or any other animals were killed (apart from Mr Skripal’s pets, incinerated in the Porton Down laboratory for unknown reasons).


17.04.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the Report of the House of Commons Defence Committee “Missile Misdemeanours: Russia and the INF Treaty”

Question: How could you comment on the Report of the House of Commons Defence Committee, which blames Russia for the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty?


16.04.2019 - Message of President Putin to President of France Emmanuel Macron

President Putin sent a message to President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron personally expressing sympathy to the French leader and the entire French nation over the tragic aftermath of the fire at Notre Dame de Paris.


15.04.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning appointment of honorary consuls of Russia in the UK

Question: According to reports, Duchess of Abercorn, who served as Russia’s Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland, deceased in December 2018. Are there any plans to appoint a new honorary consul in that region? Answer: The issue of appointing a new Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland, where neither the Embassy in London nor the Consulate General in Edinburgh can effectively exercise consular functions due to objective geographical reasons, is under consideration.


13.04.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department regarding the statement by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

We noted a Twitter post of April 10 by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, stating that it’s been over a year since Russia used the lethal Novichok agent in Salisbury, yet London hears nothing but denials from Russia, which allegedly objected to Novichok being added to the list of substances controlled by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It gets more cynical as you read on: “If they love Novichok so much, other countries will rightly worry about the next Salisbury.”


12.04.2019 - Embassy comment on the state of the investigation into the death of Nikolay Glushkov

More than a year has passed since former Deputy Director General of Aeroflot Nikolay Glushkov, a national of the Russian Federation, mysteriously died in London. One would argue that the investigators have had plenty of time to present their lines of inquiry. However, the crime continues to be passed over in silence by law enforcement officials, politicians and the media.


12.04.2019 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova regarding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's detention

Just now, we watched online as the British police detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. We noted that the operation was conducted in the office of the Ecuadorian diplomatic mission with the embassy’s approval. Judging from the format of the operation, a blatant and brutal neglect of the detainee’s human dignity took place. We hope that all Julian Assange’s rights will be observed.


12.04.2019 - Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the UN Security Council Meeting on Venezuela

We are both surprised and not at the convening of an emergency meeting on Venezuela, all the more with participation of the Vice-President of the United States, whom you are always glad to welcome in this room. It is a pity he did not want to listen to other Members of the Council share their views on the situation in Venezuela. Today we watch just another act in a multi-act drama that attempts to change the regime in Venezuela. The situation in Venezuela does not pose a threat to international peace and security, whereas external actors pose a direct threat to peace and security inside Venezuela. This is what we have just heard.



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