24 November 2020
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996 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     988 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

20.11.2020

Normandy Summit on Ukraine: one year on

During the recent visit of Ukrainian President Zelensky to London the UK Government did not spare words to reiterate its full support for Ukrainian reforms and territorial integrity. New calls were made for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the premise being that it is Russia and “Russia-backed separatists” who hamper the political process. Yet the reality is quite the opposite. We believe it is important to set the record straight: the Minsk Agreements and political engagements based on them are being persistently and deliberately ignored by Ukraine itself (with the connivance and, often, encouragement of its Western backers).

Consider the meeting on 9 December 2019 in Paris between presidents Macron, Putin, Zelensky and Chancellor Merkel in what is known as the “Normandy” format. The summit conclusions identified 7 steps to be taken, including immediate measures to stabilise the situation as well as those related to the general political process. They were supposed to be negotiated and implemented by April 2020. Today, almost a year since, only two decisions have been implemented, and then only partially. Taking stock of nearly a year of work in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk, it is fair to say Ukraine carries full responsibility for this lamentable lack of progress.

Let’s take the measures envisaged, one by one:

1. full and comprehensive ceasefire – partially implemented: agreed by TCG on 22 July 2020 and started on 27 July 2020. Yet OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has reported around 1600 ceasefire violations from August to October;

2. updated demining plan – not implemented: 19 demining areas are under consideration, but none of them has been approved by the Ukrainian side;

3. agreement on 3 additional disengagement areas – not implemented: even 4 such areas are currently being discussed within the TCG, but Kiev remains reluctant to agree;

4. release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year 2019 on the basis of the principle of “all for all” – partially implemented: 200 persons were released on 29 December 2019 and 34 on 16 April 2020. Yet a large number of people continue to be detained. Kiev has not fully implemented its commitment to clear the released detainees of all charges;

5. agreement on new crossing points along the line of contact – not implemented: this year two checkpoints (Schastye and Zolotoye) have been discussed, with Kiev initially reluctant to give the relevant security guarantees and now delaying the construction itself;

6. settlement of legal aspects related to the special status for certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements – far from being implemented: Kiev has been continuously evading and neglecting this crucial political provision; 

7. legislative incorporation of the so-called ”Steinmeier formula“, which links granting the special status to Donbass with holding free and fair elections there, – agreed by President Zelensky on October 2019, but still not implemented.

Above all, authorities in Kiev continue to question the Minsk Agreements as such, distort their provisions and the sequence of steps to be taken. Ukraine is flouting dialogue with its own regions through the TCG, continuing to pretend that talks are to be held with Russia. This policy can only be explained as being aimed at derailing the political process. One can only guess what alternatives Kiev is contemplating.

It is important that Western partners and sponsors continue to work with Ukraine, mobilizing the political will of the ruling class to implement all the Minsk and Paris commitments. A new Normandy summit is not a panacea – conclusions agreed in Paris must be implemented first. Instead, we are witnessing unconditional statements of support coupled with military assistance of various kinds. This is not the kind of signals that should be sent to hot heads in Kiev if we are to see a negotiated solution to the protracted crisis.




LATEST EVENTS

10.11.2020 - Embassy reply to BBC Radio 4 regarding its podcast series “Intrigue. Mayday” on the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier

Referring to the subject of the BBC Series – White Helmets and James Le Mesurier – the Russian position is well-founded. Vast amounts of evidence on the ground as well as intelligence information which Russia has at its disposal unequivocally point to direct links between the White Helmets and terrorist organisations operating in Syria.


16.10.2020 - Embassy comment to The Times newspaper on disinformation allegations

The suggestion that the Russian State may conduct any kind of propaganda against the AstraZeneca vaccine is itself an example of disinformation. It is obviously aimed at discrediting Russia’s efforts in combating the pandemic, including the good cooperation we have established with the UK in this field.


06.10.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin holds online meeting with members of Russia APPG

On 5 October 2020 Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin held an online meeting with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia. Members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, representing all major political parties of the country, took part in the conversation.


03.10.2020 - Joint Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow, Paris, Washington, D.C., October 2, 2020

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) released the following statement today: The Co-Chairs strongly condemn the continued violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone as well as against targets in the territory of Armenia and Azerbaijan away from the Line of Contact, and express our alarm at reports of increasing civilian casualties. Targeting or threatening civilians is never acceptable under any circumstances. The Co-Chairs call on the sides to observe fully their international obligations to protect civilian populations.


02.10.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the EU’s restrictions on Belarus

We noted the EU’s October 2 decision to adopt new restrictive measures as regards Belarus. A comment declaring response measures has already been released by Belarusian officials. We see that instead of displaying restraint, which is so vital for stabilisation in Belarus, the European Union has once again resorted to the instrument of sanctions. This approach is unilateral and illegal. It undermines the prerogatives of the UN Security Council and leads to the further erosion of international law.


02.10.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on statements by Permanent Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Robert Wood on Russia’s initiatives to prevent an arms race in space

There is growing concern regarding the professional credentials of Permanent Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood. On October 1, 2020, during a briefing hosted by the Foreign Press Association at the United Nations Office in Geneva he said that he did not know what Russia’s initiatives to prevent an arms race in outer space were about. As a reminder, for 40 years Russia (and earlier the USSR) has consistently advocated the drafting of a multilateral legally binding instrument that would prohibit the deployment of weapons of any kind, as well as the use or threat of force in outer space.


29.09.2020 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veteran

On 26 September 2020 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medal to the Arctic Convoys veteran Mr William Geoffrey ROBINSON who was awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for his personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.


26.09.2020 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on discrepancies and inconsistencies in the situation around Alexey Navalny

The Russian Federation has been acting in the most transparent manner in the situation around Mr. Alexey Navalny from the very beginning. At the request of relatives, he was promptly granted permission to travel to Germany for medical treatment, which he did without hindrance, once the doctors at the Omsk hospital managed to stabilize his condition. Moreover, Russian doctors passed on to their German colleagues the data they had collected on the patient's health condition and were ready to continue to work together for the sake of his speedy recovery.


26.09.2020 - Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, on a comprehensive program of measures for restoring the Russia – US cooperation in the filed of international information security

One of today’s major strategic challenges is the risk of a large-scale confrontation in the digital field. A special responsibility for its prevention lies on the key players in the field of ensuring international information security (IIS). In this regard, we would like to once again address the US with a suggestion to agree on a comprehensive program of practical measures to reboot our relations in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).


11.09.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin presents former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation

On 10 September 2020, Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin hosted the former President of WorldSkills International Mr Simon Bartley at his residence to present him with a Certificate of Commendation from the Government of the Russian Federation awarded for his outstanding work in promoting the WorldSkills Russia movement.



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