15 May 2021
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1168 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1160 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Statement by the Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control KONSTANTIN GAVRILOV at the 1st Plenary meeting of the 85th Session of the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC), Vienna, April 26, 2021

Madam Chair,

Distinguished Colleagues,

In terms of discussion of the issue of current implementation of the Treaty on Open (OST) Skies, the Russian Delegation would like to announce the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia on the situation with regard to the Treaty on Open Skies.

First of all, we note that a group of states led by the United States keeps trying - no matter what - to shift the responsibility for the deplorable situation with the Open Skies Treaty (OST) to the Russian Federation. It looks like Washington had never withdrawn from it. Claims are still being made that “the Russian Federation must come into full compliance with the Treaty” before someone somewhere might begin to consider any chances for return to the Treaty.

We have repeatedly stated our position in response to such claims. Those who wish so may familiarize themselves with it, inter alia, on the MFA website.

Meanwhile, we draw attention to the fact that some time ago we introduced a set of ideas how to resolve the problem of observation flights over Georgia and over 10-km zones along the Russian border in the Caucasus. Nonetheless, these ideas were rejected by those who are indifferent to the future of the OST.

Moreover, last year we gave permission to conduct an observation flight over the Kaliningrad region at a distance that exceeded the 500-kilometer limit, and also created all necessary conditions for a successful flight over the area where the Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus-2020) military exercise was held.

Both were strong political signals, but unfortunately, no adequate response followed.

In turn, we maintain several concerns regarding the implementation by the NATO allies of the US, and also by Ukraine and Georgia, of their obligations under the OST. These concerns were emphasized, inter alia, by our delegation at the fourth Review Conference of the Treaty on 7 October 2020 and in the Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia dated 22 November 2020.

We made very serious points on the US record of non-compliance prior to that country’s withdrawal from the Treaty. They were summarized in the Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia dated 22 November 2020. As is a usual way of our opponents nowadays, these points were disregarded and were not even responded to.

We expressed our readiness in principle to address all these issues, including the concerns of the Russian Federation and those of our partners, in a comprehensive way, at a “small group” on the margins of the Open Skies Consultative Commission. To turn this expression of readiness into practice will only be possible after the United States sends a clear and unambiguous message about its decision to return to the Treaty.

Meanwhile, the Treaty moves to a point where it will fall apart. One should not expect Russia to offer unilateral concessions. If the status quo is maintained, our internal procedures necessary prior to the notification of Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty will be completed by the end of May.

The Government of the Russian Federation will present the draft law on the denunciation of the Treaty on Open Skies to the President; it will then be submitted to the Chambers of the Federal Assembly for review.

I thank you, Madam Chair, and request that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.




13.05.2021 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the speech on the cyber security by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

Question: Speaking at the National Cyber Security Centre’s CYBERUK conference on 12 May 2021, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that ‘states like Russia’ have a responsibility to prosecute criminals operating from their territory, ‘not shelter them’. How would you comment on this? Answer: The Embassy has on multiple occasions commented unfounded accusations of numerous ‘sins’ in cyberspace made against our country. It is disappointing that the British authorities keep using Russia as a negative example, while having no actual grounds for this. Over the past few years we have repeatedly suggested to the UK, as well as to the USA and other countries, to develop professional cooperation to tackle the issues arising in this field... The UK prefers resounding speeches and vague ‘sheltering criminals’ insinuations.

12.05.2021 - Embassy reply to a media request from The Guardian

The Embassy has no comment to make on the substance of the allegations against HRH Prince Michael of Kent made in the recent media publications. Prince Michael is well known in Russia as a champion of Russian-British friendship and cooperation. He has immensely contributed to developing human, cultural and economic ties between the two countries, including by serving as the Patron of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. In this capacity, His Royal Highness has maintained a wide range of contacts with Russian counterparts at various levels.

11.05.2021 - Воок of Condolence for the victims of the tragedy in School №175 in Kazan on 11.05.2021

The Embassy expresses sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the tragic events in School №175 in Kazan on 11 May 2021, and wishes of a speedy recovery to everyone who was injured. A Book of Condolence is open at the Embassy's Consular Section. You can also send your message to: condolences@rusemb.org.uk.

05.05.2021 - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s interview with the RT television channel, May 3, 2021

Question: What impact have the sanctions had on the state of relations between Russia and the West? Maria Zakharova: Unfortunately, the growing use of politically motivated, unilateral restrictive measures by a number of Western countries, primarily the United States, has become a reality of our time. We increasingly view the sanctions against Russia as a “gesture of despair” and a manifestation of the local elites’ inability to accept the new reality, abandon the stereotypes of their bloc-based thinking, and recognise Russia's right to independently determine its path of development and build relationships with its partners.

21.04.2021 - Press release on summoning US Deputy Head of Mission to Foreign Ministry

On April 21, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy Bart Gorman was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was handed a note saying that 10 US Embassy employees in Moscow had been declared persona non grata. These people have been ordered to leave the Russian Federation before the end of the day on May 21.

16.04.2021 - Embassy comment on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office statement concerning “Russia’s malign cyber activity”

We consider the FCDO statement of 15 April on “malign activity by Russian intelligence services in cyberspace” as nothing but an attempt to play along with the US, which as usually try to put a blame on Russia while obviously failing to ensure their own cyber security.

31.03.2021 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess

Question: Newly appointed to lead the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, Baroness Hallet has announced her plans to examine the Russian state’s involvement in poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury as part of the inquest. Any comments? Answer: We see it as a confirmation of our earlier conclusion that the situation with regard to these tragic events would evolve according to the Litvinenko Case scenario. Regular investigation and regular use of existing international legal instruments (since there have been Russian nationals affected) is being substituted with a quasi-judicial procedure. It does not formally pertain to the incident in Salisbury as such, yet would undoubtedly be used to support again and again the groundless accusations against Russia made by the British authorities.

11.03.2021 - Embassy demarche on the UK anti-Russian activity in the information sphere

On 10 March 2021, the Embassy undertook a demarche to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regarding the leaked FCDO-related documents that reveal a large-scale campaign being performed by the UK Government aimed at exercising systematic influence on the Russian-language media space.

04.03.2021 - Embassy comment on the third anniversary of the Salisbury incident

Three years have now passed since the highly publicized incident in Salisbury. So far we have learnt little on what really happened. The British authorities laid the blame on Russia for an alleged use of chemical weapons on the British soil. Such a serious accusation however was not backed by any facts, proof or other sort of relevant information. Being ungrounded, it cannot be considered credible.

17.02.2021 - Joint Statement by the Representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in the Astana format, Sochi, 16-17 February 2021

The representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as guarantors of the Astana format: 1. Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that these principles should be universally respected and complied with;

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