Category: Politics & Diplomacy

Trumps’ statements on lifting anti-Russian sanctions 'just rhetoric', says Russian MP

Trumps’ statements on lifting anti-Russian sanctions ‘just rhetoric’, says Russian MP

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump’s pronouncements about possible lifting of the anti-Russian sanctions in exchange for Russia’s concessions on Syria and Ukraine are nothing but sheer rhetoric to meet popular demand in the United States for better relations with Russia as the ultimate decision on that matter is up to the Congress, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump said in an interview with Reuters earlier that he was ready to look at possible lifting of the anti-Russian sanctions should Moscow did anything useful for Washington on Syria and Ukraine. “I don’t think the political weight of…

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Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s exchange of greetings with Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ayman Safadi exchanged congratulatory messages on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two states. The ministers noted the traditionally friendly nature of Russia-Jordan relations, which are developing dynamically in a wide range of areas on a mutually beneficial basis. They also stressed confidence that promoting multifaceted bilateral cooperation between Moscow and Amman meets the long-term interests of the two counties and serves to secure peace and stability in the Middle East.

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Lavrov slams London’s attempts to dictate policy on Russia to US and EU

Lavrov slams London’s attempts to dictate policy on Russia to US and EU

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS SOCHI, August 21. /TASS/. The UK, which is calling for tougher sanctions against Russia, is trying to dictate foreign policy to the US and the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “Our British counterparts have pretty high self-esteem,” Lavrov said commenting on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans to persuade US President Donald Trump to expand these sanctions. “The country, which is leaving the EU as part of Brexit, is trying to dictate foreign policy to the EU, and now it turns out that London wants to dictate foreign policy with regard to Russia to Washington as well.” According…

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US slapped sanctions on Russia not due to Syria or Ukraine, but to deter Moscow — Lavrov

US slapped sanctions on Russia not due to Syria or Ukraine, but to deter Moscow — Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS SOCHI, August 21. /TASS/. Washington has introduced sanctions against Moscow only because of the wish to promote the policy of deterring Russia, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday. “Everyone understands that the sanctions against Russia were launched not because of Syria and not because of Ukraine or Crimea, or whatever, but only because of the wish to use the methods of unfair competition and promote the absolutely dead-end policy of deterring the Russian Federation,” Lavrov noted. “Problems with the Syrian settlement and the Ukrainian settlement are rooted not in Russia’s position, but in the unwillingness of certain circles – both in…

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Lavrov reiterates Russia’s offer for dialogue with UK on Salisbury still stands

Lavrov reiterates Russia’s offer for dialogue with UK on Salisbury still stands

© Andrew Matthews/PA via AP SOCHI, August 21. /TASS/. Russia’s offer for dialogue with the UK on Salisbury, which it has made multiple times, still stands, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday. “We have made multiple offers to our British colleagues to sit down at the negotiations table, to lay out all our concerns and figure out where we are in our relations in a normal way. In response we get an arrogant denial,” the Russian top diplomat noted. “Our offer still stands.” “However, concerning the investigation of the incident or any other issue that the British side is trying to interpret in…

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Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversation with Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a conversation with First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic in Sochi. The sides noted the high level of bilateral relations and underscored their mutual striving for a deeper strategic partnership between Russia and Serbia. They reviewed the situation regarding Kosovo affairs in detail and charted steps to further improve coordination on this issue on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 as the foundation for a settlement.

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Sergey Lavrov’s remarks following talks with Serbian Minister Ivica Dacic in Sochi

Ladies and gentlemen, We have held the first part of our talks, and we will continue at the working breakfast. We reiterated our commitment to the all-round strengthening of our strategic partnership as agreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, including as part of their talks during celebrations of the anniversary of Victory on May 8 and 9. During that visit, President Vucic invited President Putin to visit Serbia, and we are now working on making this visit happen. Contacts between our respective ministries are very intensive. I was in Belgrade in February where we celebrated the 180th anniversary of our…

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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question regarding statements by a US State Department senior official on the Syrian issue

Question: In one of his public statements on the progress in convening the intra-Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield is reported to have said that he doubts that Russia is ready to perform its obligations to assist in this critical step towards the political process (in Syria) that the UN Security Council and the global community in general strongly support. How can you comment on these words by the senior representative of the US Department of State? Maria Zakharova: Statements of this nature are strange and surprising to us because it was at Russia’s initiative…

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Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Afghan leadership’s proposed ceasefire on the occasion of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha

We praise the initiative announced by President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani on August 20 for a temporary ceasefire with the Taliban on the occasion of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, to last until November 19. The proposal, it should be noted, does not extend to international terrorist groups, above all ISIS. The ceasefire would not only allow Afghanistan’s citizens to celebrate the holiday without fearing for their lives and the lives of their families but would also mark an important step toward establishing peace and amity in Afghanistan. Ideally, the truce should be long-lasting and stable. The regular meeting in the…

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Press release on the upcoming round of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan

On September 4, the Foreign Ministry will host the second round of the Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan.   The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations between special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.   The first round of consultations that took place on April 14, 2017 was attended by deputy foreign ministers and special representatives of 11 partner countries who are interested in achieving a settlement in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. These countries include Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The representatives of the United…

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Lavrov rejects possibility of using Taliban to fight Islamic State

SOCHI, August 21. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has rejected the possibility of representatives of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) being used by Russia to fight the Islamic State (IS, terror group, outlawed in Russia). “I cannot imagine even hypothetically how Russia can use the Taliban to fight the IS,” he told reporters at a news conference with Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on Tuesday. “We are fighting against ISIL using all available means. We support Syria in this struggle and provide assistance to equip Iraq’s army for the same purposes.”

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Comment by the Information and Press Department on the statement by Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Russia

We took note of the recent statement by the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Russia Abdul Kuchai alleging that the Russian Federation intended to use the Taliban against ISIS in Afghanistan. We would like to make it abundantly clear that the assertions made by the head of Afghanistan’s diplomatic mission in Moscow are completely untrue and distort the very essence of Russia’s policy on Afghanistan. We have responded to those who are behind these kinds of allegations on numerous occasions. This is not the first time that Abdul Kuchai has made statements based on nothing but insinuations. We call on everyone to…

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Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Angola Manuel Domingos Augusto

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola Manuel Domingos Augusto. During the conversation, the officials had a detailed discussion on the range of topical matters related to bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy, and investment with a focus on the development of mineral deposits. They stressed the mutual commitment by Moscow and Luanda to stepping up their trust-based political dialogue and enhancing their effective partnership for greater international and regional security.

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Putin, Finland’s president to discuss Syria and bilateral economic cooperation — Kremlin

Putin, Finland’s president to discuss Syria and bilateral economic cooperation — Kremlin

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. During the upcoming negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, which will take place on Wednesday, August 22, they will discuss a wide range of issues on the bilateral and regional agenda. Namely, they will focus on trade and economic cooperation between both countries, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed. “The visit was agreed upon in advance,” the Kremlin representative reminded. “You know that there was a brief contact with Finland’s President Niinisto in Helsinki after the meeting with [US President Donald] Trump, and the dialogue about bilateral trade and economic cooperation will continue.” Peskov…

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic, Sochi, August 21, 2018

Mr Minister, My dear friend, We are glad to see you in Sochi. Our countries have been proactive in their contacts. I have very warm memories of my visit to Belgrade in February 2018, when we marked the 180th anniversary of diplomatic ties between our countries. On May 8 and 9, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic visited Russia. We value highly the fact that in addition to holding talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, he attended the Victory Day Parade on Red Square and took part in the Immortal Regiment march. We also had a meeting in June in Moscow. Today, we have a…

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Kremlin expects specific proposals on Syria and Ukraine from Trump

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. The Kremlin is waiting for specific proposals on cooperation to resolve the situation in Syria and Ukraine, which, according to US President Donald Trump, is the condition for lifting anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We need to understand what conditions [for removing sanctions] are meant specifically,” he said. “Of course, we welcome statements, which confirm willingness to cooperate. However, we would welcome any specific actions even more,” Peskov added.

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Putin, Xi Jinping to meet at Eastern Economic Forum in September

Putin, Xi Jinping to meet at Eastern Economic Forum in September

© Sergei Guneyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP DALIAN /China/, August 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, which will be held in Vladivostok in September, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev stated on Tuesday. He noted that Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua also confirmed the meeting. The officials made these statements in the Chinese city of Dalian during a plenary session of the Intergovernmental Russian-Chinese Commission on Cooperation and Development of the Far East and Baikal Region of the…

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London evades cooperation with Russia in probe into Glushkov’s death – embassy

LONDON, August 20. /TASS/. The British authorities continue to evade cooperation with Russia in the probe into the death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov, taking no notice of the inquiries sent by the Russian Embassy, the embassy said. “Unfortunately, we have to state once again that the British side continues to evade any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of Mr Glushkov’s death,” it said. “The British authorities continue to ignore our requests. After the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended to address all correspondence on this case not to the police but to the FCO, the Embassy has sent a respective…

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Russia, Saudi Arabia discuss situation in Syria and Yemen

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. On Monday, Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov discussed the situation in the Middle East with Saudi Arabian ambassador to Moscow, paying close attention to Syria and Yemen, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s message informs. “During the talks, they exchanged opinions on current Middle East issues, with an emphasis on the evolving situation in Syria, Yemen and the Persian Gulf area,” the ministry informed. The parties also confirmed “a mutual commitment of Moscow and Riyadh to further develop multidimensional Russian-Saudi relations, including the maintenance of an active political dialogue.”.

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US fails to specify stance on START-3, says Russian diplomat

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Washington has not responded as of yet to Russia’s proposals to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, though the time for agreeing on this is running out, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Life) magazine. Under the treaty, it can be extended by another five years, the diplomat reiterated. “Why not taking advantage of this opportunity? Russian President [Vladimir Putin] said it publicly in Johannesburg, and [US President] Donald Trump said the same in Helsinki,” he pointed out. “We cannot currently say conclusively and for certain why, but unfortunately there is no response,” Ryabkov…

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Russian ombudsperson concerned over ‘inhumane treatment’ of alleged agent Butina

Russian ombudsperson concerned over ‘inhumane treatment’ of alleged agent Butina

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russian ombudsperson Tatiana Moskalkova stated that treatment of Russian citizen Maria Butina, arrested in the US, is “inhumane and degrading”, the ombudsperson’s website informed on Monday. “I would like to express my utmost concern at the actions of US prison authorities during the transfer of Russian citizen Maria Butina from Washington to Alexandria (Virginia State) prison. There are clear signs of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, punishment by the US government and violation of the rules of international law,” the message states. According to Moskalkova, Maria Butina “was subjected to a degrading inspection, made to undress, transferred in chains without warning…

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Press release on the situation with Russian climbers killed and injured in the Pamir Mountains

The Foreign Ministry continues to carefully monitor the developments around the Russian climbers killed and injured in the Pamir Mountains. On the morning of August 17, the bodies of everyone killed in the Mi-8 helicopter crash (Alexander Abrosimov, Timur Barabanov and Ruslan Tarakanov) were sent to Moscow by Somon Air. The injured climbers (Sergey Matveyev and Andrei Rodygin) and Timur Barabanov’s sister also took this flight. Vyacheslav Trush also returned home. Tatyana Gorbatyuk and Viktoria Dubina (both patients are in serious but stable conditions) as well as Alexander Sobolenko (moderate severity) remain in intensive care at the Istiqlol Hospital in Dushanbe. According to doctors, all…

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Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia Rayed Krimly

On August 20, Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov received Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Russia Rayed Khalid Krimly. The officials discussed topical Middle East issues with an emphasis on the developments in Syria, Yemen and the Persian Gulf. They reaffirmed Moscow and Riyadh’s mutual intention to further promote multifaceted Russian-Saudi ties, including maintaining an active political dialogue.

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Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Acting Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil

On August 20, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Acting Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil in Moscow. The ministers discussed in detail topical issues of the further development of traditionally friendly Russian-Lebanese relations and reaffirmed Moscow and Beirut’s mutual intention to continue a trust-based political dialogue and to promote multifaceted bilateral cooperation, including in the trade and  economic, military, technical, cultural and humanitarian spheres as well as in counterterrorism. The officials also discussed issues related to the situation in Lebanon, Syria and the entire Middle Eastern region. Mr Lavrov reaffirmed Russia’s consistent position in support of the sovereignty, unity and…

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Comment by the Information and Press Department on the results of parliamentary elections in Cambodia

On July 29, elections to the lower chamber of Parliament were held in the Kingdom of Cambodia. According to the official data published on August 15, the Cambodian People’s Party won all 125 seats in the National Assembly. The unprecedented turnout (83.02 per cent) and support of 4.9 out of 6.4 million of registered voters showed the high level of trust Cambodian citizens have for the Cambodian People’s Party and its leadership, whose policy is to strengthen domestic and socioeconomic stability in the country and to create favourable conditions for the further comprehensive development of Cambodia. Moscow reaffirms its principled position to further promote longstanding…

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Two hundred military police officers return to Russia from Syria

ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 20./TASS/. A 200-strong unit of military police from the Southern Military District has returned to the base in Chechnya after successfully carrying out special tasks in Syria, military district’s spokesman Vadim Astafyev reported on Monday. “Ilyushin Il-76 military-transport planes airlifted 200 military policemen to Mozdok airfield in North Ossetia from Hmeymim airfield in Syria,” Astavyev said. In a ceremony in Chechnya, they were welcomed by local military leadership, local authorities, representatives from veteran and public organizations, workmates and next-of-kin. The deputy chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Police Department, Colonel Vladimir Kovalyov, thanked the officers, emphasizing that their missions had been often carried…

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Russia won’t grieve over US refusal to mend relations

Russia won’t grieve over US refusal to mend relations

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russia is determined to work towards ending the crisis in Russian-US relations, but “it is not going to grieve” if Washington fails to reciprocate, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday. “The Russian president hopes for the best. He would like to end the deepest crisis in our relations. He has repeatedly said so himself. This intention remains, but at the same time nobody is going to grieve, if we do not see Washington’s reciprocity on that score,” he said. On US sanctions The Kremlin will respond to fresh US sanctions after…

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Lavrov confirms negotiations with Turkey on Syria to be held soon

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the negotiations with Turkish partners on Syria will be held in the next few days. “As guarantor countries of the Astana process, we work with Turkey and Iran on a daily basis, including telephone calls and personal meetings. In the next few days, we are planning to hold negotiations with Turkish colleagues,” the minister informed on Monday. “We discuss Syrian regulation as a whole, all its aspects. However, obviously, we pay attention to the realization of goals that had been agreed on during the creation of the de-escalation zone in Idlib, especially in the…

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Kremlin: Russia will not 'mourn' US refusal to mend relations

Kremlin: Russia will not ‘mourn’ US refusal to mend relations

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russia is determined to work for the end of crisis in Russian-US relations, but “it is not going to mourn if Washington does not reciprocate,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday. “The Russian president hopes for the best. He would like to end the deepest crisis in our relations. He has repeatedly said so himself. This intention remains, but at the same time nobody is going to mourn, if we do not see Washington’s reciprocity on that score,” he said. On US sanctions The Kremlin will respond to fresh US…

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Russia, Turkey, France, Germany hold consultations to convene Syria summit — diplomat

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russia, Turkey, France and Germany regularly hold consultations on convening a summit on Syria, Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Monday. “That (the organization of the summit – TASS) does not depend on us. I believe they (the Turkish side – TASS) did not agree clearly with their European partners,” Bogdanov said. “Consultations on the issue have been held regularly. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Germany took place, and we have been in touch with our French counterparts.” “Preparations are underway for another summit, of the guarantor nations…

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