Accreditation requests from journalists to cover celebrations of 73rd anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 are no longer accepted

The Presidential Press and Information Office’s Department of Accreditation and Briefings informs, that accreditation requests from journalists to cover the celebrations of the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 are no longer accepted.

Statement by President of Russia Vladimir Putin

On April 14, the United States, supported by its allies, launched an airstrike against military and civilian targets in the Syrian Arab Republic. An act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline in the fight against terrorism was committed without a mandate from the UN Security Council and in violation of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law.

Just as one year ago, when the Shayrat Airbase in Syria came under attack, the US used as a pretext a staged chemical attack against civilians, this time in Douma, a Damascus suburb. Having visited the site of the would-be chemical attack, Russian military experts did not find any traces of chlorine or any other toxic agent. Not a single local resident was able to confirm that a chemical attack had actually taken place.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons dispatched its experts to Syria in order to investigate all the circumstances. However, in a sign of cynical disdain, a group of Western countries decided to take military action without waiting for the results of the investigation.

Russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against Syria, where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counterterrorism efforts.

Through its actions, the US makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians. In fact, the US panders to the terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years, leading to a wave of refugees fleeing this country and the region.

The current escalation around Syria is destructive for the entire system of international relations. History will set things right, and Washington already bears the heavy responsibility for the bloody outrage in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya.

Russia will convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the aggressive actions by the US and its allies.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security, Moscow, April 5, 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

We are so happy to have this opportunity to once again address the Moscow Conference on International Security organised by the Russian Defence Ministry. We would like to welcome all of you taking part in this conference, including the high-ranking representatives from many countries, the heads of international organisations, members of the legislative authorities and civil society, as well as respected scientists and experts.

Over the past years, this conference has become an attractive venue for the professional exchange of opinions on key military and political topics. This open and constructive dialogue offers an opportunity to find mutually acceptable formulas based on a balance of interests of all the parties involved.

My Russian colleagues spoke about this yesterday. They provided a detailed presentation of our positions on the key questions concerning the global and regional agenda. For my part, I would like to share with you our views on the current problems in international affairs, because the global situation continued to deteriorate since our meeting last year, despite our efforts to prevent this.

The main reason for this, and this has become obvious to very many people, is the continued unilateral actions of the US-led Western countries. Many of these actions are openly destructive and can dangerously unbalance the global governance mechanisms.

Washington, London and other Western capitals have not drawn proper conclusions from the tragedies of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. The latest US National Security Strategy and National Defence Strategy openly look at the world through the prism of military-political rivalry and the friend-foe or with-us-or-against-us logic.

We see increasing disregard for international law and multilateral organisations such as the UN. The US ability to honour its commitments is raising questions, especially in light of the attempts to dismantle major international agreements such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, the UN decisions on the Middle East settlement, the Paris declaration on climate change, as well as basic WTO principles. Taken together, this amounts to attempts to revise the system of international affairs.

Attempts have also been made to revise the Minsk Agreements on a settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis the implementation of which Kiev is sabotaging.  The Kiev government’s patrons in the US and Europe prefer to turn a blind eye to these developments while encouraging Kiev’s party of war, which wants to resolve the problem of Donbass militarily.

Questionable zero sum games, which are actually negative sum games, are being enacted around the world. They continue to flirt with the terrorists and to divide them into bad and not very bad ones, which Russian speakers pointed out at this conference yesterday, providing examples of the situation in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. The impression is that the Americans are trying to maintain a situation of controlled chaos in this huge geopolitical region, hoping to use it to justify the open-ended US military presence in the region within the framework of their unilateral agenda.

Washington’s policy in the sphere of strategic stability is focused on undermining parity to ensure the US military superiority. Continued efforts are taken to deploy the US BMD system around the world. NATO capability and military activity near the Russian border are growing. We are particularly concerned over the US policy of lowering the nuclear threshold. It has been proposed to deal with the problems in cyberspace in keeping with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in Washington. At the same time, our calls for launching a professional discussion on confidence-building measures and on combating threats in cyberspace have not evoked a positive response in Washington or Brussels.

Crude political provocations are staged to fuel confrontation and demonise Russia. The so-called Skripal case has been used as a contrived or orchestrated pretext to expel large groups of Russian diplomats not just from the US and Britain but also from many other states, which were pressured to do so. It has been a long time since we last saw such open mockery of international law, diplomatic ethics and elementary decency. I would like to say that, although we will continue to provide appropriate responses to these unfriendly actions, what we do want is to establish the truth. We demand that a substantive and responsible investigation be held in keeping with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The legitimate questions we have asked on the basis of CWC will have to be answered, as the special session of the OPCW’s Executive Council on April 4, which was initiated by Russia, has shown.

It is unacceptable when unsubstantiated accusations are presented without the provision of hard facts or the results of an honest investigation, as it happened with regard to the Salisbury case and in many other cases, from the US presidential election to the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the referendum in Catalonia. It is only in the famous book by Lewis Carroll that the Queen could demand, “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” But Lewis Carroll’s book only looks like a fairy-tale for children while in fact it is a political satire. The discussion held in The Hague yesterday has shown that adult and self-respecting people do not believe in fairy-tales. We again urge our colleagues to deal with any problems within the framework of international law, honestly, and with hard facts. We are ready for this collective work, as President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed at a news conference in Ankara.


Growing confrontational trends and mutual mistrust are compounding strategic uncertainty, provoking an arms race and, most alarming, contributing to the militarisation of public mentality. Ultimately, they are eroding the post-WWII security architecture that is based on the primacy of the UN Charter.

This is greatly limiting our possibilities for cooperation, which we badly need if we want to effectively react to the common challenges and threats facing humankind, such as international terrorism, organised crime, drug trafficking, WMD proliferation, as well as global climate change.

I hardly need to tell this representative audience about how much the global landscape has changed over the past 25 years or that it continues to change. New centres of economic and financial power and the related political influence are growing ever stronger and pursuing a foreign policy in their own national interests. Nobody can deny them this legitimate right. The developing countries have raised their voice to demand a fair implementation of their desires and aspirations.

It is in our common interests to add a constructive element to the objective but so far chaotic polycentric world order, so that it will facilitate the development of mutually beneficial cooperation and fruitful partnership among the key states. To attain this goal, we must abandon phobias and stereotypes, set aside our differences together with imperial and neo-colonial aspirations that are based on short-term considerations. We must learn to respect each other’s interests and find the strength to work together towards a safe and prosperous future of the humankind. In other words, we must make international relations more democratic. So far, our Western colleagues, who claim to be promoting democracy in all other countries, have avoided signing any multilateral documents that would stipulate stronger democracy in the global system of interstate relations.

In this context, Russia as an independent centre of political power will continue to promote a positive international agenda in the interests of global stability. We are not forcing anything on anyone, we are not claiming national exceptionalism, or, worse still, the right to act as we please. Our relations with our partners are based on international law, the central role of the UN, as well as on respect for the interests, traditions and distinctive character of all nations. 

We have no need for confrontation or the arms race. However, Russia will protect its own interests, sovereignty and independence consistently and efficiently, using the instruments at its disposal. President Vladimir Putin spoke about this many times, including in the March 1 Address to the Federal Assembly. The West must at long last accept the fact, that developing a one-sided relationship with us does not pay, that they will not gain unilateral advantages at our expense, and that security in the Euro-Atlantic and Asia Pacific regions and across the rest of the world must be equal and indivisible.

We have been consistently advocating a broad dialogue on the priority questions, including the maintenance of all elements of strategic stability with due regard for the factors affecting it in the current conditions. The presidents of Russia and the US spoke about this during a telephone conversation on March 20. We hope that our leaders’ awareness of the importance of this topic will not be dampened by bureaucratic red tape or fall victim to domestic political intrigues.

Russia stands for working consistently to strengthen arms control and WMD non-proliferation regimes based on the principles of openness and predictability. Russia has completed the destruction of its chemical weapons, implemented its obligations under the New START treaty and is encouraging the US to work together to settle the problem of conversion of part of the US strategic delivery vehicles, as this is stipulated in the treaty. We have submitted to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament our proposals for drafting a convention for the suppression of chemical and biological terrorism, as well as a Russian-Chinese initiative on preventing the placement of weapons in outer space.

Russia will continue to contribute to a political and diplomatic settlement of many conflicts, in particular, in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the situation with the Korean Peninsula. We will continue to promote the sustainable development of partnership within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) through deeper Eurasian integration and we will help settle problems arising between our neighbours.

As President Putin said in his Address to the Federal Assembly, “let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilisation.” The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Collective Security Organisation (CSTO) and BRICS are contributing to our common movement towards this goal. The G20, where both the G7 and BRICS countries are represented, has solid potential in this sphere as well. Russia is ready for honest, open and equal cooperation based on and mutual respect with everyone who is sincerely interested in a common peaceful future and prosperity for the humankind.

Presentation of foreign ambassadors’ letters of credence

Vladimir Putin received the credentials of a number of foreign ambassadors in Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

A total of 17 new heads of diplomatic missions presented their credentials to the President of Russia: Steve Davies Ugbah (Federal Republic of Nigeria), Amjad Odeh Adaileh (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan), Lesley Akyaa Opoku Ware (Republic of Ghana), Woo Yoon-keun (Republic of Korea), Ihab Ahmed Talaat Nasr (Arab Republic of Egypt), Raed bin Khaled Qrimli (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Jainaba Bah (Republic of The Gambia), Johannes Eigner (Republic of Austria), Maadhad Hareb Al Khaili (United Arab Emirates), Efren Arnoldo Bernal Chevez (Republic of El Salvador), David Maduka (Republic of the Congo), Gerardo Penalver Portal (Republic of Cuba), Ngo Duc Manh (Socialist Republic of Vietnam), Ramiz Basic (Montenegro), Pasquale Terracciano (Republic of Italy), Roger Gnango (Republic of Cote d’Ivoire), and Noukpo Clement Kiki (Republic of Benin).

* * *

The President’s speech at the presentation of foreign ambassadors’ letters of credence

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to welcome you to the presentation of credentials ceremony and congratulate you on the official start of your diplomatic work in Russia.

You are entrusted with a very responsible and important mission – to do everything you can to facilitate the development of ties between the countries you represent and Russia, to enhance the political dialogue for this purpose, to expand trade and economic ties and to promote humanitarian and cultural contacts and exchanges between people.

For our part, we are ready to support your constructive initiatives. You may rely on the assistance of Russian leadership, our government bodies, business circles and the public.

Today, the role of diplomacy and the diplomat has taken on special significance. Indeed, the state of affairs in the world is a cause for concern. The situation in the world is becoming more chaotic, nevertheless we still hope that common sense will eventually prevail, and that international relations will take a constructive course, and the entire world system will become more stable and predictable.

Diplomacy includes a wide field of activity; its hallmark is the development of optimal solutions based on a balance of interests. Diplomats try to facilitate a collegial search for answers to large-scale challenges and threats, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and climate change.

As for Russia, we will continue to consistently advocate the strengthening of global and regional security and stability and continue to rigorously comply with our international obligations, and build cooperation with our partners in a constructive and respectful manner, guided by international legal standards and the UN Charter. We will promote the world’s positive, forward-looking agenda and work to ensure the sustainable development, prosperity and wellbeing of humankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, today, the heads of 17 diplomatic missions are here. Per tradition, I will say a few words about the interaction with each of the states you represent.

We very much appreciate our relations with Nigeria, an important partner for us on the African continent. We support the further expansion of mutually beneficial Russian-Nigerian ties, including cooperation on hydrocarbon extraction and aluminum production, as well as in the military-technical field.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Jordan. We are satisfied with the positive results achieved in the main areas of interaction. In September 2017, a memorandum on cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and Jordan was signed.

We support the regular and constructive dialogue with King Abdullah II. During our regular talks in February in Moscow, key issues related to the further deepening of bilateral relations, as well as the coordination of joint efforts in the Syrian settlement, were discussed. We appreciate the contribution of our Jordanian partners to the sustainable functioning of the de-escalation zone in southern Syria.

The foundation for the cooperation between Russia and Ghana was laid over 60 years ago. We have accumulated a great deal of experience in working together in both the trade and economic sphere and in politics. Currently, we are developing promising projects in the nuclear and oil industries, and we are discussing the prospects of supplying Ghana with Russian airplanes, helicopters and automobiles.

Friendly relations with the Republic of Korea are being maintained. There are positive dynamics in trade and economic relations. Last year, trade between the two countries grew by more than 27 percent to over $19 billion.

Korean investors are participating in programmes on the accelerated development of Russia’s Far East. We are planning to discuss matters of bilateral cooperation, as well as a range of international issues, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula, with President Moon Jae-in during his visit to Russia this June.

The strategic partnership with Egypt is being strengthened. In August, our country will mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Cooperation between Russia and Egypt is very active and includes the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Egypt, the establishment of a Russian industrial zone in the Port Said region, and the deepening of military and defence industry cooperation. I would also like to point out that regular flights between the capitals of the two countries have been resumed. We continue to work on resuming the rest of the flights.

In December, fruitful talks with President el-Sisi were held in Cairo. We maintain regular dialogue on a range of topics, including relevant international and regional issues that our countries have close or similar positions on. I heartily congratulated the President of Egypt on his resounding victory at the recent elections.

The state visit by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, which took place last October, gave a significant political impulse to cooperation between our two countries. We are steadily developing mutually beneficial cooperation in various spheres, promoting various joint trade and economic projects, and coordinating our steps in the global hydrocarbons market. Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia is an important factor in ensuring security and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

Our ties with the Republic of The Gambia are traditionally constructive. The Russian side is interested in expanding economic cooperation, including by increasing the supply of machinery and agricultural products to the republic. We will continue to expand the practice of training Gambian specialists at Russian universities.

Relations between Russia and Austria have a rich history and are developing in a fruitful and friendly manner. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s recent working visit to Moscow is evidence of this. Russia appreciates Austria’s policy of permanent neutrality, as well as its balanced position on current issues on the European and global agenda.

June will mark 50 years since our country began supplying natural gas to Austria. At that time, a large-scale energy project that was not subject to fluctuations in the political climate was launched. Its implementation has ensured the reliable export of Russian gas to European states and guarantees their energy security.

Relations with the United Arab Emirates are developing steadily. These relations are multifaceted, including the implementation of joint projects in the space and nuclear industries, agriculture and tourism. Established investment cooperation has particular importance. Moscow and Abu Dhabi maintain a useful dialogue regarding the situation in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East as a whole.

We are interested in expanding ties with El Salvador. This undoubtedly will be facilitated by the visa-free travel policy between our countries, contacts through foreign-policy and defence departments and inter-parliamentary cooperation. It is important that representatives of Salvadoran business regularly participate in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Taking into account the fact that El Salvador is a member of the UN Security Council in 2018–2019, we will build up contacts on current international issues.

Friendly cooperation is maintained with the Republic of the Congo. Bilateral cooperation covers a number of major projects, including the construction of a 1,334 km oil pipeline. In February Rosatom and the Science Ministry of the Congo signed a memorandum of understanding. Over 7,000 citizens of the Congo have received higher education at Soviet and Russian universities.

The Republic of Cuba is Russia’s long-standing and reliable ally. Our peoples are bound by firm ties of friendship and solidarity and our bilateral cooperation is of a strategic character. We are jointly carrying out large projects in the power industry, metallurgy, transport infrastructure and medicine and are expanding our cultural and humanitarian exchanges.

Today Cuba is conducting a consistent course towards socio-economic renewal. This opens additional opportunities for promoting trade and economic cooperation. Cuba has traditionally enjoyed high international prestige. We are satisfied with the quality of the Russian-Cuban dialogue on foreign policy issues.

Russia and Vietnam are successfully developing a strategic partnership. We maintain active political contacts at high and top levels. We have coordinated our efforts primarily in multilateral organisations in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Vietnam is one of Russia’s leading trade partners. Our trade increased by one-third last year. We also maintain close military and military-technical cooperation. The relevant intergovernmental commission is functioning effectively. In general, our bilateral cooperation is increasing.

The current state of relations between Russia and Montenegro is obviously failing to reflect our centuries-old traditions of fraternal friendship and the sense of community of our peoples. Russia favours the development of mutually beneficial ties with Montenegro.

We attach great importance to cooperation with Italy, one of our key partners on the European continent. We have accumulated considerable experience of working together in various fields. We know that Italian businesses are interested in building up trade and economic ties with our country. Promising projects in aircraft construction, chemical, gas processing and other industries are underway. The Russian side is ready to step up cooperation with Italy on international issues, including as part of its OSCE chairmanship this year.

Cultural exchanges have always been wide-ranging and profound, and have served as a model for many other countries. This year, a large-scale initiative, Russian Seasons, is being implemented in Italy. The programme includes 250 events in various Italian cities.

We mainly interact with the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in the trade and economic sphere. Russia supplies to this country chemical and food products and imports cocoa and its derivatives. As part of our humanitarian efforts, medicine and medical equipment from Russia are regularly sent to the Republic.

Currently, Côte d'Ivoire is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. We also stand ready to work with the Ivorian side at the UN.

Relations with Benin are developing in a constructive spirit. We cooperate on energy and transport. Russia exports food and chemical products. Over 2,500 citizens of Benin have graduated from Russian universities.

Ladies and gentlemen, what I have said only partially reflects the multifaceted nature of relations between Russia and the states you represent. We expect that with your active participation these relations will develop dynamically for the benefit of the peoples of our countries and in the interests of international stability and security.

I am confident that your time in Russia will allow you to better know our country and its rich history and culture, and will leave you with new unforgettable impressions.

I would like to once again wish you success in your difficult, but very important, necessary work and thank you for your attention.

Thank you.

The Russian party’s questions for the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat regarding the UK’s fabricated “Skripal case”

On April 1, the Permanent Representation of the Russian Federation to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sent the following questions regarding the fabricated “Skripal case” to the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat:

1. What kind of assistance has London requested from the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat?

2. Will the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat, acting in accordance with the established procedure, share information with the Executive Council, including Russia, which the UK will provide to the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat as per Clause 38 (е) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which stipulates the provision of “technical evaluation to States Parties in the implementation of the provisions of this Convention, including evaluation of scheduled and unscheduled chemicals”?

3. Has the UK party provided the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat with the current, medical, legal or any other additional information regarding the British inquiry?

4. What exactly would the British like the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat to confirm: the fact of the use of a nerve gas, or that it was a type of nerve agent known as Novichok according to the Western classification?

5. What kind of data and material evidence have the British provided to the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat (samples, the results of analysis of these samples, any other evidence)?

6. Who headed the OPCW group of experts who visited Britain? What specialists formed the group? How long did they work? With whom did they interact?

7. What procedure was used to collect samples? Was this carried out in compliance with the fundamental principle stipulated for OPCW investigations, that is, the “chain of custody”?

8. Which certified laboratories will analyse the samples which the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat received during the visit of its experts to Britain?

9. How much time does the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat need to reach a conclusion?

10. Has the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat approved the disclosure of the investigative material by the UK to the EU countries (according to available information, France has become fully involved in the investigation)?

11. Has France notified the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat of its involvement in the technical assistance as requested by the UK?

12. Has France provided its material on the investigation, if any, to the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat?

13. Can the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat provide the French investigative material, if any, to Russia for perusal? If not, why?

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