Briefing by Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Kozhin, Moscow, July 26, 2018:

Briefing by Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Kozhin, Moscow, July 26, 2018:

Content

  1. On the Speech of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at the All-Russian Youth Educational Forum “Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma”
  2. On the development of the situation in Syria
  3. On the tenth International Summit on Syria
  4. On the report of the Bundestag Scientific Service on the legality of Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict
  5. On the discrimination of Roma in Ukraine and UNHCR statements on this topic
  6. On the development of the situation surrounding the investigation of the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury
  7. On the request of the BBC regarding the reaction to the statements of the Head of the Hermitage Capital Foundation WF Browder addressed to Russia
  8. About the arrest in the US of a Russian citizen Mikhail V.Butina
  9. About the “Crimean Declarations” of the US State Department
  10. On the creation of the US group to combat Russian cyber threats
  11. On the supply of petroleum products to the DPRK
  12. On the anti-Russian statements of the Minister of Defense of Norway F. Bakke-Jensen
  13. On the confiscation of undeclared satellite phones for some participants of the Japanese visa-free group who visited the southern Kuril Islands by charter flight
  14. Condolences in connection with forest fires in Greece
  15. On signing the Memorandum with the UN Volunteer Program
  16. From the answers to the questions:

On the terrorist act in Suwayda, Syria

About the statement of the Embassy of Russia in Denmark regarding the elections in this country

On the results of the visit of Sergey Lavrov and V. Gerasimov to Israel, Germany and France

About the upcoming tenth round of the “Astana” talks

On Russia’s position on the “V.But case”

 

On the Speech of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at the All-Russian Youth Educational Forum “Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma”

 

From June 27 to August 12, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, under the supervision of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, is holding the fourth All-Russian Youth Educational Forum “Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma”.

This forum is a large-scale event dedicated to the youth issues of modern Russia with the broad participation of Russian social, political, youth circles. It also presents youth organizations of a number of foreign states. The forum is very popular, attracting the attention of the Russian and foreign public.

This year his main theme is “Russia is a country of opportunities”.

Traditionally, the Forum is attended by the first persons of the state, prominent public and political figures of Russia. As in previous years, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov plans to attend the Forum and address it on July 30.

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On the development of the situation in Syria

 

In Syria, a difficult situation remains. Yesterday, on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, we published a commentary on the tragic events that took place in Suwayda. According to updated data from the Syrian media, the number of victims of a series of terrorist attacks in the province has already reached more than 200 people, the same number suffered. We express our deep condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, we wish the wounded to recover as soon as possible. Certainly, such atrocities deserve the sharpest condemnation.

Nevertheless, in general, the development of the situation in the country tends to improve. The liquidation of a dangerous hotbed of terrorism in the south-west of the country, in the provinces of Deraa and Kuneitra, is coming to an end. Currently, the Syrian army, with the support of the Russian Air Force, is stepping up the onslaught on the position of the YGIL-affiliated group “Khaled Al-Walid’s Army”, which is trying to compensate for losses by mobilizing the resources of its demoralized competitors from among local illegal armed groups.

In the liberated areas of Deraa and Cuneitra, the implementation of agreements on local “pacification” concluded with Russian mediation continues at full speed. At the same time, the third group of “irreconcilable” armed oppositionists went to the north of Syria after the 2.8 thousand “Jabhat al-Nusra” militants who left there earlier and their family members.

The other day the Council of Ministers of Syria has established a special commission headed by the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade M. Al-Khalil, who will deal with the restoration of areas cleared of bandits.

The gradual stabilization of the situation and the correction of the humanitarian situation in the areas controlled by the Government of Syria objectively contributes to the active process of returning refugees and internally displaced persons there. For example, only for yesterday, July 25, more than 400 Syrians returned to their homes from neighboring Jordan and Lebanon.

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On the tenth International Summit on Syria

 

July 30-31 in Sochi will be the tenth International meeting on Syria in the “Astana format”.

The event will be attended by representatives (at the level of the deputy minister) of Russia, Iran and Turkey as guarantor countries of the Astana process of assisting the Syrian settlement, the delegation of the Syrian Government and the Syrian opposition, observers from the UN and Jordan. The corresponding invitation was also sent to the United States.

The participants of the meeting will consider the development of the situation in Syria and around it, exchange views on the course of establishing inter-Syrian negotiations on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and taking into account the decisions of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, will continue discussing further steps in order to launch the work of the Constitutional Committee as an important element of promotion political settlement of the Syrian crisis. Special attention will be paid to the humanitarian situation in Syria.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Sochi, it is also planned to hold the fourth meeting of the Working Group on the Release of Detainees / Hostages created by the three guarantor countries of the Astana Process, the transfer of bodies of the deceased and the search for missing persons.

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On the report of the Bundestag Scientific Service on the legality of Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict

 

Repeatedly our Western partners voiced accusations against Russia about the alleged illegal presence of Russian military security services in Syria. It is symptomatic that those who declared for decades, in violation of existing international legal norms, state sovereignty, intervened in the internal affairs of other states, including in Syria, also stated that it is symptomatic.

The position of Russia on this issue is known and repeatedly voiced. It was confirmed by the legitimate Syrian government. However, some countries, ignoring the arguments of common sense, continued to realize their goals, covering themselves with questionable arguments. The question of the legitimacy of the presence in Syria was also of interest to international law experts in the West. In this regard, we would like to draw attention to the report of the Scientific Service of the Bundestag, published on June 28 this year on the international legal assessment of the participation of several countries in the Syrian conflict. His conclusions are very revealing.

The authors of the report analyze the role and parameters of Russia’s participation in the events taking place in Syria. It is reported that the military presence of Russia on the Syrian sovereign territory and the relevant Russian military operations are conducted with the exclusive permission of the Syrian Government. Thus, we are talking about the so-called. intervention by invitation. According to the prevailing view in international law, such interference is initially permissible and does not contradict the prohibition of the use of force prescribed in Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter. This, in particular, is guided by the International Criminal Court and the UN International Law Commission. Territorial sovereignty allows the state to allow the deployment of foreign troops on its sovereign territory. Speeches about violation of the ban on the use of force in this case does not go, since Russian military operations are not directed against the legitimate authorities of Syria. In this regard, the Russian presence in Syria in the context of international law is considered as permissible.

But with respect to the United States, the situation is far from being as unambiguous as the German experts conclude. Their assessments can be found in this published report.

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On the discrimination of Roma in Ukraine and UNHCR statements on this topic

 

We watch with alarm what is happening in Ukraine. Numerous acts of violence against ethnic minorities and representatives of ethnic groups, in particular the Roma, have not been ignored. We repeatedly attracted the attention of the international community to the rampage of nationalism and neo-fascist ideology in Ukraine. Violent actions against believers, violation of the language rights of the population, restriction of freedom of speech, murder and intimidation of journalists, attacks on representatives of national minorities have long become the norm in this country. The most cynical – all these actions are committed with the connivance of the official Kiev authorities, who can not or do not want to stifle militant radicals. In fact, citizens are divided into Ukrainians and second-class people. What is fraught with such a policy is well known from history.

International monitoring mechanisms in the field of human rights can no longer turn a blind eye to the lawlessness that prevails in Ukraine. Here and the experts of the UN Human Rights Council issued a rather harsh statement in connection with another attack on the Roma community, which led to the murder of one of its members. Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, D. Holtgen in “Twitter” also condemned this crime. We welcome the fact that the world community begins to “see through” the situation with human rights in Ukraine. We count on the fact that the rest of the crimes of the Ukrainian radicals, as well as the discriminatory actions of the Kiev authorities against all ethnic groups, will not be left without attention of the world community, and all those guilty will be held accountable.

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On the development of the situation surrounding the investigation of the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury

 

We continue to pay close attention to the development of the situation surrounding the investigation of the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury. We see that in the absence of substantive official statements, the British media are willing to replicate unverifiable leaks concerning the progress of investigative actions.

At the same time, the published information only confirms the general line of secrecy conducted by the British authorities, which could shed light on what really happened in Salisbury and Amesbury. So, the details about the condition and conditions of Charlie Rowley’s detention, which his brother shared with journalists, are interesting. It turns out that Charles Rowley is forbidden to leave the premises where he is under constant police surveillance. He is cut off from the outside world (he does not have access to television, newspapers and other sources of information), he uses a phone issued by the police and he is not allowed to disclose information about his whereabouts.

All this is very similar to the situation with S. and J. Skripaly, which the British authorities hid from their own and the international community. Let me remind you that London, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and the bilateral Consular Convention of 1965, continues to ignore the demands of the Russian side on consular access to our fellow citizens, referring to the need to respect the private life of J. Skripal. This only reinforces our suspicions that the Violins were forcibly isolated by the British authorities in order not to allow unnecessary questions about the official version of what happened. Accordingly, we continue to insist on granting consular access to Fiddles who are citizens of the Russian Federation.

But the British public should pay attention to, in fact, the groundless deprivation of liberty is already a British citizen, and quite accidentally became a victim of a crime. It seems that patients in the UK are “discharged” from Salisbury Hospital with the main goal – to prevent their free communication with the outside world.

In general, there is a reason for various human rights NGOs to seriously tackle the problem of London’s frankly disparaging attitude to basic human rights, including unmotivated restrictions on contacts and people’s movements.

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On the request of the BBC regarding the reaction to the statements of the Head of the Hermitage CapitalFoundation WF Browder addressed to Russia

 

We would like to comment on the situation with the request of the British Broadcasting Corporation “BBC” regarding the reaction to the statements of the Head of the Hermitage Capital Foundation UF Browder addressed to Russia.

On July 19, they received a request from this media to urgently comment on some harsh statements and even accusations of the Head of the Hermitage Capital Foundation UF Browder against the leadership of the Russian Federation and send the material in writing until 9:00 am the next day, July 20. It was promised that the commentary will be read out without corrections in the broadcast of the program dedicated to WF Browder. Despite our exceptional employment, the Russian Foreign Ministry quickly prepared a detailed response and sent it to the BBC.

In the morning we were surprised to find that our commentary in the best traditions of the British mass media turned out to be extremely compressed and was only used for a tenth part. Devoting almost the entire 20-minute issue of the transfer of the interview with WF Browder, our commentary was given only one minute.

It is worth noting that the BBC is not the first time actively engaged in squeezing comments from Russian officials. It happens that out of a 45-minute interview with the leadership of our Ministry, only four and a half minutes can go on air. A typical example is the recent interview of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov for the HARDTalk program, when significant fragments were cut out, explaining the essence of the Russian position on many issues.

We, frankly, are amazed by this imbalance in the supply of information. We consider it unacceptable for positioning itself as a professional and unbiased media.

Since the BBC TV and radio company did not want to quote our comment, we will take this opportunity to do it ourselves.

“It’s strange to hear about the theft of a man who stole more than $ 1.5 billion in Russia and was convicted twice in 2013 and 2017, having received a nine-year sentence and huge monetary penalties. And against which one more criminal case on serious articles is being investigated, within the framework of which the Russian competent authorities intend to interrogate a number of employees of the special services of the United States and Great Britain, as well as other persons.

Since 2004, 12 crimes have been registered by the Russian investigative authorities in relation to the criminal grouping of WF Browder, on which further criminal cases (pre-trial proceedings) were instituted on the facts of non-payment of taxes, failure to fulfill tax agent duties, intentional bankruptcy, fraud, legalization (laundering) and other crimes. The actions of WF Browder and his accomplices caused damage to the state for a total amount of more than 4.5 billion rubles.

In February 2018, a Russian investigation instituted another criminal case under Part 1 of Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (the organization of a criminal 
association for the purpose of jointly committing a number of serious and particularly serious crimes and directing such a community, as well as coordinating the criminal acts of its participants) which examines all the circumstances of the criminal activities of WF Browder, including giving them knowingly false testimony in the US court in the case “The US against the company Prevezon.”

Currently, WF Browder is charged with tax evasion, failure to fulfill the duties of a tax agent and deliberate bankruptcy. In order to evade taxes, even people with disabilities who were enrolled in the company’s staff were involved, but, in fact, they did not work there. In addition, in connection with the submission of false information to the tax authority, a preferential tax rate was used.

Thanks to this case, a unique material has been collected. The Russian side believes that its use can change the attitude in the Western community to the “Magnitsky Law”, the existence of which allows UF Browder to evade international arrest in the guise of a victim of political persecution by the Russian authorities and damage the interests of Russia. “

A full seven-page detailed commentary with legal facts and justifications was sent to the BBC. If he is interested in someone, they are ready to share it with a request.

In general, we would like to emphasize that for our part we will continue to give detailed comments on topical issues on the international agenda. We hope that journalists, for whom professional ethics is not an empty phrase, will be able to convey them to their audience in order to form an objective picture of the state of affairs.

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About the arrest in the US of a Russian citizen Mikhail V.Butina

 

We continue to closely monitor the fate of Russian citizen Mikhail V.Butina, arrested in Washington on July 15. Employees of our Embassy visited her in prison, attended court sessions to determine the measure of restraint and other procedural issues, including yesterday. The US State Department has been resolutely protesting against the actions taken against it, including the most severe psychological pressure.

That there is at least an eight-hour search at the time of arrest, when FBI agents armed with automatic rifles burst into the rented apartment, literally broke furniture, shook and even tore up things, opened floors and walls. Nothing reprehensible was found, but despite the complete lack of evidence of any guilt, M.V.Butina was refused release.

Mined in the FBI accusation against M.V.Butina, as those who wish can be convinced of the Internet, built on the excerpts from the context of excerpts from her personal correspondence in social networks. She is trying to incriminate the violation of the US law on foreign agents, although she did not work for any foreign state, but studied at a Washington university and, taking a great interest in weapons, went to the events of the National Rifle Association of the United States. She did this quite openly, not concealing her Russian citizenship from anyone, without hiding any acquaintances and contacts, because there was nothing to hide.

Certain political forces in the United States, from their own selfish interests, invented a story about “Russian interference in the American elections”, and on the wave of the campaign of denigrating our country, MVButin was sent to prison on an absolutely fabricated occasion – in fact, only because of his origin. What is this, if not a real “witch hunt”? Even there are fears that it can be directed against any of our compatriots who have found themselves in America today.

We demand that the US authorities immediately stop arbitrariness and release Mikhail V.Butin. Her arrest is motivated solely by motives of American domestic and foreign policy, and, therefore, she is a political prisoner.

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About the Crimean Declaration of the US State Department

 

We, of course, paid attention to the Crimean Declaration issued by the US State Department on the eve and already commented on it. It was clearly timed to the speech of the current Secretary of State at the hearings in the US Congress, where he promised to pursue a tough policy against our country, and henceforth, probably, will be called the “Declaration of M.Pompeo”.

However, there is nothing new in it. With statements on Russia and, in particular, on the Crimea in Washington, they regularly appear. Unfortunately, the American politicians, who once actively supported the coup d’état in Kiev and the persecution of the Russian-speaking population that began in Ukraine, have been neglecting the Charter of the United Nations for the fifth year already. They cynically deny the Crimeans the right to self-determination, which the inhabitants of the peninsula realized in an open referendum in 2014.

We have repeatedly said that for us this issue is closed – the Crimea is the territory of the Russian Federation, regardless of whether the US likes it and someone else or not. By the way, more and more ordinary Americans, and citizens of other countries, stop believing in the myth of the Russian “occupation” and willingly come to the peninsula to rest and work, despite the formidable warnings of their authorities.

Attempts by official Washington to turn international law in its own way are doomed to failure. After all, they all see that they begin to talk about respect for the principle of sovereign equality and the territorial integrity of states only when it meets American interests. But who in the US recalled the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia during the bombing of the former Yugoslavia and the subsequent declaration of Kosovo’s independence?

Absolute hypocrisy is also the moralizing of the US State Department regarding the principle of non-use of force or the threat of force. It is enough to take the report of the Research Service of the US Congress, which was published in October last year. According to this document, during the Cold War from 1949 to 1991, The Pentagon took part in 46 military campaigns abroad, and in 1992-2017. their number increased four-fold – to 188. And this is without taking into account “secret operations”. Conclusions about who actually behaves aggressively, do it yourself.

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On the creation of the US group to combat Russian cyber threats

 

The United States, like any other sovereign state, has the right to create any format for discussing issues of concern to them.

Talks about the establishment by Washington of a separate group to combat Russian cyber threats have been going on for a long time. In our opinion, this is mainly caused by the struggle of US internal forces against US President D. Trump. These kinds of ideas kindle a confrontation between our countries and once again “add fuel” to the fire that has flared up around the non-existent cyber attacks on the part of Russia.

Moscow repeatedly stated its non-involvement in any interference in the internal affairs of the United States. Instead of the language of unfounded accusations against Russia, we prefer the official interaction with Washington on cyber security issues. We are open for a corresponding serious, in-depth dialogue. The “cyber ball” is “on the US field”, and now it depends on the Americans how specifically, at the level of experts or at the political level – they will react.

If the ocean is considered to be intimidated by Russia, in particular, by the creation of various groups to repel invented threats, this is a great misconception. We are confident in ourselves, we know our capabilities, we are not going to ingratiate ourselves to anyone and we will not. We are not counting on ultimatums and unilateral actions by leading cyber-powers in the information environment, but on their pragmatic and constructive dialogue.

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On the supply of petroleum products to the DPRK

 

Attention was drawn to unrelated comments in a number of Western media, including the reference to the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, that Russia and China “blocked” an American appeal to the Security Council Committee 1718 on sanctions against the DPRK with a demand to ban the supply of petroleum products to this country.

It is necessary to clarify this issue.

First, paragraph 5 of UN Security Council resolution 2397, adopted unanimously on December 22, 2017, establishes an annual limit for the supply of Pyongyang’s oil processing products to 500,000 barrels. The 1718 Committee was instructed to notify when the total volume of petroleum refined products delivered to the DPRK reached 75, 90 and 95 percent of this indicator, and only in the latter case a notice is issued of the immediate cessation of the sale, supply or transfer of DPRK oil products to the remainder of the year.

Secondly, according to information regularly updated on the Committee’s website, as of the end of June, the aggregate supply volume was only a quarter of the above threshold. So there is no formal basis for suspending exports of petroleum products to the DPRK. And in Washington it is well known and understood.

However, following their favorite tactics of unremitting sanctioning pressure on Pyongyang, the Americans, themselves giving themselves prosecutorial powers, on July 12 reported to the Committee of 1718 that, in their estimation, due to the use of the practice of reloading oil products on the high seas prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions 2375 and 2397 in fact, the North Korean side has allegedly exceeded the above-mentioned annual limit. And Washington counted such cases for the period from January 1 to May 30 as many as 89. To the previously published US 8 satellite photos on which “cases” of illegal operations on the high seas were recorded, 4 more satellite photos with an image moored in North Korean ports of tankers, allegedly unloading smuggled petroleum products received in the open sea.

That’s the whole “solid” evidence base, despite the fact that the Americans build their conclusions by the method of “mathematical modeling”: they take as a basis the full load capacity of the North Korean tankers they “convicted” and calculate how much oil could be pumped into them at 33, 50 and 90 percent.

It is clear that so, with kondachka, the cases in the sanctioning bodies of the UN Security Council are not being done. There are established procedures. There is, after all, a group of experts who are mandated to review and even, in fact, investigate this kind of suspicion of member states. We did not initially evade the discussion of this topic, told the Americans that it is not worth going ahead, especially since the information they provided is not sufficiently developed and is not supported by convincing facts. We were not heard or did not want to hear, and as a result, the appeal was “hindered” until additional information was received from the American side, and not blocked, as they try to distort the essence of the matter in some media.

We urge our colleagues in the UN Security Council to take an extremely responsible approach to the work of its subsidiary bodies, not to abuse their prerogatives, to follow established procedures and to give up broad interpretations of the relevant provisions of the sanctions resolutions of the UN Security Council.

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On the anti-Russian statements of the Minister of Defense of Norway F. Bakke-Jensen

 

We paid attention to the statement of the Norwegian Minister of Defense F. Bucke-Jensen in Oslo on July 17 stating that Oslo is building up its military potential in the North because of “an increasingly threatening neighbor – Russia” and “will protect the country from the Russian borders and further to the south. “

The question arises: where does this drama come from? The same F. Bucke-Jensen repeatedly claimed that Norway does not see for itself a direct military threat from our country. The same spirit was expressed by other Norwegian officials, at the highest level. Is this assessment of Oslo really changed, and now the Norwegian neighbors see us as a threat?

We believe that such irresponsible statements undermine confidence and predictability in our relations, including in the Russian-Norwegian borderland, destroy the atmosphere of good-neighborliness and mutual respect created by many generations of our people.

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On the confiscation of undeclared satellite phones for some participants of the Japanese visa-free group who visited the southern Kuril Islands by charter flight

 

According to the agreement between the leaders of Russia and Japan, on the results of the bilateral summit meeting in May, on July 22-23, a charter flight was successfully carried out from Hokkaido Island to Kunashir Island and Iturup Island, delivering to the southern Kuriles a group of Japanese – former islanders to visit places of graves of relatives. The trip took place on the basis of the Soviet-Japanese agreement on mutual visa-free visits of graves in the territories of the two countries dated July 2, 1986.

During the customs screening of the delegation at the airport “Mendeleevo” (Yuzhno-Kurilsk), six undeclared satellite phones were found at the escort of a group of employees of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and Japanese journalists. The equipment was withdrawn as there was a violation of Part 1 of Article 16.2 (non-declaring of goods subject to mandatory written declaration) and Article 16.3 (non-observance of prohibitions and (or) restrictions on the import of goods into the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union) of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation. Its owners did not have the permission from Roskomnadzor to import this high-frequency equipment.

At the same time, we would like to note that no problems arose with the television equipment, which the Japanese side informed in advance and whose carriage was agreed in advance.

Unfortunately, the mentioned Japanese participants of the flight did not show readiness for constructiveness, demonstratively refusing to sign the compiled protocols on the violation.

Currently, in accordance with Russian law, an administrative investigation is being conducted, following which the case will be referred to the court.

We would like to draw the attention of the Japanese side to the need for strict observance of Russian legislation during trips to the territory of the Russian Federation, including the southern Kuril Islands.

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Condolences in connection with forest fires in Greece

 

We would like to express our condolences to the fraternal Greek people in connection with the tragic consequences of forest fires that swept the metropolitan area of ​​Attica. According to available data, as a result of the incident, 81 people died, another 60 people. remain in the hospital. There are no citizens of Russia among the victims.

We share the sorrow of Greece in connection with what happened. We express the words of support and sympathy to the families and friends of the deceased, we wish the prompt recovery to the victims.

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On signing the Memorandum with the UN Volunteer Program

 

July 26 in Moscow, the signing ceremony of the Memorandum on making a contribution to the budget of the UN Volunteer Program (UNV) for the implementation of the project on the participation of Russian volunteers in the activities of the United Nations.

In accordance with the Memorandum, Russia will allocate $ 1.004 million to the Program budget to finance the participation of 19 volunteers from the Russian Federation in projects and programs of the UN in the areas of international development and peacekeeping.

As expected, the selection procedure for candidates will be completed in September. As a result, selected candidates will be sent to 16 countries of the CIS, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The signing of this agreement was an important stage in the development of relations between the UNV and the Russian side, which is especially important in the framework of the Year of the Volunteer in our country and the active development of the volunteer movement.

 

From the answers to the questions:

Question: Yesterday there was a terrorist attack in the city of Suwayda. It is already clear that the IGIL terrorists had support from the US At-Tanf base in Syria. Is there any information? How do you assess this support?

Answer: I have already said about our position on the tragic events in Suwayda. I can only add that any crime, especially terrorist acts, requires the most thorough investigation. Let’s wait for the results of the investigation, I think it will take place.

Question: Today a number of statements were made by the Russian Union of Travel Industry that visa centers in Russia may be closed due to the introduction of accreditation. Does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have comments on this matter?

Answer: We have heard this information. The comment will be given shortly.

Question: The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on Karabakh issued a statement that they are preparing a meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Z. Mnatsakanyan and E. Mamedyarov. However, nothing has been reported about the place and time of this meeting. Is there any news on this? Can it happen that Russia will be the organizer of this ministerial meeting?

Answer: No details at this time. Ready to clarify. If there is anything, we will contact you. In general, you know our position on the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, it has been repeatedly voiced.

Question: This week there was a statement by the Russian Embassy in Denmark that it makes no sense to interfere in the elections in Denmark, because both the government of Denmark and the opposition are Russophobic. This statement was on “Twitter.” I just wanted to clarify whether this is the position of the Foreign Ministry? If the parties in Denmark had other opinions about Russia, would it make sense to intervene? Do you generally support this style of diplomats in social networks, which is sometimes perceived as not very diplomatic?

Answer: You know the position of Russia on so-called interventions. We have repeatedly said that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states, we treat everyone with respect.

As for communication in “Twitter” and in social networks – this is a special genre. You know that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has a large number of official accounts in various social networks. You, probably, watch our work in this area and know our style. It is clear that social networks allow for greater maneuver in communication. They basically exist for communication, they are means for maintaining a dialogue with the audience. Somewhere there is a possibility to move a little bit from a completely dry official language, although if you closely follow our posts in Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, then of course you have already felt our style and understand that we have never do not go beyond certain boundaries, always, even if somewhere we joke, we do it very culturally and intelligently.

Question: The question is related to the visits of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces VV Gerasimov to Israel, Germany and France.During the visits, a hint was made of some negotiations on the return of the Syrians, who had left their country. From the Russian side it looked like this: came, talked, returned. You could not elaborate further on what plan was proposed by Sergey Lavrov and VV Gerasimov in Jerusalem, Berlin and Paris on the situation with the return of migrant refugees in Syria.

Answer: The official information on the results of these visits has already been published on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry. More for now I will not say. I will only add that the issue of the return of refugees and displaced persons to Syria is a very important issue, you know our position, and our initiatives, including those undertaken by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, have already been made public. There were a lot of materials on this issue in the media.

Question: At the end of the month, the tenth round of the “Astana” talks will be held in Sochi. In your opinion, will the results of this round be more productive, especially in the context of the meeting between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and US President D. Trump? Will Russia insist that the Kurds become parties to the political process in resolving the Syrian crisis?

Answer: Of course, we very much hope that the results of the meeting will be positive.

I would like to say that following the results of this meeting, it seems that the press approaches of the participants and the final press conference will take place. I think the details will soon appear.

Question: I would like to clarify whether the issue of the presence of Iran and Iranian advisers in Syria was touched upon during the visit of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to Israel, France and Germany?

Answer: Although Iran is a responsible player in this “field” and a guarantor country, this issue should probably be addressed to the Government of Syria.

As for the visits mentioned, then, as I said, all information is published on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Question: Earlier this year, Turkish Foreign Minister M.Chavushoglu said that Ankara is interested in the entry of Russians into Turkey on internal passports. How much did the parties advance in the implementation of the initiative, according to which Russian citizens can travel to Turkey on general-purpose passports?

Answer: I will update this information, and I will answer you as soon as possible.

Question: Today there was information about the visit of an important delegation from Russia to Lebanon and then to Iraq. Can you comment on the mission and role of this delegation?

Today, a group of young people gathered in front of the Foreign Ministry building. They say and write about the freedom of V. But. Are there any comments on your part?

Answer: As for V. Bout, you know our position well. It has not changed, it’s all published and there are no changes. We have repeatedly talked about this.

As for the visits, I do not have information yet. Follow the Foreign Ministry website – everything will be reflected there.

Question: In the Western press materials are published that the initiator of the postponement of the next meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with US President D. Trump is not only the American, but also the Russian side. For a new meeting, the US Congress can tighten sanctions. Can you comment on it somehow?

Answer: On the issue of presidential events should be addressed to the press service of the Presidential Administration of Russia.

Question: The Chairman of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen, M. Al-Mashat, sent a proposal to the Russian side to act as guarantor of the ceasefire of a political settlement. This is not the first such treatment by the Husit. How does the Russian side react to them?

Answer: We will study this question and answer. At the moment we do not have information on this appeal.

Question: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Oil announced its intention to stop oil exports, until the issue with the Husites is solved. What could you say about this?

Answer: Probably, this question should be addressed to the Ministry of Oil of Saudi Arabia.

Question: In September, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia are expected to meet in Moscow. We would like to know your expectations from this meeting. How much will this contribute to further deepening of cooperation taking into account the package of documents expected to be signed at this meeting?

Answer: Colleagues, it is not the first time that I draw attention to the fact that you are asked to address the presidential press service to the press service of the Presidential Administration of Russia. This is not our sphere of responsibility.

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