Updated White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s 3rd edition of the White Book on violations of human rights and rule of law in Ukraine 3rd edition of the White Book on violations of human rights and rule of law in Ukraine
IV Russian-Swedish Investment Forum (20.11.2014)
Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club
Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s XI session. The meeting’s theme is “The World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules?”
This year, 108 experts, historians and political analysts from 25 countries, including 62 foreign participants, took part in the club’s work.
The plenary meeting summed up the club’s work over the previous three days, which concentrated on analyzing the factors eroding the current system of institutions and norms of international law.
Comment by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Russian naval submarines and surface ships are carrying out their missions in international waters according to plan.
There have been no emergency situations or accidents involving Russian naval vessels.
Russian Ambassador’s interview for Swedish Television
On August 14, 2014 the Ambassador of Russia to Sweden Victor Tatarintsev gave an interview to the Swedish channel SVT.
Link to the video (in Swedish)…
Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the situation around the violation of the airspace of Sweden by a US reconnaissance aircraft RC-135
The recent violation of the airspace of Sweden by a US reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 is quite an exemplary case. We are interested, why Sweden, which is known for its policy of “freedom from military unions”, decided to play along with the United States and undertook awkward attempts to hide this fact from Swedish and international communities. However, the version that the US pilots were escaping from Russian fighters in the Swedish skies looks as a challenge for common sense. We believe that sovereignty over national air space is not a topic, around which doubtful Hollywood scenarios can be created.
The build-up of military activities by NATO and “indigenous Balts” – the United States, the current events in the Baltics, which remained a zone of peace for all this time, indeed leads to such awkward situations as a sudden “friendly” intrusion into the skies of Sweden, which is not party to any military organisations. This line cannot be perceived in other way than an irresponsible and not far-sighted, which poisons the atmosphere in the North of Europe.
August 7, 2014
Full text of the statement by President of Russia Vladimir Putin
In response to the terrible tragedy that took place over Donetsk, I want to reiterate Russia’s position with regard to the current situation in Ukraine.
Updated White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law has prepared the White Book (in Russian and English), which summarizes many facts of violations of human rights and rule of law principles in Ukraine in the period from April to mid-June 2014.
Conference of Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives
Vladimir Putin is taking part in a conference of Russian Federation ambassadors and permanent representatives on protecting Russia’s national interests and strengthening the foundations and principles of international relations.
Also taking part in the conference are the heads of the Government, both chambers of the Federal Assembly, ministries and agencies involved in international activities, and representatives of the national expert and business communities.
Comment by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding civilian casualties in the East of Ukraine
The Ukrainian leaders continue to affirm that when the Ukrainian forces conduct the so-called counter-terrorism operation, which is in fact a punitive operation in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, they refrain from using force against civilians and that they never shoot at residential neighbourhoods.
However, the real facts show evidence to the contrary. Regular shooting in cities and populated areas by units of Ukrainian armed forced, the “national guard”, different territorial bandit formations, including the “Right Sector”, resulted in many casualties among civilians.
New Ambassador of the Russian Federation presents his letters of credence to H.M. King of Sweden
The newly appointed Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sweden Victor Ivanovitj Tatarintsev presented his letters of credence to H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf on June 10, 2014.
Appointment of the new Ambassador of Russia to Sweden
On May 7 2014 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin by decree appointed Victor Tatarintsev Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Sweden.
On May 17 Victor Tatarintsev arrived in Stockholm.
On June 10 he will present his letters of credence to H.M. The King of Sweden.
The White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law prepared the White Book (in Russian and English), which summarises many facts of violations of human rights and rule of law principles in Ukraine in the period from the end of November 2013 to the end of March 2014. It is based on information from Russian, Ukrainian and some Western media sources, statements by leaders of the “new government” of Ukraine and their supporters, eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot observations and interviews of Russian non-commercial organisations.
The facts from the report about the biggest violations of fundamental international principles and norms in the area of human rights and rule of law, which were committed by the national radicals, which have monopolized the Euromaidan protests with connivance, but sometimes absolute stimulation by the United States and the EU, who supported them, give enough grounds to claim that such phenomena were widespread.
As a result of the seize of power by force and the anti-constitutional coup legitimate state authorities were actually broken down and a reign of lawlessness started. The growth of ultranationalist, extremist and neo-Nazi moods, religious intolerance and xenophobia, threats and pressure from leaders of the Euromaidan on their political opponents, purging, repressions, physical violence and open gangsterism have become a habit.
The essential task of this White Book is to focus on facts to which the international community and key international human rights bodies, as well as relevant non-governmental organizations have not shown proper and impartial attention yet to find and call to account those who are responsible for the indicated actions.
Address by President of the Russian Federation. March 18, 2014
Reception for Swedish Paralympic athletes at the Embassy
On February 12 the Russian Embassy in Sweden invited representatives of the Swedish Paralympic Committee (SPC), the Swedish Handicapped Sports Association (SHIF) and members of the Paralympic team to a reception at its premises.
Guests were shown video presentations on different aspects of the preparations for the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games. Special emphasis was made on the organizers’ efforts in creating a barrier-free environment, Paralympic education and preparation of sports venues, transport and hotels to meet the needs of handicapped athletes and spectators.
Chairman of the SPC, Anna-Stina Nordmark Nilsson, thanked Ambassador Igor Neverov for holding the reception and presented him with several SPC souvenirs. The reception continued as a friendly mingle with guests being offered traditional Russian delicacies.
Students and teachers of the secondary school at the Russian Embassy in Stockholm played a major role in organizing the event.
Interview to Russian and foreign media
Ahead of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Russian President gave an interview to reporters from BBC, ABC News, CCTV, Rossiya-1, Channel One, and Around the Rings. The interview was recorded in Sochi on January 17.
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: It seems to me that you know everything about the coming Olympics and I wonder if there’s anything else I can tell you. Or, maybe, you believe that you know everything and I would hardly be able to make you change your mind. But a chance still exists and I am taking this opportunity to talk to you with great pleasure.
ED HULA (translated from Russian): I have been traveling to this city for eight years and I can see some serious changes here – a whole new cluster has been built in the mountains with sports arenas, stadiums, various tracks and a biathlon range. A great deal of money has been put into Sochi to host the Olympic Games – the estimates put the figure at $50 billion. But we did not have a chance to know the exact figure yet and to understand how much the Olympics cost. Well, how much are they? And are they worth that money? What legacy will the Olympics leave?
Speech by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his answers to questions from the mass media during the press conference summarizing the results of the activities of Russian diplomacy in 2013 (Moscow, 21 January 2014)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for your response to our invitation to attend a traditional meeting devoted to foreign policy results for the last year, about which I will speak briefly. Then we will pass on to answering questions.
We are observing the process of formation of a new polycentric international system. It continued and was accompanied by intensification of global competition and rivalry, including in value landmarks and development models.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Sweden wishes a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of its colleagues, friends and partners!
Interview by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Interfax news agency, 21 December 2013
Question: Sergey Viktorovich, was the outgoing year successful for the Russian foreign policy? What were main things for the Russian diplomacy in 2013?
Answer: Principled assessments of the international situation, actions of the Russian diplomacy in priority directions were described by the President Vladimir Putin in his Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of 12 December. For my part, I would like to make the following note.
The outgoing year will stay in our memories as uneasy period in international affairs. The world development acquired more contradictory and dynamic nature both at global and regional level. The process of the establishment of a new polycentric system of the world order was accompanied by the complication of international relations, escalation of global competition, rivalry of value navigators and development models.
In these conditions, Russia acted in a firm, thought-out and balanced way, as any large and responsible state should act, on the basis of the updated Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation approved by the President Vladimir Putin in February. Basic principles of the foreign policy course of the country, which proved their efficiency, were further developed in it. First of all, these are autonomy, independence, pragmatism, openness, multi-vector nature, consequent, but confrontation-free advancement of Russian national interests.
Day of the Russian Federation Constitution in Stockholm
On December 17 2013 the Embassy of Russia in Stockholm held a reception to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Federation Constitution. A delegation of the Association of lawyers of Russia, that was visiting Sweden at the time and headed by Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, G.Matyushkin, took part in the event.
Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to an official meeting of the Federal Assembly and Council of Legislators to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Federation Constitution.
The President said, in particular, in his message:
“December 12 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution and the first elections to the new Russian parliament. This is a memorable and important date for our country and society. It is pleasing to see that the two houses of the Federal Assembly and the regional legislators are giving this event such great attention.
The Constitution, which enshrines the highest status of citizens’ rights and freedoms and the values of federalism and a strong nation, has become a reliable foundation for developing our country. With the support of our Constitution and the unifying ideas it contains, we have come confidently through difficult tests, preserved Russia’s territorial integrity, responded to the most serious challenges of our times, and established the key legal, political, economic and social institutions that shape and define modern Russia’s life.
It is clear that further developing the Constitution’s tremendous potential depends directly on effective legislative activity at all levels. This is why I think it important that at our lawmakers’ initiative a deep-reaching study of our legislative base was carried out. Now, using this analysis and our experience of enforcing the laws, we need to move forward and make our national jurisdiction more competitive and creatively improve the quality of our country’s laws in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Constitution.”
Exhibition “Russia. 1900-1913”
Thielska Galleriet in Stockholm will host the photograph exhibition “Russia. 1900-1913” (curator: Olga Sviblova) from December 3, 2013 till January 12, 2014. This exhibition is part of “Russia: The 20th Century In Photographs”, a unique multimedia project by the Moscow House of Photography to establish a photo-archive of Russian history. Its aim is to follow the actual course of historical progress throughout the 20th century and recreate an authentic image of the events and personalia of a past epoch.
The exhibition covers various aspects of life in Russia at the onset of the 20th century, from celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov to family festivities, domestic theatre or street scenes… Russia as it really was – the life of a vast empire on the eve of the First World War shown in all its diversity: capital cities and the provinces, palaces and hovels, luxury and poverty, the army and civil society. Cultural life at the beginning of the century is broadly represented: sketches from the Moscow Art Theatre and Mariinsky Theatre, guest receptions at Ilya Repin’s estate Penaty and White Daisy Day (a campaign against tuberculosis), Leo Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana and a Russian costume ball in the Winter Palace, Maximilian Voloshin in Koktebel and the 27th Exhibition of the Peredvizhniki in Moscow. Particular attention is given to architecture and the urban landscapes of Moscow, St. Petersburg and chief cities of the Russian regions.
Some 100 works by 20th-century Russian photographers are displayed at the exhibition, by well-known figures such as Pyotr Pavlov, Maxim Dmitriev, Karl Bulla and Iosif Otsup, by amateur photographers whose evidence is of no less importance such as Sophia Tolstoy (wife of Leo Tolstoy), Vladimir Shukhov (world-famous engineer, inventor and architect) and Pyotr Vedenisov (pianist), as well as by unknown authors whose names have not yet appeared in the history of Russian photographic art, who were consigned to historical oblivion.
Ambassador Igor Neverov expressed to the Ambassador of Latvia in Stockholm his deep condolences due to the tragic accident in Riga that claimed numerous human lives. In his entry in the book of condolences Ambassador Neverov notes that this event is not only a tragedy for the citizens of Riga, whom we feel so close to, it knows no boundaries and echoes with pain in the hearts of all Russians.
Dear visa applicants!
Effective December 1st, 2013 foreign citizens who are planning to visit ХXII Olympic Winter Games and ХI Paralympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi are subject to the following regulations when it comes to applying for visas.
Tourist visa applications of the Games’ visitors will be processed in accordance with the most priority and simplified procedure provided that the applicants really intend to visit the Olympic sports events. To confirm that an applicant is supposed to submit an original or electronic version of the entrance ticket to see the Olympic competitions purchased via the Organizing Committee of Sochi – 2014 or its official booking agencies abroad, or a corresponding registration card.
Please be advised that a standard complete set of documents envisaged by the current legislation to obtain a Russian tourist visa remains unchanged. As a rule, tourist visa support documents issued by a Russian authorized tourist agency in favour of the Games’ visitors should indicate a note «Sochi 2014 - visitor».
In order to make priority processing of the above-mentioned applications possible, as of December 1st, 2013 a separate «Olympic window» will be opened in the Russian visa centre in Stockholm. Visitors of the Olympics can also submit their visa applications to the Consular Section of Embassy directly without a prior appointment.
Detailed information prepared by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on how visitors of the Olympics can use the simplified procedure to obtain a visa could also be found on the official web-site of the Ministry.
Political detective novels are extremely popular both in Sweden and in Russia, and no one can deny an author’s right to freedom of creativity or writing fiction.
It is though an altogether different matter when mass media, having sensed a whiff of scandal, is set to impose upon its wide audiences versions of events that are beyond the edge of reason. The latest (but, sadly, not the only) example is a promotional video for the just published thriller “The Bilderberg Meeting” by Swedish author Anders Jallai, featuring a Russian-speaking hit man, who assassinates none other than the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt. A diplomat and a statesman, who, by the way, carries authority and respect in capitals across the world, including Moscow. What reaction, other than “utter nonsense”, can there be to such a sick fantasy?
Such an episode should be rather offensive to Swedish citizens, who experienced the murders of Olof Palme and Anna Lindh. It is worth noting that both of them are affectionately remembered in Russia, while a street in Moscow is named after Olof Palme. But for us the constant imposition and exploitation of Russia’s image as an enemy of Sweden is equally offensive and unacceptable.
Russia and Sweden are good neighbors and valued partners. For more than 200 years our nations have lived in peace. We do not wish to see the exaggeration of the mythical “Russian threat” become an obstacle to the development of constructive relations between our two countries.
XII International Investment Forum Sochi-2013
The Sochi International Investment Forum is a modern platform for constructive dialogue between business and government that is necessary for the successful implementation of major investment projects on Russian territory. As part of the business programme of what is rightly considered to be the country’s main investment event, representatives of the state, business communities and experts address the most pressing issues of economic development in the form of an open discussion.
The XII International Investment Forum Sochi-2013 will take place on 26–29September 2013. For the first time in the event’s history, the Forum will be held at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, which is located at the coastal Olympic cluster in Imeretin Valley.
The XI International Investment Forum Sochi-2012, which was held on 20–23 September 2012, focused on the competitiveness of the economy as a whole and its various sectors in a rapidly changing world. During the Forum, Russian regions and major companies signed 82 agreements to the tune of more than 50 billion roubles (around $1.6 billion).
Last year, the Forum was attended by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who took part in the plenary session and in panel discussions. The Sochi-2012 business programme included 15 round tables, two briefings, nine panel discussions and a Sberbank business breakfast, seminars, free discussions, regional presentations, negotiations, news conferences and briefings.
More than 7300 people took part in the Forum, including the heads of government bodies, state institutions, leading Russian and International companies, diplomatic missions, prominent industry experts and entrepreneurs from 55 Russian regions and 40 countries.
Second edition of SportAccord World Combat Games
Due to the great success of the first edition of SportAccord World Combat Games in 2010 in Beijing, the second edition of SportAccord World Combat Games will be organised. The event will take place from 18-26 October 2013 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
SportAccord World Combat Games is an international sporting event which promotes values of self-control, determination and technical mastery, the Martial Arts and Combat Sports integrate elements of culture, wisdom, friendship to create an elite sports competition - the Art of Combat.
The Games will feature 15 Martial Arts and Combat Sports, Aikido, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Kendo, Kickboxing, Muaythai, Sambo, Savate, Sumo, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Wushu.
Additionally, the Combat Games will feature a Cultural Program reflecting the ancient traditions of martial arts as well as the social and cultural values of the 15 sports and the event as a whole. Topics will deal with the cultural dimensions of the martial arts and their social value and contribution to society.
Sergey Lavrov’s working visit to Kiruna
On 14-15 May 2013 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a working visit to Kiruna, Sweden.
During his stay in Sweden Mr. Lavrov took part in the eighth ministerial session of the Arctic Council, as a result of which a whole number of important documents was adopted highlighting the dynamic and progressive nature of the international cooperation in the Arctic.
On the margins of the session Mr. Lavrov held negotiations with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Topical issues related to the Russian-Swedish dialogue were discussed. Both ministers expressed their satisfaction with the development of the bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation, first of all in the area of trade and investments.
Minister Lavrov also met with US Secretary of State John Kerry focusing on the problems pertinent to the settlement of the situation in Syria.
Answers to questions of Russian mass media by Sergey Lavrov summarizing the results of the meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and consultations on the eve of the session of the Arctic Council
Speech of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the eighth ministerial session of the Arctic Council
Answer of Sergey Lavrov to the question of the New York Times journalist
Main documents from Kiruna Ministerial Meeting
The Conference of the Heads of the Baltic Sea states on environmental protection (Baltic Sea Forum) will take place in St. Petersburg, April 5-6, 2013.
Article by Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev: “The Baltic states' priority for the 21st century — the environment”
Environmental protection is an area of interstate relations where there is no alternative to cooperation. Today all Baltic countries share historic responsibility for the future of the Baltic Sea and the preservation of its unique natural diversity.
Collaboration on the Nord Stream project is a good example of the productivity of this approach. The pipeline passing along the Baltic Sea bed can supply Europe with up to 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year for at least 50 years.
This was the first project where all the five countries whose exclusive economic zones the underwater pipeline crosses managed to balance out their international and national environmental requirements. More than 100 million euros were spent on preliminary environmental research that was unprecedented for the Baltic. Another 40 million euros will be spent to organize permanent monitoring of the entire route in the next three years.
Technological and engineering solutions that were often unique were not adopted only out of economic considerations. The primary motive was to observe the strictest environmental standards. The impact on the environment was minimal, local and limited in time. Incidentally, the preparations for the construction of the pipeline considerably expanded our knowledge about the Baltic Sea ecosystem and made it accessible.
Importantly, modern society is becoming increasingly responsible in its attitude to the environment. The development of new energy production technology and effective use of natural resources is becoming a powerful driver of economic growth. Sustainable development opportunities lie in ecological innovations and green economy. This is extremely important now that the failures of the global financial and economic system have become more frequent.
Entrepreneurs should play a more active role in regional environmental projects, such as the Modernization Partnership for the South Eastern Baltic Area (SEBA). Cooperation of national and regional authorities, municipalities, the business community, inter-regional organizations and NGOs should be oriented to promoting economic growth in the region. Eventually, it should improve the quality of life and upgrade the living standards.
I am confident that the steady development of the Baltic region can only be ensured if environmental goals are pursued in conjunction with economic and social aims. The introduction of the eco-systemic approach is a priority of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Helsinki Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.
CBSS, which is currently chaired by Russia, will be 20 years old this year. While retaining its commitment to long-term priorities, it should search for new formats and mechanisms of cooperation. The council should make the most of the advantages of private-public partnership, especially in implementing large infrastructure projects, developing cooperation in modernization and supporting innovative projects of medium companies. These are the issues we will discuss at the High-level Conference of the Baltic Sea States on the Protection of the Baltic Sea Environment, to be held in St. Petersburg.
It is difficult to overestimate the potential of public diplomacy in environmental protection. I hope the St. Petersburg initiative that Russia is going to launch at this conference will logically supplement and develop the available instruments. Its main goal is to pool the efforts of civil society, government agencies and business and financial circles.
I’d like to emphasize once again that we are all aware of our growing interdependence and that we cannot resolve our domestic affairs without considering the interests of our neighbors. Naturally, we all bear responsibility for the future of the Baltic Sea and the people who live on the Baltic Sea coast.
P.S. As an illustration to the editorial policy of Swedish mass media - not one of the major Swedish newspapers has agreed to publish the article, claiming lack of interest in the subject.
Dmitry Medvedev's article has been published by Aftenposten (Norway), Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), Rzeczpospolita (Poland), Jyllands-Posten (Denmark), Morgunbladid (Iceland), Neatkariga Rita Avize (Latvia), and Eesti Päevaleht (Estonia).
BRICS summit in South Africa
Vladimir Putin took part in the fifth BRICS summit. The summit’s theme is BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation.
The summit concluded with the publication of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan. The declaration assesses the current global political and economic situation and reflects the BRICS countries’ common positions on current multilateral cooperation issues. The action plan outlines the BRICS countries’ work over the coming year and also includes some promising new areas of cooperation.
The BRICS leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements on green economy, co-financing infrastructure projects in Africa, and a declaration on establishing the BRICS Business Council.
Also signed was a declaration on establishing a consortium of BRICS countries’ expert centres and the issue of joint statistics publications from the BRICS countries.
Before the summit began, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met with business leaders.
On this day, BRICS leaders also met with the heads of African states. During the meeting, Vladimir Putin noted that BRICS countries are jointly championing the rights and interests of African nations and other states with emerging economies, speaking out in favour of increasing their role and influence within the global governance system, particularly within international financial and economic organisations.
Vladimir Putin approved the Policy Concept on Russia’s participation in BRICS
The document defines the role of BRICS members in today’s international system and outlines the prospects for developing the association.
The Policy Concept sets forth fundamental principles and contents of Russia’s foreign policy towards BRICS nations. Russia considers its work within BRICS one of its strategically important foreign policy priorities. The document also outlines specific objectives in key areas of cooperation for the association’s members, and defines the mechanisms for their implementation.
Full text of the Policy Concept.
On the diplomatic ice hockey tournament the “Tretyak Cup” in Stockholm
On March 22, 2013 the fourth traditional ice hockey tournament took place in Stockholm in which diplomatic representatives of Russia, Finland, Canada and USA took part as well as the team of Sweden Government officials. The tournament was organized by the Embassy and Trade Representation of the Russian Federation and was titled the “Tretyak cup”.
The winner of the tournament was team Finland that beat the team Sweden in the finals. The finish team’s captain received the cup with a personal autograph by the renowned Soviet ice hockey goal-keeper Vladislav Tretyak.
After the tournament a friendly reception took place at the Russian Embassy.
St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was established in 1997. Since 2006, SPIEF has been held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation. Over the past several years, the Forum has transformed into a leading global business event, attracting over 5,000 Russian and international participants, representing government and business leaders from around the world, joined by leading voices from academia, media and the civil society. SPIEF gathers the world's leading decision makers to identify and deliberate the key challenges facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world.
First Concert of the “Russian Spring” project
Young Russian musicians Alena Baeva and Petr Laul offered a brilliant performance on January 31st. As part of the official opening ceremony of the “Russian Spring” series of concerts the Ambassador of Russia to Sweden Igor Neverov read out the welcoming address of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Mr Marcus Hartmann, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Culture, made a speech on behalf of the Swedish Government.
Unofficial translation of the address of the Russian President:
To the participants and guests of the “Russian Spring” concerts in Stockholm
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
I welcome everyone who is once again brought together by their love for Russia, Russian culture, true masterpieces of musical art in hospitable Stockholm, at the opening of the second season of the “Russian Spring” project.
Your meetings are becoming a good tradition, a vivid example of efficient cooperation between creative intellectuals of Russia and Sweden, enriching the palette of humanitarian ties of our two countries by the sincerity and warmth of human interaction. These meetings introduce to the demanding audience young, talented participants of the St-Petersburg Music House’s programs.
I am confident that in such an atmosphere of goodwill, mutual respect and understanding amicable contacts are strengthened, ingenious and interesting ideas are born.
I wish you all to have unforgettable impressions and fruitful interaction.
January 25, 2013
Russia takes the lead in the G20 for the first time
The G20 is an informal forum of the world's major economies. The G20 members' share in global GDP is around 90%, they account for 80% of global trade volumes. Currently, the G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. Besides Russia and the EU, the G20 includes: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The role of the presiding country is to organize the G20 leaders' annual summit, as well as to work consistently during the year on stimulating policy coordination on the pressing issues of the global economic agenda.
The Leaders' Summit under Russia's Presidency will be the key event of the next year. The meeting will take place in St. Petersburg on September 5-6, 2013. In December, 2012, Russia is hosting the initial G20 Presidency events in Moscow.
Visit of P.Astakhov to Sweden
On October 30-31, 2012 the Commissioner to the President of the Russian Federation for children rights protection Mr. Pavel Astakhov has officially visited Stockholm for the first time in the history. During his intense program of stay the Commissioner met with the State Secretaries for the Ministries of Health, Social Affairs and Justice Ms. Ragnwi Marcelind and Mr. Martin Valfridsson, experts of the Swedish Government in the sphere of children rights protection, as well as his counterpart – the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden Mr. Fredrik Malmberg, and also visited the Stockholm children center. Within the framework of the discussion the parties productively exchanged their points of view on the essence of the family legislation issues. It was acknowledged that our countries’ attitudes towards juvenile justice were generally the same: both Russian and Swedish competent authorities actively strive for the children rights protection. As a result of the talks the parties agreed to stay in touch on the discussed issues.
Statement by Mr. Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly
Distinguished Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen,
For over a year and a half the situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been a nerve knot of the global politics. The deep changes that have swept over the region, intertwine with the key problems of the modern international relations and require everyone to use a comprehensive approach, to reject simplified and ideology-driven patterns and double standards.
Russia consistently supports the peoples in their aspiration to determine their destiny by themselves, and to pave the way to more effective models of public governance. We believe it is particularly important to carry out those transformations in a non-violent way and without outside interference. We strongly believe that all the members of the international community should be interested in making the MENA peaceful, stable, democratic, and free from domestic and inter-State conflicts. So far, however, there has been no progress in reaching the unanimity in the efforts of outside players to create conditions for achieving that goal.
BRICS Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs Statement to the Press
The BRICS Ministers for Foreign Affairs met in New York on September 26th, 2012, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and discussed among other issues the situation in Syria.
They expressed their deep concern with the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Syria with reports of growing violations of human rights and of humanitarian international law.
They called for an immediate simultaneous cease fire and the establishment of a political reconciliation process with the participation of all sectors, through dialogue with the support of the international community.
In this regard, they reiterated their support to the work of Joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, as well as to the Joint Communique of the Geneva Action Group.
200-th anniversary of the battle of Borodino
The 200-th anniversary of the battle of Borodino was honoured on September 7 2012 in Grums, located near the city of Karlstad, by the laying of flowers to the grave of Carl Gustav Löwenhielm. A Swedish diplomat, military officer and politician, who participated in the Patriotic war of 1812 against Napoleon, Löwenhielm was awarded the Cross of St. George by Russian Emperor Alexander I for his courage in the battle of Borodino.
A commemorative ceremony and service were organized by the local Russian orthodox parish and the “Vi pratar ryska” association of Karlstad. Representatives of the Embassy of Russia in Sweden took part in the event.
Comment of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of Russia on the question of mass-media regarding the situation with the case of F. Sedelmayer in Sweden
The MFA of Russia considers unacceptable the notice of the Collection Agency of the Kingdom of Sweden on the intention to carry out the forced sale of premises of the residential house of the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Sweden by public auction according to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Sweden dated 1 July 2011 made on the claim of German businessman F. Sedelmayer against the Russian Federation in favour of the claimant.
The Russian party does not consider the aforementioned decision of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Sweden to be legitimate, because it contradicts the regulations of the international law. The premises of the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation, which is a part of the diplomatic mission of Russia, have judicial immunity from legal process in the Kingdom of Sweden according to the Article 22 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
The aforementioned Article stipulates that “the premises of the mission shall be inviolable and the agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission”. According to that Article, “the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity”. And “the premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution”.
The MFA of Russia has repeatedly brought this position to the notice of Swedish partners, at high level as well. Incidentally, the MFA of Sweden does not doubt the diplomatic immunity of the premises of the Trade Representation of Russia, which has been repeatedly officially confirmed by the foreign agency of Sweden. The issue of diplomatic immunity of the premises of the Trade Representation was not considered in the decision of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Sweden dated 1 July 2011, which is used by the Collection Agency as the ground for execution towards the Trade Representation.
The real estate of the Diplomatic Representation of Russia in Sweden, including the official-residential house of the Trade Representation at the address Lidingö, Kostern 5, which is of interest in this context, is used solely for official purposes of ensuring the sovereign functions. In this respect we call for the Collection Agency of Sweden to carefully study the circumstances of the case once more regarding the fact that the premises of the Diplomatic Representation can not be the object of forced collection. According to the Law of Sweden “On Immunities and Privileges in Certain Cases” of 1976, Vienna Convention of 1961 prevails over other legislative acts.
We expect that Sweden takes the appropriate measures for fulfillment of its international legal obligations and does not let the implementation of actions towards property of the dimplomatic mission of Russia, which would inevitably inflict a serious damage to the relations between Russia and Sweden.
The G20 and global economic challenges
An article by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, published by the Mexican daily El Universal, covers the global economic issues and new challenges facing the G20.
Day of Russia celebration in Stockholm
On June 11, 2012 a reception on the occasion of the national holiday – the Day of Russia – took place at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Stockholm. The event was attended by more than 400 foreign guests and compatriots. Among them were the representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and other government agencies, military leadership, members of the Riksdag, ambassadors and military attachès accredited in Stockholm, prominent cultural and art figures, representatives of the local business community. Stockholm-based Södra Bergens Balalaikor orchestra performed traditional Russian folk songs.
Annual meeting at the “Russian Stone”
On May 11, 2012 the staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sweden and the students of the embassy school made the traditional trip to the “Russian Stone” to commemorate Victory Day. Keepers of the “Russian Stone” Yngve and Barbro Gunnarsson, representatives of the municipality, the Swedish Church and the local folklore and history association came to commemorate Russian soldiers held at the “Krampen” camp during the Great Patriotic War. The ceremony was concluded by the laying of flowers to the monument and singing of the national anthems of Russia and Sweden. Afterwards Embassy staff visited “Galleri Astley” in Uttersberg and its Ernst Neizvestny’s museum “Tree of Life”, while the museum’s employees and its director, Mr. Anders Nyhlén were as always very hospitable.
Players and management of the Russian national hockey team honoured war veterans on Victory Day
This year the traditional reception at the Russian Embassy on May 9 was somewhat special. President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia Vladislav Tretyak, head coach of the national team Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, president of the Continental Hockey League Alexander Medvedev, players Ilya Nikulin, Semyon Varlamov, Pavel Datsyuk, Dmitri Kalinin, Yevgeni Malkin and Alexei Tereshenko joined Embassy staff in honouring the veterans of the Grat Patriotic War living in Sweden.
Ambassador of Russia Igor Neverov and Vladislav Tretyak exchanged souvenirs. The event was mostly informal, and was accompanied by music of the war period. Distinguished guests thanked the veterans for their heroic deeds, while the veterans expressed their joy at the national team’s recent victories and wished players the best of luck at the remaining games of the World Championship.
We consider the article published in the Swedish press (Dagens Industri, 16.04.2012) about attempts to seize real estate belonging to the Russian Embassy in Sweden to be biased. The heart of the matter is that this issue has to do with the Swedish state honouring its obligations to ensure immunity of foreign diplomatic missions in accordance with the requirements of international law. It was this crucial fact that was pointed out by Ambassador Igor Neverov in his letter to the head of the Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden).
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