Defense: Russia blames U.S. fake news campaign

Brussels 12.06.2022 The United States is trying to justify its unseemly military biological activities in the post-Soviet space with fake news, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova TASS reports.

The diplomat drew attention to the “Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts with Ukraine, Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries” published on June 9 on the website of the US Department of Defense, which contains statements about the allegedly peaceful nature of US activities in the biological sphere on post-Soviet space.

“We consider this material to be fake news and part of an information campaign launched by Washington to justify the United States’ military biological activities in the post-Soviet space in order to divert international attention away from their true non-transparent and unseemly nature, which contradicts Washington’s international obligations, including those under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC),” Zakharova stressed.

Zakharova underscored that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”

“For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

Zakharova stressed that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”.

TAG”For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

Zakharova pointed out that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”.

Russian Ambassador Antonov on food crisis

Brussels 28.05.2022 Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov on Friday, May 28, said the food crisis, which had been unfolding for the past couple years, worsened due sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

“The crisis was further exacerbated due to the introduction by Washington and its satellites of illegitimate sanctions against Russia,” the diplomat said in statement released by the Russian Embassy in Washington. “Despite the references of the U.S. officials to exemptions from the restrictions, which allegedly provide for the opportunity for our country to trade in farm goods, domestic exporters often don’t have a chance to make shipments.”

“They face blocked payments, denials of loans and insurance, problems with booking freight ships, purchase of farm equipment and even seeds,” he went on to say. “In addition, the US continues to increase import taxes on our fertilizers.”

Antonov described such actions as “the utmost hypocrisy” and called the US attempts to blame Russia for the food crisis as absolutely unfounded.

“We urge a halt to shifting the blame,” he continued. “Russia is committed to its export obligations and is ready for negotiations to resolve this most serious problem, including through the UN.”

The diplomat also said that difficulties in the food market have been building up for a long time, at least over the past two years. “They are associated with miscalculations and systemic errors in the macroeconomic policy – primarily financial and foreign trade policies – and energy and food policies of Western countries,” he said. “At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruptions of supply chains.”

“Freight costs have almost doubled,” he continued. “Naturally, all this couldn’t not fail but lead to a sharp increase in food prices. Wheat prices increased by a quarter over 2021.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is negotiating with Russia and Ukraine to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions that hinder the export of Russian fertilizers. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vasily Nebenzya and Permanent Representative of the United States Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed that there are talks on resuming the exports of Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers to the global market. However, the sides insists that these issues are discussed separately from each other and don’t assume any exchanges.

Lavrov: West declared total war on Russia

Brusels 27.05.2022 The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said on Friday, May 27.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

The top diplomat has underlined that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with these policies.

“In this situation there is a great demand for a concrete discussion on how we develop our cooperation, cooperation between our ministry and civil society, including at the level of regions,” he added.

Russia calls U.S.to unfreeze Afghan funds

Brussels 27.05.2022 Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev called for assistance in the earliest possible unfreezing of Afghan assets “illegally” blocked by the United States.

“[It is] necessary to facilitate the earliest possible unfreezing of Afghan assets illegally blocked by US in order to develop social and economic projects in Afghanistan,” the Russian Security Council Secretary said on Friday, May 27, in the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, during the fourth round of multilateral consultations on the Afghan issue.

The statesman also spoke in favor of establishing closer coordination in order to develop a unified line on the Afghaninstan direction, intensifying efforts to increase the volume of international humanitarian aid to the society and to organize its delivery to the country.

“On the Afghan track it is important to promote the consolidation of corresponding international efforts, first of all under the aegis of the UN. We believe that the [United Nations] should be the main coordinator in solving the whole range of problems of post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Patrushev said.

Russia-Japan: blaming U.S. for failures

Brussels 08.02.2022 Washington seeks to keep Japan’s unfounded territorial claims against Russia afloat in order to prevent the two countries from full-scale cooperation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a TV interview. Japan claims the four southernmost islands, including two of the three largest ones – Iturup and Kunashir, – as an integral part of its territory along with Shikotan and the Habomai islets, which has led to the ongoing Kuril Islands dispute between Japan and Russia.

While commenting on U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo Rahm Emanuel’s statement that Washington supported Tokyo in the issue of the Northern Territories (southern Kuril Island) and recognised Japan’s sovereignty over them, the diplomat pointed out that “over the past decades, the United States has transformed Japan from an independent state into a dependent one.”

The spokesperson reminded that Moscow had repeatedly called for abandoning the “attempts to artificially pump up hysteria” and tensions around the territorial issue, while the Japanese leadership kept neglecting “the need to build normal and full-fledged economic, financial and cultural ties” with Russia. “Every time, we highlighted the artificial nature of this issue and the related tensions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman underlined.

“It is being fueled by a certain part of Japan’s political establishment. And who’s behind it? The U.S. ambassador has stepped forward and made it clear,” she added. Zakharova explained that Washington benefited from keeping the issue afloat because “this artificial problem prevents Japan from engaging in full-scale, mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation with Russia.”

The Russian diplomat recommended that the US envoy to Japan “should spend more time telling the Japanese public about the United States’ crimes.” “Particularly, about how the United States used nuclear weapons to attack the country’s civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, the Japanese public knows little about the U.S. role in those tragic events,” Maria Zakharova concluded.

Kremlin calls EU for “sober” view

Brussels 31.01.2022 “We prefer diplomacy and are prepared to move forward if Russia de-escalates and approaches discussions about security in Europe in a balanced and reciprocal way” said the spokesperson of the EU diplomatic service (EEAS), addressing the issue of tensions at Russia-Ukraine border.

“The European Union deplores the decision by Russian authorities, announced on Friday, to ban an unknown number of representatives of EU Member States and institutions from entry into Russia” reads the statement by the spokesperson on travel restrictions against representatives of EU institutions and of the EU Member States. “This decision lacks any legal justification and transparency and will meet an appropriate response. With it, Russia continues to fuel a climate of tensions in Europe instead of contributing to de-escalation.”

Simultaneously Moscow is calling on Washington and Brussels to give up their policy of stirring up tensions around Ukraine and assume a constructive stance, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

“The hysteria that the United States is instigating is, indeed, leading to hysteria in Ukraine where people are almost packing frontline bags. This is obvious and this is a fact. This is the downside of this very malicious and damaging campaign being run by Washington. We consistently criticise this stance and call on Washington and its allies on the European continent to give up this policy and assume a constructive, calm and balanced approach,” the Russian presidential spokesman said, responding to a request to comment on Western media reports that the White House was dissatisfied with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s position on the threat of Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine.

“Regrettably, American media outlets have been publishing a large amount of unverified, distorted and deliberately false and inflammatory information in recent months about what is happening in and around Ukraine. This is becoming obvious actually for all,” Peskov said, adding that these publications should be regarded “correspondingly.”

Replying to a question about whether Russian politicians and journalists should cover this issue so actively, the Kremlin spokesman said the following: “We are not empowered to tell the media how much and what they must cover, but we are empowered to recommend that people read this information as little as possible and maintain a sober view.”

U.S. response to Russia on security guarantees

Brussels 26.01.2022 The United States Ambassador John Sullivan on Wednesday, January 26, handed over Washington’s written responses to a sweeping set of security demands that Kremlin has made of the West, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The head of the US diplomatic mission delivered a written response from the US administration to the draft bilateral agreement on security guarantees that was earlier proposed by the Russian side,” the Foreign affaires Ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was requested by the US ambassador, who spent slightly more than a half hour inside the Ministry building.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the State Duma earlier on Wednesday that Russia won’t publish the US response on security guarantees, if asked, but will disclose the general meaning of the replies.

Russia response to NATO Black Sea drills

Brussels 13.11.2021 President Vladimir Putin finds it inappropriate to carry out its drills in the Black Sea in response to NATO exercises there, there is no need to escalate the situation, he explained it in an interview with Pavel Zarubin.

“I should say that our Defense Ministry also came up with a proposal to hold its own unplanned exercises in this water area, but I believe that this is inappropriate and there is no need to further escalate the situation there. Therefore, the Russian Defense Ministry does not go further than escorting aircraft and ships,” Putin said.

The President drew attention to the fact that now the United States and its NATO allies are now conducting unplanned exercises in the Black Sea.

Moreover, “not only they formed a fairly powerful naval group there, but they also use aviation, including strategic aviation, in the course of these exercises,” Putin noted.

Moscow Ryabkov-Nuland talks

Brussels 12.10.2021 The talks between US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov ended at the Russian foreign ministry. The negotiations lasted more than an hour and a half.(Image: Moscow skyline).

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that during the talks with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, the sides addressed bilateral issues with a focus on strategic stability.

“We deliberated at length on all the issues on bilateral agenda. This was our main focus. Among international topics, we addressed strategic stability and the prospects for continuing work in this area. Although, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nuland does not nominally discuss this topic as the so-called Russian portfolio is assigned to her, she expressed several considerations and we responded to them,” the senior diplomat told TASS.

Ryabkov left the building at 12:25 p.m. Moscow Time, while Nuland got into her car five minutes later, refraining from giving any comments to reporters.

Nuland arrived in Moscow on Monday, October 11, to hold several meetings with Russian officials. The diplomat’s visit will last until October 13. It was reported that apart from the meeting with Ryabkov, Nuland would hold talks with Aid to the Russian President for Foreign Policy Yuri Ushakov and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak.

Lavrov: AUKUS undermines ASEAN

Brussels 03.10.2021 New AUKUS alliance between the US, the UK, and Australia as well as the four-sided dialogue on security between the US, Japan, India, and Australia (Quad) are directed at eroding the long-standing universal formats of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region existing under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the 29th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy on October 2, Saturday.

The Russian top diplomat noted, “one of the most fashionable trends today is the so-called Indo-Pacific strategies that are invented by the United States,” in particular, AUKUS and Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between United States, India, Japan and Australia).

“All of this follows the line of eroding the universal formats in the Asia-Pacific Region which existed for the past decades under the auspices of ASEAN,” Lavrov underlined.

The minister named “East Asian summits, the ASEAN security forum, meetings of ASEAN defense ministers and partners, the so-called ASEAN+, and a number of other formats” based on the “principle of consensus” among such universal formats.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has previously questioned whether the EU would be able to strike a trade deal with Australia, in solidarity with France.

But on Friday, September 1, spokespersons for the European Commission explained than it is not “punishing anybody”. The decision to delay the talks by a month took place a couple of days ago and would “allow us to prepare better”, they said, adding that it was not “unusual” to push back trade talks.