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RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #151

 
PRESIDENT
   
Vladimir Putin: Dear guests,
I am happy to welcome the organisers, participants and guests of the Army-2020 International Military Technical Forum and the International Army Games.
These two major events are opening simultaneously this year and I am certain that their programmes, which are always spectacular and eventful, will only benefit from this combination.
Numerous guests will have the opportunity to see the capabilities of our Armed Forces, learn about the latest achievements of the Russian and foreign defence industries, as well as successful projects of international cooperation. We hope that new business contacts and promising partnerships will be established and promoted at the forum.
We understand the importance of building trust-based relationships in the areas of security and military and technical cooperation, and the importance of searching for solutions to new challenges together.
For several years, the International Army Games have been contributing to strengthening friendly links, to open and well-wishing exchange of expertise. Military personnel from different countries compete in their skills and equipment operation, in combat prowess and military discipline; they test themselves for readiness to overcome serious ordeals and perform tasks in extreme conditions.

Most importantly, the Army Games contribute to strengthening peace and mutual understanding between countries and nations.
I expect that the Russian teams will, as always, demonstrate well-coordinated and seamless performance, display their best qualities and assert the growing combat potential of our troops.
The captivating competitions of military professionals have already won popularity among numerous guests, especially young people, school, college and university students who take part in technology workshops, military and sports clubs, and those who are searching for their path and intend to dedicate their lives to the noble career of defending their country or scientific research in laboratories, design bureaus and modern production companies.
Friends, I am certain that the International Military and Technical Forum and the Army Games will be spectacular and significant events that will, of course, serve the purpose of strengthening ties between countries in the defence sphere. I wish all the participants and guests great success and all the best.
 
CONGRATULATIONS!
President Vladimir Putin has conferred Russia’s Ushakov medal upon 17 U.S. veterans of Arctic Convoys. The decree says the award is for the Americans’ "personal courage and bravery displayed during participation in WWII Arctic convoys".
 
Arctic Convoys Memorial in Arkhangelsk, Russia
 
 
Vladimir Putin congratulated the Russian Geographical Society on its 175th anniversary.
The message reads, in part:
“Outstanding state and military figures, remarkable scientists and explorers, patrons and benefactors stood at the origins of the Russian Geographical Society, one of oldest geographical societies in the world. These were highly educated, proactive and committed, creative and enthusiastic people. They founded the glorious tradition of honest and selfless service to the Fatherland and made a unique contribution to developing the key spheres of the Russian Geographical Society’s activities. The Society took part in organising sea and land expeditions, prioritised education, initiated the establishment of nature reserves, and the creation of the country’s first geographical educational institutions and museums.

It is gratifying that members of the Russian Geographical Society cherish the memory of their predecessors, and honour their ideas, scientific and creative legacy. Building on this historical continuity, the large and united team of the Russian Geographical Society has undertaken numerous large-scale much-needed projects over the past years in research, awareness building and environment protection.

They prepared captivating lectures, exhibitions, films and publications on Russia’s invaluable historical, cultural and spiritual heritage. Of course, I cannot fail to mention the large team of volunteers of all ages and walks of life who have proactively contributed to all the key undertakings.
 
VISIT TO RUSSIA
 

Some facts about Komi Republic for the U.S. travelers:
  • Thinly populated but larger than Japan,Germany or Norway
  • Unique nature: 78'000 lakes&100 natural heritage sites
  • Abundant natural resources: oil&gas, gold, diamonds
  • To top it all: 60'000 tons of cranberries are collected here year.
 
FOREIGN MINISTRY
 

On August 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke on the telephone with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei.
Sergey Lavrov and Vladimir Makei considered the political developments in Belarus and discussed various initiatives advanced by Western countries with regard to the Belarusian government’s further steps. In this context, the two ministers noted that ways to address Belarus’s existing problems are its internal affair and do not warrant any external interference, let alone any “instructions” about with whom and how they should conduct a dialogue. They emphasised that all external actors need to respect the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Belarus, and stop trying to provoke confrontation in Belarusian society and undermine the process of normalising the situation.
They also exchanged views on the progress in implementing a number of agreements reached between the presidents and prime ministers of the two countries, as well as in implementing the cooperation plans between the foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus.
 
 
Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IHMC RAS) is happy to announce that it has completed a project aimed to create a 3D-model of Palmyra, one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The 3D-model is the most precise and detailed digital data system that was developed in order to preserve and reconstruct ancient Palmyra for future generations. Today IHMC RAS presented the model to the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) of the Syrian Arab Republic and the world community.

 
We are talking in great detail with our partners in the EU and with the United States about the importance of reviving the principles, which were formulated by the victor powers after World War II, when they established the United Nations, a unique organisation with universal legitimacy. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded so far in convincing all countries to honour their obligations. The countries we describe as “the historical West” share an overriding desire to prevent the rise of the new, multipolar and polycentric world order, as well as the reforms in the international system that will recognise the tectonic shifts which have taken place after WWII, primarily the appearance of new influential centres of power in terms of economic growth and financial might. Of course, economic and financial might also include political influence. The West has called the tune in international affairs for some 500 years, including during the colonial era and the period of industrial revolutions, which began in the West. But things have changed. The centre of global development has moved to the Asia Pacific Region (APR). China and India are rising powerfully. Other emerging economies have claimed a befitting place in the international division of labour and the international system of cooperation. At the same time, they want to preserve their traditions, culture and civilisational code.

The main line of our Western partners is to obstruct the objective course of history and to cut short the objective onset of the multipolar world. They are using a variety of unscrupulous measures and instruments, including open military interventions to unseat governments and economic sanctions, which have become commonplace. The United States, for example, no longer holds talks in the classical meaning of the word. Instead, it presents its requirements. Those who refuse to comply with them face ultimatums. If they disregard them, sanctions are adopted against them. The worst part is that the US sanctions against those who dare to contradict it are being applied extraterritorially. In other words, Washington demands that other countries do not trade with a certain state because it does not like it and has introduced sanctions against it. Those who refuse to comply with these demands face restrictions against their companies, which will deprive them of their part of the American market and will have other problems in the system of settlements that is dominated by the US dollar.
 
 
The United States continues its dangerous manoeuvres at the UN Security Council in the hope of carrying out its anti-Iran schemes. Having failed to push through a draft resolution on extending indefinitely an international arms embargo on Iran, which was resolutely rebuffed by the Security Council, the US began to badger UN leaders, including the UN Security Council president. The US wants everyone to recognise its alleged right to exert pressure on Iran with mechanisms envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme.
All this after the US officially withdrew from the JCPOA and has been crudely and shamelessly violating its own commitments stemming from related Security Council resolutions for over two years.
The US has regularly denounced “the nuclear deal” and been doing all it could to undermine the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Now, having apparently forgotten its commitments, it has started talking about its own “rights.”
The US claims that it has invoked a “snapback” of the UN Security Council sanction resolutions on Iran that were withdrawn after the signing of the JCPOA in 2015. However, the US’s statements will fail to produce the desired effect. These tricks by the United States have no basis in reality. The US itself walked away from the plan, thereby depriving itself of the rights and opportunities envisaged in it and in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
The US’s notice shows that Washington is misinterpreting this resolution and is not meeting its requirements. Neither is it meeting the requirements of the JCPOA that is part of the Security Council resolution. The US is trying to prove that it has the right to fulfil only those provisions of the resolution that are “convenient” to it and can be used for its anti-Iran policy. But this won’t do. Moreover, the US cannot include in its notice the description of “conscientious and exhaustive” efforts taken in settling disputes under JCPOA procedures because it did not make them. Meanwhile, these efforts were mandatory. Thus, the Security Council has no grounds on which to accept the US’s notice for consideration, not to mention take any action based on it. This would contradict Resolution 2231. Apparently, this is what Washington is trying to achieve by dragging other Security Council members into the wilds where international law does not exist.
We are convinced that the US’s notice is legally negligible and cannot initiate the mechanism to restore the former resolutions against Iran. Insisting on its erroneous position, the US cannot hope for support in the Security Council. It is impossible to give up one’s commitments on a resolution and claim the rights that it provides.
Russia has distributed a detailed legal argument to this effect.
We are confident that the efforts to escalate tensions around Iran are erroneous and self-defeating. We urge the US to opt for reasonable solutions and not deprive itself of an opportunity to come to terms with Iran.
 
 
<…>
Question: NATO remains active on our borders, and our relations remain strained. What are the Russian Foreign Ministry’s conceptual approaches to easing tensions on the western track?
Sergey Lavrov: Let me remind you that cooperation between Russia and NATO was curtailed in 2014, and it was not our initiative. All the improvements in our relations, including the dialogue and cooperation mechanism – the Russia-NATO Council (RNC) – were lost overnight. Today the RNC, an ‘all-weather’ dialogue format we jointly created in 2002, has become a platform where NATO countries are trying to lecture us on the Ukrainian settlement, although NATO has no role to play in it. It is obvious that the Ukrainian crisis is being used as a pretext, and is not the real reason for the alliance to return to its old ways of ‘containing’ Russia.
Now, just like during the Cold War, they are fighting Russia ‘on all fronts,’ including information and propaganda campaigns, and that is their new raison d'être. NATO is increasingly active on the eastern flank, close to our borders, where exercises are carried out and military infrastructure upgraded. The alliance continues to expand its zone of military and political influence, inviting more and more countries under its umbrella allegedly to protect them from Russia. Since there are no real threats to security, these steps do little except create and deepen new dividing lines in Europe.
We have repeatedly proposed that NATO take the path of de-escalating military tensions and reducing the risks of military incidents on the continent. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, we proposed an initiative to show military restraint, to move military exercises away from the Russia-NATO contact line, and other transparency measures. Russia has cancelled major exercises close to the borders of NATO countries, and has moved large military training events farther inland.
However, the alliance is not showing any willingness to reciprocate. It has adopted the policy of ‘containment and dialogue’ with regard to Russia, but in reality, there is practically no place for real and open dialogue on pressing problems there.
Question: <…> What is the position of the United States, considering that Washington allocated $250 million for arms deliveries to Kiev?
Sergey Lavrov: <…> To settle the conflict, the United States should stop adding fuel to the fire by supplying arms to Kiev. This begs the question: does Washington actually want peace in Ukraine, as its representatives continue to claim at various international venues? <…>
 
DEFENSE MINISTRY
 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper exchanged opinions on situation in various regions of the world, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday (August 18).
The phone conversation happened on Esper’s initiative, according to the Russian ministry.
“The heads of the defense ministries discussed strengthening trust and transparency measures to prevent incidents during the two sides’ military activities,” the ministry said.
 

Russian-American consultations on strategic stability became more intensive since June 22, their business-like nature and the decrease in counterproductive rhetoric are notable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday, commenting for Russian journalists on the completion of the most recent round of consultations in Vienna.
"The talks were very intense and energetic. We reached depths in many aspects. Professional discussions draw attention by the level of immersion in the material. This was facilitated by the fact that both American and Russian sides were represented at these consultations by serious delegations which included representatives of all relevant agencies," he said.

 According to the senior diplomat, as the dialogue with the US, which has intensified since June 22, continues, the sides note "more business-like nature of the discussions conducted, less counterproductive rhetoric." "If we use it, it pursues specific goals, namely, a better understanding of each other’s approaches and of those moments that don’t satisfy the opposing side. And the second thing is the necessity to understand clearly where for whom red lines lie which one cannot cross," Deputy Foreign Minister added.
 
WWII HISTORY
 
In the year of celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the World War II we honor all veterans of Allied nations.
This week we pay tribute to the man of great dignity – Marcel Albert. He was a French pilot who fought on the Eastern front as part of the Normandie-Niemen fighter regiment. Marcel Albert holds a title of Hero of the Soviet Union. After the war he married an American woman and moved to the U.S.
He passed away 10 years ago, on August 23, 2010. A monument to the flying ace will be soon unveiled on the US soil in the city of Chipley, FL, where he rests in peace.

To tell you more about the heroic deed of the Allies in World War II we are glad to present a short documentary film about the legendary Soviet-French squadron “Normandie-Niemen: Monologue”, directed by Egor Klimovich. The film is shot on the territory of Belarus, Russia and France and bases on the monologues of pilots, the memories of descendants and historians’ opinions.
Today, many years later, the Normandie-Niemen Air Regiment continues to inspire a new generation – not for military exploits, but for preserving the memory of the dramatic past in the name of building a peaceful future.
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Members of the Washington County historical society is celebrating the life of a French veteran who called Chipley home.
After flying French fighter ace in World War II, Marcel Albert retired and moved to Chipley.
“Marcel Albert, who here, was known as Mr. Albert,” said Gweneth Collins the Washington County Museum Secretary.
Many community members still remember Albert after he retired from flying in the Normandy demon group.
“We are glad we can honor him in this way,” said Dorothy Odom the Washington County Historical Society Director. 
Odom and other Chipley residents gathered at Albert’s memorial because Friday marks 10 years since he died. 
“He is being honored by the Russian embassy also because he was known as the war hero in the soviet union because he flew in the Soviet theatre,” said Odom.

Although COVID-19 has changed plans, historical traditions were followed.

“Where on the anniversary of their death, they leave a shot of vodka and dark bread,” said Odom.

The French Embassy honored him with a flower wreath, and so did the Russian Embassy. But they also sent a 300-pound bronze bust of Albert.
“Several are placed in Russia, and one placed in France, but they wanted to send one to where he was buried,” said Odom. 
That bust will soon go on display at the veteran’s memorial wall at the Washington County Historical Society. However, due to the pandemic, there have been no unveiling plans yet for Marcel Albert’s statue.

 
 On August 15, the United States and Poland signed an agreement on enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries. The agreement lays the foundation for the further buildup of the already substantial US presence on Polish territory. The total number of US troops in Poland is expected to increase by another 1,000 troops in addition to the 4,500 troops that are already stationed there. The document envisages the development of US Armed Forces command and staff and combat training centres, plus the creation of conditions for deploying army and transport aviation units, drones, task forces and elements of logistics and other support.
Needless to say, this agreement did not come as a surprise to anyone – it formalised the 2019 agreements between presidents Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda. The anti-Russia message in this document is beyond doubt, and is in fact emphasised by US and Polish officials in every possible way. The agreed-upon measures fully meet the guidelines of the recent NATO summits that have reaffirmed a course of “containing” Russia, creating division lines and escalating tensions in Europe, while refusing to cooperate on the common goals proclaimed in OSCE documents after the end of the Cold War, the goals to create a common space of cooperation and trust.

Once again, we must point out that the buildup of a US military presence in Poland will not resolve any security problem. On the contrary, it complicates an already difficult situation at Russia’s western borders and contributes to the escalation of tensions while increasing the risk of unexpected incidents.
In our opinion, NATO’s assurances that the agreement only provides for an insignificant and rotational contingent of reinforcements are simply attempts to distort reality because the implementation of the agreement will allow the sides to fundamentally increase the offensive potential of US forces in Poland.
These plans change the terms of European security and run counter to the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act that determines the common goal of enhancing stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region. It is now necessary to analyse how the provisions in the agreement comply with the commitment to not resort to “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” in the Founding Act.
 
The US is again demonstrating its willingness, if this is what is required by its interests, to forego not only their commitments under multilateral agreements but also the opinion of the majority of the European states. This completely discredits statements by NATO functionaries that the alliance is interested in enhancing security and reducing tensions in Europe. Russia’s specific proposals on de-escalation along Russia-NATO contact lines remain unanswered.
We urge the NATO states to give up their stake on confrontation with us and return to restraint in the spirit of the Russia-NATO Founding Act. It is also clear it that it is high time to conduct a practical and sincere dialogue on European security and restore our military contacts.
 
Space Dogs’ Anniversary
60 years ago, in 1960, two brave dogs, Belka & Strelka, went to space on board Sputnik 5. They became first living beings (and the cutest!) to safely return from orbit, paving way for human spaceflight! Ever since Belka & Strelka are legends & icons.
 
SpaceDogs not only overcame gravity, they broke Cold War barriers: one of Strelka's 6 pups Pushinka (Fluffy) was given to US President John F. Kennedy as a gesture of good. Pushinka romanced The White House dog Charlie - their descendants live to this day.
 
 
The Exp 63 crew will spend the weekend in the station's Russian segment so mission controllers can carefully monitor the orbiting lab's air pressure.
 
 
RUSSIAN CULTURE
 
 
 
 STUDY IN RUSSIA
 

 

HAVE A NICE WEEK
 

 

This publication by the U.S. National Park Service and Alaska-Siberia Research Center is free for the public. You are welcome to download and share this book with your friends, colleagues and affiliated institutions, and keep this title in your e-library.

The heroism and dedication of the Soviet and American participants of the Alaska–Siberia Airway will not be forgotten. It is our civic duty to express our deep respect to those whose efforts led to the program’s success and, in the process, brought the war to a close. This is our history. Future generations should be brought up with a respectful spirit of patriotism to understand this history of cooperation between our countries. This edition will preserve awareness of that massive effort for all time.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOK 

 
 
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