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 RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #127
 

PRESIDENT

 

Dear women of Russia,
Please accept my heartfelt greetings on International Women’s Day.
This holiday is always full of joy, flowers, gifts, and warm and sincere feelings. We hurry to congratulate our mothers, wives, daughters, girl friends and colleagues, and express our admiration, love, respect and gratitude to them. Our dear ladies, you are the best in the world.
In some mysterious way, you manage to do so many things: to keep home comfort, be highly successful at work and in your studies, and stay adorable, beautiful and feminine. Your ability to feel deep love and empathy and take care of those close to you with joy and patience is truly amazing.
It is very important that these values are passed on from generation to generation, with daughters learning this attitude to life, family and their future children from their mothers.
Of course, special words of appreciation go to women who are committed to motherhood and bring new, unique lives into the world. They raise children and give their love to them every day, which is hard and responsible work – but it is noble and rewarding.
Dear women,
I wish you happiness from the bottom of my heart. I understand that much here depends on us, men – and we will make every effort to be worthy of you and take more responsibility. We will always do so, not just on this holiday.
Once again, my greetings to all women of Russia on this holiday. I wish you good health, love and happiness.
 
 

Vladimir Putin sent birthday greetings to Valentina Tereshkova, pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union and the world’s first woman in space.
The message reads, in part:
“You belong to the glorious cohort of true heroes – courageous and strong achievers whose service to their Motherland is the work and meaning of their lives.
Your professional career and personal contribution to the formation and development of the national space programme are truly unique and deserve the deepest acknowledgment.
Of course, I should also note your years-long responsible efforts in the public and legislative spheres.”
 


RUSSIA
 
 
Due to the warming, Moscow zoo bears have come out of hibernation a month earlier than usual

 
 

Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in Russia on a working visit.
The two leaders discussed the Syrian crisis and possible measures to settle it in the context of the recent aggravation in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
After the talks in resticted format, consultations continued with the participation of the delegations of the two countries, which included foreign and defence ministers.
Beginning of Russian-Turkish talks in resticted format
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr President.
Thank you for coming to Russia. As usual, we have things to discuss. The situation in the Idlib zone in Syria has deteriorated so much that we need to have a direct and personal discussion.
First of all, I would like to express our sincere condolences over the death of your military personnel in Syria. Loss of life is always a big tragedy.
Regrettably, as I have told you by telephone, nobody, including the Syrian military, was aware of your troops’ location. At the same time, there were casualties among Syrian servicemen as well. The Syrian army reported major losses.
Therefore, we need to discuss everything and analyse the current developments so that, first, this does not happen again and, second, that this does not damage Russian-Turkish relations, which I know that you value as well.
As you requested, we are ready to begin our talks one-on-one, and then our colleagues, who are with us in this room, will join us, if necessary.
Once again, welcome to Moscow.

Upon the completion of the Russian-Turkish talks, which lasted about six hours, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan made statements for the press.

 
 
 
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.
Vladimir Putin updated Bashar al-Assad on the agreements reached during the Russian-Turkish summit held on March 5, stressing that their implementation will help stabilise the situation in the Idlib zone.
Bashar al-Assad praised the outcome of the talks between the leaders of Russia and Turkey, and expressed gratitude to the Russian President for his support in the fight against terrorist groups and for efforts aimed at ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
 
 


FOREIGN MINISTRY
 

<…> We noted our very productive cooperation in multilateral formats in the north of Europe and the Arctic, in part, in the context of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council and Finland’s chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), which start next year. As my colleague said, we will pay special attention to environmental measures.

<…> We talked about our dialogue on security and confidence-building efforts with NATO members. We described what proposals we submitted for their consideration over a year ago. These proposals still remain unanswered. In this respect we can only conclude that NATO does not plan to develop specific de-escalation and confidence-building measures with us. Regrettably, this is being confirmed by the actions of the North Atlantic Alliance, primarily the US which is holding the Defender Europe 2020 exercises that are one of the biggest in many decades. We do not see any problems that would require a military solution in the region. Our proposals remain valid. Let’s hope that common sense will still prevail in NATO.
 

Question: Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the permanent members of the UN Security Council gather for a meeting. Has there been progress towards agreeing on the date and venue for this meeting? Is the nuclear disarmament issue likely to be discussed in this format?
Sergey Lavrov: <…> Currently the date of and the venue for a meeting are being coordinated. Hopefully, we will be able to achieve an agreement before long and then we will announce our decision.

 


We attach great importance to the upcoming Review Conference, not only because it is held every five years, but also because the situation is extremely complicated. There are difficulties on all tracks to be reviewed in New York.
We welcome the interest from a number of countries and the president-designate of this conference, Argentinean Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, in focusing on the unifying agenda. There is a whole range of issues, such as the peaceful use of atomic energy viewed from various perspectives, which should enable a constructive discussion.
As for arms control and nuclear disarmament, as well as non-proliferation issues, I expect unavoidable sharp clashes and debates. Under the circumstances, the chances of adopting a substantive final document are probably not very high.
Yet, the Russian delegation, as always, intends to work for a positive result. Let me recall that during the last such conference, we were one step away from approving the final document. The Russian Federation then reaffirmed its readiness to join the consensus, but that did not work out due to well-known circumstances, primarily the WMD-free zone in the Middle East.
This year, the situation is different because of the conference on that zone held in New York in November 2019. We understand the position of the United States and Israel, which is not a party to the NPT; we do not share it, but we believe that the new background, the new situation will at least help us avoid exacerbating the atmosphere at the conference over the absence of any progress on the MENWFZ.
As for nuclear disarmament, let us look at it in retrospect. It was hard to imagine even a couple of decades ago what Russia and the US have achieved in this area by now. It is clear that for a number of NPT parties, this progress is insufficient, but we do have something to show, especially given that the Russian Federation has lately proposed several important initiatives specifically aimed to stabilise the process, to ensure its further development and to prevent a complete collapse of the system of agreements. Unfortunately, this may be a likely outcome of Washington’s current reckless policy of imposing its own approaches and priorities in this sphere.<…>

 
 
<…> On February 14, the Spanish authorities detained Russian national Olesya Krasilova on the Canary Island of Tenerife at the request of the United States. She is employed by a Russian government-funded agency and was in Spain on a business trip.
<…> We have firmly demanded that the American authorities revoke the request for the extradition of Olesya Krasilova to the United Sates.
  


HOCKEY DIPLOMACY
 
 
Russian Heritage Night is coming to the New Jersey Devils on March 10 as Nikita Gusev and the Devils take on Evgeny Malkin and the Penguins
 
March 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which has made an invaluable contribution to ensuring international security and prosperity around the world.

For half a century, the NPT has restrained the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, promoted international cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and ensured gradual progress along the path of nuclear disarmament. The balance of these three components has been crucial to NPT’s viability.
Over this period of time, the NPT has become an almost universal international legal instrument, one of the pillars of the modern international order. An important milestone was its indefinite extension in 1995.
 It is obvious that the NPT benefits the interests of all countries – both nuclear and non-nuclear. The treaty is extremely important for building confidence in the world and upholding stability on a global scale. Maintaining the treaty and enhancing its efficiency is the responsibility of all participating states regarding future generations.
As a state party to the NPT and one of its depositories, the Russian Federation strictly observes all the NPT requirements, consistently reducing its nuclear arsenal as well as the role of nuclear weapons in its national defence policy. It provides support to other states parties in peaceful nuclear development and shares its unique experience with them, and helps strengthen the IAEA safeguards system, which provides reliable verification of countries’ compliance with their NPT commitments.

The NPT Review Conference will set to work in New York on April 27. We are confident that its focal point should be all parties reaffirming their commitments to the NPT goals and their obligations under it. Russia is ready to intensively cooperate with all interested parties to ensure that the Conference is a success.
 
 


On February 29 in Doha, Qatar, the United States signed an agreement with the Taliban on the withdrawal of foreign troops and the establishment of peace in Afghanistan. The Russian side welcomes this event, which marks an important step towards ending the war and to an early launch of intra-Afghan negotiations on the post-conflict stabilisation.
Presidential Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov represented Russia at the signing ceremony.
On the sidelines of the event, Zamir Kabulov held separate meetings with the head of the Taliban political office in Doha, Abdul Ghani Baradar, and Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, as part of the effort to promote Afghan national reconciliation.
 

On March 2, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov had a telephone conversation with Deputy Secretary of State and US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun at the initiative of the US side.The parties discussed the current developments around the Korean Peninsula and the prospects of a comprehensive settlement of sub-regional problems.


DEFENSE MINISTRY
 
 

About 10 thousand military personnel of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member States will take part in a joint anti - terrorist exercise, which will be held for the first time at the Yurginsky training ground in the Kemerovo region in August this year.
The consultations were attended by representatives of 8 countries - Russia, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The negotiations were led by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Central Military District, Major General Rustam Minnekayev.
The anti-terrorist exercise "Peace mission-2020" will be held in August on the territory of the Central Military District at the Yurginsky training ground in the Kemerovo region. During the exercise, the military personnel will have to work out the tasks of preparing and conducting an anti-terrorist operation by the joint group of troops (forces) of the SCO member States.

  


EMBASSY
 
 

On March 5, the representatives of the Russian Embassy and students of the Embassy school honored memory of Russian sailors buried in Portsmouth, VA. The ceremony was also attended by Colonel Andrey Leonidovich Taranov (ret.), USRJC Executive Secretary, Russian Side and Rich Lyda, USRJC Executive Secretary, U.S.Side, as well as John Rowe, Mayorof Portsmouth, Vice-Mayor Elizabeth Psimas, U.S. Navy Commander Terra Gray.
Remarks of the Naval Attaché of the Embassy Captain RFN Sergey Sadchikov:
In the history of the U.S. – Russia relations, Russian Navy has a very special place. In the 19th century, the American Expeditions of Russian Naval squadrons were not only demonstrations of military power and political alliances – but symbols of friendship and support.
And not only symbols.
On October 23, 1863, a few days after the squadron of Rear-Admiral Popov arrived in San-Francisco, a great fire struck the city. Popov dispatched 200 men from Corvette “Bogatyr” to fight it. Russian seamen took the places of the exhausted local firemen and finally conquered the fire. The City of San Francisco issued a proclamation which officially recognized Russian sailors and officers “for the timely and efficient services so nobly rendered by them”.

Unfortunately, not all Russian sailors returned home from transatlantic cruises. Some of them – just like
  • Gavriil Vyakhirev, seaman 2nd class, born in Nizhny Novgorod province, died of typhoid on January 31st, 1877, buried on February 2nd;
  • Arseniy Bragin, seaman 2nd class, buried on January 5th ;
  • Zakhar Lebedev, seaman 1st class, buried on February 19th;
  • Andrey Fedorovich Sosyrev, seaman 2nd class, died on January 6th – forever stayed in the US soil.
On behalf of myself and my colleague, I would like to thank those who found the names of these sailors and who takes care of their graves.
 
 

On March 4, the Embassy was visited by students of MGIMO-University, Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University - participants of the UN model. Young diplomats told our guests about the history of the diplomatic mission and the current state of Russian-American relations, and answered questions. We wished the guys good luck and success in their studies!

 






CULTURAL DIPLOMACY
 
 

On Wednesday, under the auspices of Washington Performing Arts, the Russian pianist turned the Kennedy Center Concert Hall into a house of devotion, with a service of meditation and praise, worshiping at the altar of Johann Sebastian Bach.
 


BERING STRAIT
 
 


On March 5, another cinema screening for the Washington audience and students from greater metropolitan area was held at the Embassy cinema club.The film “Ballad of a Soldier” was presented to the public by the Director of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History Professor Eric Lor and the Director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Professor Stefan Norris.Grigori Chukhrai's "Ballad of a Soldier" received the special jury prize at the Festival de Cannes (1960), many awards around the world (Edinburgh, London, San Francisco SFFILM and in Italy), and an Oscar nomination for best screenplayBefore the event, viewers were presented with the photo exhibition of the Russian Historical Society "Path to Victory: Historical Sources Testify".The story of the movie follows the life of an ordinary Red Army soldier Aleksey Skvortsov - one of millions of young people, who only began their path to adulthood when the enemy invaded theor Motherland. “Ballad of a Soldier” brilliantly captures the foregone era and the people who lived in it. The movie was created by those who witnessed the great and tragic events of the generation who fought and won the Great Patriotic War.





HISTORY

Read about the Soviet women who defeated Nazism: Fliers, Surgeon, Ship’s Captain, Electric Welder, Harvester Operator, Railroads Director, Architect in the Soviet Embassy’s Information Bulletin issued on March 8, 1945.




On 6 March, 1913 legendary Soviet ace and combat air tactics innovator, 3x times Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Pokryshkin was born in Novosibirsk.
His outstanding record includes 59 solo + 6 group confirmed aerial victories, making him the 2nd most successful Allied pilot in WWII. Pokryshkin was quite fond of the US P-39 Airacobra.
 


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