RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #153
Remembering is Knowing open lesson
We must all realise and feel what is happening today. It may seem sometimes that it is no longer important because it happened so long ago, 75 years ago; that it has nothing to do with our life today and is not something interesting any more. I assure you that this is absolutely not true. Why? Because after World War II, the world order and the rules that we live by today were created. And there are some who believe that after the end of the Cold War (the heated World War II, a very violent war, was, unfortunately, followed by a cold war, a confrontation between different countries) they turned out to be winners; who believe that they are exceptional and the world order that was built after WWII needs to be changed. Creating conditions for such changes implies tweaking and rewriting actual historical events.
75th anniversary of end of World War II and victory in Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression
Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to President of China Xi Jinping on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
Moscow’s 873rd Anniversary
The message reads, in part:
“World War II, which was the largest tragedy in human history, claimed tens of millions of lives. The Soviet Union and China bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazism and militarism and sustained the biggest losses in the fight to defeat the aggressors.”
The President of Russia also noted that the ties of friendship and mutual assistance, which grew stronger between the two nations during the war, are now promoting the dynamic development of Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.
Vladimir Putin pointed out that it is the common duty of the two countries to preserve the truth about that period, resolutely resisting any falsification of history and glorification of the Nazis, militarists and their accomplices.
The heroism of the liberators must never be forgotten and any revision of the outcome of World War II must not be allowed.
The President of Russia expressed readiness to continue to work together with the friendly Chinese nation to prevent wars and conflicts around the world and to ensure global stability and security.
President Putin: The centuries-long history of our country and Russian statehood is inextricably linked with the city of Moscow. We, Russian citizens, feel this unity strongly, and value and love our dear capital.
Congratulations on Moscow City Day, day of the capital of our Motherland, day of the capital of our beloved Russia!
Telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe
Moscow is a major global metropolis that stuns with its magnificent yet warm beauty. It is an attractive, modern and dynamic city that boasts the energy of new ideas as well as engaging breakthrough solutions which translate into specific actions and achievements and – I would like to emphasize this – transform Moscow with every year.
Now, following the challenges of the epidemic, Moscow is confidently regaining its dynamic pace of life and development, which is so typical of the city but uncommon for many other regions. All local businesses have resumed operation. I would like to note that the construction of Moscow Metro did not stop for a single day. Work is underway to build residential blocks and roads. The housing relocation programme, which I know some people were sceptical about, has been advancing. I am confident that with the efforts underway, most people involved in this programme will be happy with its results, with residents moving into newly-built modern flats.
Small and medium-size businesses are steadily returning to their pre-crisis levels. There are still issues and problems there, as well as in the service sector, but everything is gradually returning to normal.
School and university students have begun attending classes.
With their diligence, knowledge, talents, and I would even say assertiveness, Muscovites have once again proven that they are capable of tackling the most challenging tasks. This has become particularly evident amid the epidemic. We remember very well that our capital was the country’s first city to be hit by this dangerous disease that was totally unknown at the time. Here, together with federal authorities, necessary efforts were promptly made to prevent the spread of COVID-19, treat patients, ensure the city’s life and, most importantly, its residents’ safety.
It is obvious that some small faults could not have been avoided while making these tremendous efforts – yet, as I was closely following the city authorities’ work and took part in it, I can confidently say that all services were working competently, promptly, consistently and efficiently in general, which was not easy in such a huge metropolis with its millions of residents. We saw capitals of other countries face difficulties as well. But Moscow made it. Of course, people took all these restrictions differently, and we could see it very well. But overall, Muscovites have shown a great level of awareness, unity and discipline, and this experience has been essential and crucially relevant across the country.
Our capital, caught in the epicentre of the epidemic, has made it through this difficult and responsible period, and has done a lot to support other Russian regions, with Moscow Mayor heading the State Council’s working group and having done a large amount of work there.
I would like to particularly note that Moscow doctors held numerous online training seminars and travelled to regions on many occasions. The capital provided medical equipment and medications.
As it has always been, Moscow was with Russia, and Russia was with Moscow.
Greetings to President of Uzbekistan on Independence Day
Greetings to President of Kyrgyzstan on Independence Day
Greetings to International Remembrance Campaign for people who liberated world from Nazism
130th Anniversary of the Treaty of Portsmouth
Russians & newspaper men - Sergei Witte, Baron Rosen with their suite and newspaper men / Perry E. Conner, Portsmouth, N.H. (Library of Congress)
The Treaty of Portsmouth which formally ended the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War was signed on September 5, 1905 after talks hosted by the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt invited both countries to a Peace conference at the neutral site of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
That was the first international treaty to be signed in the United States.
The Russian delegation was led by former Finance Minister Sergei Witte, who was assisted by the former Ambassador to Japan Roman Rosen and the international law and arbitration specialist Friedrich Martens.
Witte was convinced that the Japanese could not afford to restart the war and so applied pressure via the American media and his American hosts to convince the Japanese that monetary compensation was not open for compromise by Russia. Outmaneuvered by Witte, Komura yielded, and in exchange for the southern half of Sakhalin, the Japanese dropped their claims for reparations.
Russian envoys Serge Witte and Baron de Rosen in an automobile (Library of Congress)
The Treaty also exemplifies the ability of local citizens to mediate informally international disputes. In August 1905 the people of Portsmouth fostered goodwill between Russian and Japanese Delegates during the critical peace negotiations.
The loss in the war against Japan was a bitter heritage for the Soviet Union of its predecessor — the Russian Empire. The country had to deal with a permanent Japanese threat on its borders. The problem was only solved in 1945, when the Red Army crushed the Kwantung Army in Manchuria. The Treaty of Portsmouth was terminated on 2 September 1945, almost 40 years after it was signed, when the capitulation of the Japanese Empire was announced.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and academic staff on the occasion of the beginning of a new academic year, Moscow, September 1, 2020
<…> We criticise the actions of our Western partners and a number of other countries on the problems that we would like to resolve in accordance with international law and the search for a balance of interests rather than unilateral pressure. Nevertheless, we do not limit ourselves to criticism. We suggest a positive agenda. As I have said, this consists of a return to the foundations of the UN: to respect the principles of the UN Charter; remember that it was born 75 years ago in the aftermath of World War II owing to Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the Victory that was achieved by the efforts of the countries with different socio-political and ideological systems. The allies in the war pooled their efforts for the sake of victory over a common enemy. They rose above the differences that divided them in the years before WWII. This has been expressed many times.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during BRICS Foreign Ministers Council online meeting, Moscow, September 4, 2020
I think that today the world situation is not as bloody as it was in WWII but there are many more risks and they are no less serious. I mentioned terrorism, and drug crime that kills an enormous number of people every year. Let’s not forget about the risks of WMD proliferation. Now the United States has practically destroyed the entire system of deterrence in arms control. It is adopting doctrines that actually lower the nuclear threshold. On top of all that, terrorist and other groups crave access to nuclear technology and methods of creating and using other WMDs (chemical and biological weapons). I believe it would be a crime for all of us to isolate ourselves in our “national apartments,” slam ours doors and refuse to deal with a country until it complies with our ultimatums. But we are seeing all of that.
Look what problems now exist in relations not only between Russia and the US but also between the US and China.
Our position is one of searching for compromise and a balance of interest. The organizations in which Russia takes part – the CIS, the CSTO, the EAEU, BRICS and the SCO – are designed to find compromise.
<…> BRICS has established itself as an influential factor in international politics and economy. Our strategic partnership is based on commitment to dialogue, multilateralism, sovereign equality of states and the UN Charter principles.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following an online meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Council
This year, as we celebrate the creation of the UN and the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II, which we celebrated earlier, our common collective voice in support of the democratic multipolar international order is needed more than ever. This order is based on mutual respect for the legitimate interests of all states, non-interference in their domestic affairs, and respect for the norms and principles of international law.
The role of the states, that are part of our association, in global trade and global economic growth is steadily increasing. In 2020, the total GDP of the five countries amounted to 25 percent of the global GDP ($21 trillion), and the share in international trade stood at almost 20 percent ($6.7 trillion). Particularly important is the fact that mutual exports of our five countries has grown by 45 percent over the past five years.
This trend will continue into the future regardless of the global coronavirus crisis, which is corroborated by the ongoing development of the strategic BRICS partnership during Russia’s current chairmanship. The organisation has reaffirmed its ability to respond flexibly to the changing international situation. Through joint efforts, we have preserved the continuity and stability of all areas of our cooperation. Over 150 joint events will take place throughout the year, albeit many of them online.
The New Development Bank (NDB) is working at its fullest. Approximately 60 projects in our countries totaling about US $20 billion have been approved. The NDB has responded to the pandemic in a timely and effective manner and announced the creation of a special lending mechanism to deal with the aftereffects of the coronavirus infection. In total, $4 billion have already been allocated for projects to assist in the recovery of the BRICS economies, with the entire aid package potentially reaching $10 billion.
Notably, the first Russian COVID-19 vaccine “Sputnik V” was recently registered. Russian researchers have developed medicines against the coronavirus infection. We are ready to share our experience with other countries, including our BRICS friends.
Relying on our partners’ support, we plan to approach the end of Russia’s BRICS chairmanship with a strong set of new agreements, including the already agreed upon BRICS Anti-Terrorism Strategy and the updated Strategy for Economic Partnership to 2025. A number of initiatives advanced by our chairmanship to strengthen sector-specific cooperation between BRICS members are at the final stages of development. The people-to-people and cultural ties, as well as contacts between experts and civil society representatives are expanding.
Importantly, BRICS and all of our countries are invariably open to interaction with constructively-minded partners. Our association has become a centre of attraction for many participants in international relations, primarily from among the developing economies and emerging markets.
I’m convinced that BRICS can and should take an active part in shaping the global architecture in the post-coronavirus world.
Question: Yesterday, it became known that the Democrats in the United States demanded immediate imposition of sanctions on Russia in connection with the upcoming US presidential election in November. They are referring to intelligence that says that Russia can allegedly intervene. What can you tell us about this?
Sergey Lavrov: We have been hearing accusations that Russia is interfering in US presidential elections for many years now. It has now become a kind of a game of who is interfering more: Russia, China or Iran? A US national intelligence official recently said that China is interfering more than Russia or Iran. So, grown-up people have been playing these games for a long time now, and this does not surprise us. Sometimes, though, we can’t help but be surprised. I’m referring to recent accusations against Russia to the effect that we are trying to abuse or use in the interest of a particular candidate the planned voting by mail in the United States. I was surprised by this accusation, because until then I thought that voting by mail was part of the differences between President Trump, who outright refuses to allow this type of vote to be held, and the Democrats, who want to use voting by mail as much as possible.
Truth be told, we are used to these attacks. In this case, as in the case of poisonings and other situations in different countries, we will respond to specific facts, if they are presented to us. We keep telling our partners – Americans and Europeans alike – if you have any concern about anything, especially cybersecurity, which has become a particularly common subject for accusations and reproaches against us, let’s sit down and review your facts. We are ready to do so. Unfortunately, our partners in the United States and the EU shun direct conversations based on professional analysis of available facts. We are ready for this, and we encourage our colleagues to do so. They should stop living in the past reminiscing about the colonial era and considering themselves smarter and mightier than others and start working on the basis of what they signed in 1945, namely, the UN Charter principles, including equality, balance of interests and joint and honest work. We are ready for this.
STUDY IN RUSSIA
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Moscow, September 2, 2020
Nowadays students are not allowed to enter Russia to continue their studies, but we hope that this restriction will be lifted in the near future
A list of measures aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus has now been prepared. Please read the information carefully and be prepared to comply with the relevant requirements
By the decision of the state bodies of the Russian Federation, from August 1, 2020 until a separate order, additional rules and measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 are being introduced for all foreign citizens arriving in Russia from abroad.
We have discussed the complicated domestic political developments in Belarus and the situation around them. We cannot help but feel worried in this connection because Minsk is our strategic ally. We are building a common Union State and cooperating fruitfully in the most diverse areas, including participation in multilateral associations in the post-Soviet space, such as the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
We have reaffirmed assessments of the current developments, voiced by the presidents of Russia and Belarus. It appears that the Republic of Belarus faces the threat of serious destabilization for the first time amid the most energetic outside interference. We condemn pressure on the part of some foreign states which, at the same time, openly support the opposition that is discontent with the results of the presidential elections. Dubious mediation concepts are being imposed on the country, its people and leaders, including via the OSCE which itself is undergoing through a profound crisis and has to be overhauled, and which has proved unable to fulfil its obligations and ensure international monitoring of presidential elections in the Republic of Belarus.
Steven Seagal visits Crimea
Add to this tensions on the part of the European Union and NATO making quite unconstructive statements. We can see that NATO remains active, including near Belarusian borders, which are also the external borders of the Union State.
The world's first registered Russian vaccine against the new coronavirus infection was presented to the Defence Ministers of the CIS, CSTO and SCO countries
Specialists of the Russian Ministry of Defense presented the world's first registered Russian vaccine against the new coronavirus infection CoViD-19 to the heads of military departments of the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as the Republic of Serbia, who arrived on September 4 at the Patriot Park near Moscow to participate in a joint meeting.
Russia Not Interested in Arms Race, Defence Minister Says
Russian military medics presented to foreign guests detailed information about the complex of joint activities implemented by research institutions of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after Honorary Academician Gamaleya N.F. as part of the development and testing of a vaccine, as well as the procedure for conducting vaccinations.
The presentation of the CoViD-19 vaccine caused an active discussion of the heads of foreign military departments, many of whom expressed interest in obtaining it.
Answering questions from his colleagues from foreign countries, Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu said that he had recently been vaccinated with a domestic vaccine against a new coronavirus infection.
Sergei Shoigu also added that "as the domestic vaccine arrives at the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, first of all, it will be possible to vaccinate on a voluntary basis those categories of servicemen who directly and actively interact with the personnel: military medics and commanders of all levels."
“In the future, other categories of servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces will be able to receive vaccinations against the new coronavirus infection on a voluntary basis,” the Minister of Defense emphasized.
According to the Russian military, NATO has increased its aerial surveillance efforts near the Russian border by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
"We understand what this activity is about, where it is stemming from", the minister stressed.
He added that everyone has already come to terms with the fact that there is one "master" in a unipolar world, and when another "pole" appears, the "master" doesn't like it very much.
"Russia has no other choice - it has to be strong, and now everything is being done so that nothing threatens the country", he concluded.
Russia is not interested in an arms race, but is forced to combat capabilities in response to unfriendly actions by NATO, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday.
"All measures taken are aimed exclusively at strengthening the defense, are limited in scale and correspond to modern military dangers", Shoigu told reporters.
The military leadership of Russia has repeatedly proposed to agree on joint measures in order to prevent further complications in relations", Shoigu said.
According to the minister, these measures include transferring military drills to the inland exercise areas from the contact line between Russia and NATO, agreeing on the minimum permissible distance of approach of ships and aircraft, reducing the number of exercises and other activities of the Russian armed forces and the joint armed forces of NATO during the pandemic.
"These initiatives are still relevant. However, Brussels perceives them negatively. NATO is not yet ready to work together constructively to enhance regional stability", Shoigu added.
Russian Embassy Proposes Constructive Dialogue on Arms Control to Pentagon
The Russian Embassy in the United States proposes a constructive face-to-face dialogue on the strategic stability and arms control to the Pentagon, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Sputnik.
Honor World War II with a Better, Shared Future - article by Russia's Ambassador Anatoly Antonov and China's Ambassador Cui Tiankai specially for Defense One
Several days ago, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Robert Soofer said that Russia was initiating an arms race in the sphere of non-strategic weapons. Antonov believes that these accusations are aimed at lowering the barrier of using nuclear weapons by the United States.
“We would be ready to accept Mr Soofer to have a discussion in the Embassy or meet him at any other US platform comfortable for him. This would be a good demonstration of our responsible approach to maintaining the strategic stability and arms control", Antonov said.
He stressed that the deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads by the United States – not Russian moves – were destabilizing the global system of nuclear deterrence. He cited the deployment of W76-2 low-yield nuclear warheads to Trident II submarines as an example.
The Ambassador said that the Pentagon should read the Russian document on nuclear deterrence published on 2 June.
"The document reaffirms the exclusively defensive nature of our nuclear policy as well as contains clear conditions for the possible shift to using nuclear weapons", Ambassador said.
According to the Ambassador, the constructive dialogue between Russia and the United States was launched in June-August with meetings between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea.
We believe that the best way to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the peace is to join hands.
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov's congratulatory message on V-J Day
On September 3, Russia commemorates the end of World War II, and the Chinese people celebrate the great victory in what is known as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. On that day in 1945, the sun of peace once again shone on the earth. On this year’s 75th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in World War II, we are remembering the historic contribution of the earlier generations of our two countries, and we want to congratulate the United States, our ally at the time, and thank its “Greatest Generation” for their sacrifice.
Photo: Soviet and US comrades-in-arms celebrate in Cold Bay, Alaska, Sept. 2, 1945
These days we celebrate together the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. We honor the memory of all those who contributed to our common Victory.
As early as 1930s, the Soviet Union provided military assistance to the Chinese and Mongolian peoples in their struggle for freedom and independence. The victories in the Battles of Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol prevented our country from fighting the Axis powers on two fronts.
Having officially entered the war in Far East in August 1945, the USSR played a key role in defeating the aggressor in the continental East Asia. It brought freedom to millions in China and Korea and freed more than thousand Allied soldiers held captive by the Japanese. Soviet Lieutenant General Kuzma Nikolayevich Derevyanko took part in the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on September 2, 1945.
75 years ago, despite the ideological differences, dozens of countries joined their efforts to defend peace on our planet for future generations. The traditions of brotherhood-in-arms forged in the bloodiest conflict in human history is highly demanded in countering modern global challenges and threats.
Happy Victory Day!
Frank Cohn, an American World War II veteran and a participant of a historical meeting at the Elbe river, won a Russian award for "great personal contribution" to military cooperation between the two countries.
Russian diplomats on Monday presented the 95-year-old retired colonel a Ministry of Defense medal "For Strengthening Comradeship-in-Arms."
"By order of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation the award goes to our true friend, honorable veteran, colonel of the American Armed Forces! Thank you for your great deeds," the delegation, headed by Defense Attache Colonel Evgeny Bobkin, said.
Cohn fled Germany with his Jewish family in 1938, joined the US army in 1943, a year later landed in France, advanced into Germany and took part in the April 25, 1945 meeting of American and Soviet troops at the Elbe river, an event recognized as the symbolic pinnacle of both nations' alliance to defeat Nazis and liberate Europe.
He was entrusted with carrying a secret map of occupation zones to be handed over to the Soviets and fondly recalls a warm welcome Americans received from their allies.
"When we arrived you wouldn't believe the reception we got. They hugged us, they kissed us, they gave us vodka," Cohn tells reporters. "I was completely useless except for the map. We tried to discuss: 'Me - Moscow, me - New York. Visit Moscow! You come visit New York!'"
He became the first American soldier to participate in the Spirit of Elbe memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery, held by the Russian Embassy since 1995. He wrote a letter to then Senator John Warner who helped form the US delegation for the event. Cohn was frequently invited to celebrate Victory Day in Moscow and in 2015 he attended the Red Square parade (VIDEO).
US Army in Crimea?! Just re-enactors of the Cold War at the Crimean Historical and Military Festival
Have A Nice Week
With Sochi Autodrom
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.
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