RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #135
Conversation with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin
<…> We have concentrated and mobilised all our industrial resources. Let me give you several numbers. They are growing and being constantly updated. For example, at the beginning of this year we produced 60–70 ventilators per month, while in April this figure is over 800. There will be 2,500 in May. Protective mask production grew more than 10 times: from 800,000 per day early this year to 8.5 million in April.
Russia has launched from scratch the production of an entire range of medicines necessary to treat the coronavirus infection.
Over March and April, our industry has increased the production of test kits nine times. While the number of tests carried out in Russia at the beginning of March was 2,500 per day, now we conduct approximately 150,000 per day. That is a sixty-fold increase. The coverage will constantly expand.
A total of 3,000 protective suits per day were made in January. By the end of April we will produce 100,000 suits. By mid-May – over 150,000 suits. Yes, this is a lot compared to what was available before, but it’s still not enough compared to what is needed now.
<…> friends, I am asking you to be responsible and take every precaution, and do not go to your friends or neighbours, do not gather in large groups, and avoid unnecessary travel.
We all must not allow any missteps in the fight against coronavirus. The upcoming May holidays will be decisive. We are extending the non-working period and restrictive measures in the regions through May 11 precisely to avoid such missteps.
Observing all safety requirements and the self-isolation order, we will still celebrate our sacred holiday, Victory Day. The entire country will do this together, no matter what. This day and its spirit will forever be in our hearts.
On May 9, aircraft, modern warplanes and helicopters will take to the Russian skies to fly in formation in honour of our heroes. The traditional fireworks will go ahead in city centres at night.
We will commemorate the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War who are no longer with us. And, of course, we will congratulate our veterans. Even if we cannot hug them, we will find an opportunity to share some warm words. Together with our children and grandchildren, we will look through old family photo albums and tell them what we heard about the war from our parents and grandparents. We will sing songs – Victory Day, Katyusha, Zemlyanka – songs we love and know by heart.
Everything we have planned to mark the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory will definitely take place. We will hold the main parade on Red Square and the march of the Immortal Regiment.
We will celebrate this major anniversary once we are sure it is completely safe, above all for our veterans.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin: Mr President, I have just found out that I tested positive for the coronavirus. As such, according to the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor, I must self-isolate and follow doctors’ orders. I must do this to protect my colleagues.
Meeting with participants in nationwide campaign We Are Together
The Government will continue to operate as normal. I plan to keep up regularly with my colleagues by telephone, and by videoconference with you, Mr President, on all major issues. I suggest appointing Andrei Belousov as Acting Prime Minister.
Every year in late August - early September the International Military Music Festival "Spasskaya Tower" is held in Moscow on Red Square.
It is my privilege to warmly welcome the organisers and participants of the conference.
Efforts to immortalise the feat of those who saved the world from the horrors of Nazism are acquiring special importance in the year of the 75th anniversary of Victory. This goal is pursued by the Immortal Letters of Victory, the initiative of Merited Artist of Russia Alsou Abramova, which is sponsored by the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO. We appreciate that our compatriots and representatives of many foreign countries are actively involved in carrying it out. Today, such noble efforts, which allow us to recall the shared chapters of our past and help us strengthen the bonds of time and generations, deserve deep respect and support.
I would like to make special mention of the involvement of the UNESCО associated schools in this initiative. I am convinced that the merger of intellectual and creative potential will serve the cause of preserving memory and upholding historical truth.
I wish you productive discussions, new successes and all the best. I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my sincere best wishes for the upcoming holiday, the Day of the Great Victory.
STOP COVID 19
03.05.2020 Russian NBCP specialists carried out disinfection of one of the largest cancer centers in the Balkans - the "Institute of oncology and radiology" in Belgrade Due to the great significance of this medical facility, Russian military chemists are processing it for the second time.
03.05.2020 Russian Defence Ministry soldiers and Italian soldiers disinfected three medical institutions in the eastern part of the capital of the province of Brescia During the holidays of May, the work on disinfection measures, work of medical and nursing teams and specialists of the mobile laboratory complex will continue in full.
02.05.2020 Soldiers of the Russian Defence Ministry and Italian soldiers have disinfected three medical institutions in the historical part of the capital of the province of Brescia. During the holidays of May, the work on disinfection measures, work of medical and nursing teams and specialists of the mobile laboratory complex will continue in full.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS news agency, Moscow, April 29, 2020
Sergey Lavrov: … none of the foreign guests has yet said they will not come to Moscow for the parade when the new date is set. All foreign guests, including the heads of state and governments, as well as a large group of WWII foreign veterans, have shown understanding for President Putin’s decision, announced in mid-April, on the need to reschedule the parade, which will be held in full, as he emphasised, this year. We are proceeding from the premise that the guests who confirmed their participation for May 9 will, of course, consider the possibility of coming to Moscow on a new date.
Of course, one cannot ignore the international celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II, the Great Patriotic War. As you may be aware, the UN adopts a corresponding resolution every five years. Five years ago, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory, the General Assembly adopted a resolution by consensus, which emphasised the enduring nature of this feat, and pointed out that the UN was created thanks to Victory. Its Charter says that saving future generations from the disasters of war is its main goal.
Just a few days ago, President Putin and President Trump marked another milestone in the march of the victors - a meeting on the Elbe River. I believe this was a very important and emotionally charged message telling us that we must put security interests and the interests of saving lives, rather than some geopolitical considerations, above all.
In addition to the functions and statements I mentioned, a draft resolution by the UN General Assembly is being prepared, this time on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II. The CIS states, China and a number of other UN member countries co-authored it. We hoped to be able to time the adoption of this resolution to Victory Day. Like five years ago during the 70th anniversary, the plan was to have a special discussion at the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly. Like other UN agencies, the General Assembly is now working remotely and isn’t holding large meetings, or small ones, for that matter.
During the April 28 broadcast on national television of a session of the commission on COVID-19 prevention and control, President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro appealed to all political forces in the country, including associates of Juan Guaido, to sign a “major humanitarian agreement for the sake of health and peace” and “take measures to help the people of Venezuela counter the coronavirus pandemic.”
We wholeheartedly subscribe to this approach. It reflects the vision of a responsible politician, a true national leader, who puts the health and life of his compatriots, rather than egotistic considerations, above all else, in contrast to some other politicians who are trying to reap some dubious foreign policy dividends from the current difficult situation in Venezuela, aggravated as it is by anti-human illegal sanctions and the pandemic.
We are urging all patriotic political forces of Venezuela to respond positively to this appeal. We are pleased to note that a number of political parties, including those critical of the Government, have expressed openness to constructive cooperation.
We are urging states and international agencies that are trying to influence the discussion of the domestic situation that the Venezuelans are having, to support this initiative for a major humanitarian agreement. Such a public step would make clear that Venezuela’s foreign partners will be taking a responsible approach and that their true motivation is concern for all of the country’s citizens.
Russia will continue doing all it can to afford Venezuelans the opportunity to resolve their problems independently, through peaceful negotiations and inclusive nationwide dialogue, and without dictates, ultimatums or destructive foreign interference.
Russia delivers its humanitarian aid to Djibouti
On April 29, an official ceremony of transferring Russian humanitarian aid to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Djibouti was held in the capital of that country as part of a joint project with the World Health Organisation, and financed by the Russian Government, to enhance Djibouti’s potential in the field of medical emergency readiness and response.
This humanitarian action comes in response to an official request from the Djiboutian authorities in view of the serious deterioration in the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country caused by heavy floods and the spread of the novel COVID-19 infection. A consignment of humanitarian aid weighing a total of 13.5 tonnes and consisting of more than 20 multi-purpose medical modules to fight dangerous infectious diseases was delivered to Djibouti’s sea port. The shipment included tents and components to build two medical units for rendering skilled assistance to over 200,000 people.
The ceremony was attended by Russian Ambassador to Djibouti Mikhail Golovanov, WHO representative Dr Ahmed Zouiten and Djiboutian Minister of Health Mohamed Warsama Dirieh.
The Djiboutian leadership expressed its sincere appreciation to the Russian side for the assistance amid such a complicated epidemiological situation.
The importance of our consular presence on the U.S. West Coast cannot be overestimated. The Russian Consulate General in Seattle was responsible for maintaining direct economic and cultural ties between our states, helped to build interregional cooperation, especially with the regions of the Russian Far East.
After our diplomatic mission in San Francisco was closed in August 2017 under the far-fetched pretexts, Seattle took over all the consular services provided for the large diaspora of our compatriots. Russians living in Washington, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, etc. In March 2018, the American authorities stopped its operation as well.
Now all these people are forced to make long flights to get consular assistance at our offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Houston. <…>
We condemn the gunfire against the Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC
(article specially for Foreign Affairs by Anatoly Antonov and Rose Gotemoeller)
Ten years ago, the United States and Russia signed the New START treaty – a nuclear arms control agreement that we, as the heads of our governments’ respective delegations, helped negotiate. Since then, New START has played a central role in keeping the peace and preventing a dangerous arms race between the two countries that together possess 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.Now, however, New START is in trouble: without action to extend it, the treaty will expire in February 2021. Its demise would have worrying implications for the security of the United States, of Russia, and of the world. It could bring a return to nuclear competition and spark mutual suspicion that would push the world to a level of nuclear risk unseen for decades.The novel coronavirus pandemic should serve as a powerful reminder of the fragility of the international system. This is exactly the wrong moment to undermine or weaken other key components of that system, especially in the nuclear realm. Extending New START would demonstrate that the world’s powers are capable of working together to reduce shared threats. Letting it go would be a chilling sign of just how dangerous the world has become <…>
The Russian side has always advocated for the preservation of the Arctic as a region of peace and cooperation, supported the efforts of the Arctic states to develop interaction with each other in various areas within the Arctic Council and other regional platforms. The military component of the Russian presence in high latitudes was formed exclusively for defensive purposes.
Russia is ready to discuss with its neighbors any aspects of ensuring stability in the Arctic. The Russian side has repeatedly noted that the previous practice of regular meetings of the Chiefs of General Staffs of the armed forces of the Arctic states was an effective security and confidence building measure in the Arctic. Such meetings allowed to avoid misinterpretation of each other's military activity and contributed to the predictable development of the situation in the Arctic. However, judging by the statements of Ambassador C.Sands, now the United States instead of dialogue and cooperation relies exclusively on the policy of confrontation in the region, hoping thereby to achieve dominance in this part of the world.
Perhaps the logic of such American behavior is explained by the fact that the United States is not a party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and, unlike other coastal states, cannot fully use the mechanisms of this international treaty to ensure its interests in the Arctic, inter alia regarding the extension of the national continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
The United States also refused to become a party to the Paris Climate Agreement, which significantly limits the possibilities for their constructive contribution to the sustainable development of the Arctic.
The United States cannot present any success in the development of the region’s economic potential and Arctic shipping. As the result there is a sick attitude to large-scale investment projects of other states, as well as the advancement of various conspiracy theories and conjectures regarding economic activities in the Arctic of other states.
The Arctic is a unique region of the planet. Its successful development and the welfare of its inhabitants depend not only on the actions of each particular country, but also on the productive interaction of all states that have access to the Arctic Ocean.
The attempt by the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark to establish new guidelines for the development of relations in the Arctic contradicts the letter and spirit of the Ilulissat declaration of 2008, the adherence to which was confirmed by the Arctic states in 2018 during the celebration of its
10th anniversary in Greenland.
Allocation of financial assistance is the sovereign right of any member of the world community. However, accompanying such a step with statements directed against one of the neighbors seems inappropriate. Such rhetoric does not benefit the task of maintaining low tension in the region as well as securing good neighborly relations in the Arctic.
75 years ago, following a full-scale assault on the capital of the Third Reich, despite desperate resistance of the Nazis, the RedArmy completed the defeat of Wehrmacht.
- On April 30, 1945, the Soviet flag was raised over the Reichstag.
- On May 1, 1945, the Soviet Banner of Victory was raised over the Reichstag in Berlin by the Red Army's soldiers Mikhail Yegorov and Meliton Kantaria. It symbolizes the Victory of the Soviet people against the Nazi Germany.
- On May 2, 1945, the Battle of Berlin ended with Berlin city garrison unconditionally surrendering to the Red Army.
It was the final large-scale military operation to take place in Europe during WWII.
A Gift To Veteran
On April 30, Russian MFA representatives gave a portrait of Galina Brok-Beltsova to the Aviatress Union of Women Pilots of which the veteran is a member. The painting by American artist Stan Stokes is a gift from the Palm Springs Air Museum.
May 1 is widely celebrated in many countries around the globe including Russia, where since 1992 it is known as The Day of Spring and Labour. This day is an official public holiday in 86 countries.
From Chicago to Russia
On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane had been shot down deep into the Soviet territory
Learn more about the diplomatic implications of the incident that happened 60 years ago:
Russia and OAS
At first, the United States government denied the plane's purpose and mission, but was forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft when the Soviet government presented its remains and surviving pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who confessed he’d made the flight in compliance with the order of the American commandment.
The Soviet administration took a firm stance in the matter. Outraged Khrushchev demanded an immediate apology from the American side and a promise to discontinue surveillance flights over Soviet territory. President Eisenhower admitted he was aware of these practices, and did promise to put a stop to them, yet never took responsibility for the incident and did not offer any apologies.
Yandex.Rover Delivery Robot Kicks off operations at Russia’s Tech Hub, Skolkovo
Skolkovo, a major tech town in Russia and one of the first locations where we started testing our self-driving cars, offers an ideal environment to transition Rover from its testing phase to commercial use. The local community embraces technology and together, we can start to re-imagine how delivery robots can integrate into daily life. With the layout of participating offices in Skolkovo, Rover will autonomously navigate several kilometers of public sidewalks as it completes deliveries between offices. On those autonomous trips, Yandex.Rover will meet pedestrians, vehicles, animals, and other obstacles.
A monument commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory and brotherhood-in-arms of the Soviet and American ALSIB pilots during WWII to be unveiled in the Russian Far Eastern city of Magadan
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.