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 RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #142
 
PRESIDENT
 

The creation of the modern system of international relations is one of the major outcomes of World War II. Even the most insurmountable contradictions – geopolitical, ideological, economic – do not prevent us from finding forms of peaceful coexistence and interaction, if there is the desire and will to do so. Today the world is going through quite a turbulent time. Everything is changing, from the global balance of power and influence to the social, economic and technological foundations of societies, nations and even continents. In the past epochs, shifts of such magnitude have almost never happened without major military conflicts. Without a power struggle to build a new global hierarchy. Thanks to the wisdom and farsightedness of the political figures of the Allied Powers, it was possible to create a system that has restrained from extreme manifestations of such objective competition, historically inherent in the world development.
It is a duty of ours – all those who take political responsibility and primarily representatives of the victor powers in the Second World War – to guarantee that this system is maintained and improved. Today, as in 1945, it is important to demonstrate political will and discuss the future together. Our colleagues – Mr Xi Jinping, Mr Macron, Mr Trump and Mr Johnson – supported the Russian initiative to hold a meeting of the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states, permanent members of the Security Council. We thank them for this and hope that such face-to-face meeting could take place as soon as possible.
What is our vision of the agenda for the upcoming summit? First of all, in our opinion, it would be useful to discuss steps to develop collective principles in world affairs. To speak frankly about the issues of preserving peace, strengthening global and regional security, strategic arms control, about joint efforts in countering terrorism, extremism and other major challenges and threats.
A special item on the agenda of the meeting is the situation in the global economy. And above all, overcoming the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our countries are taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and lives of people and to support citizens who have found themselves in difficult living situations. Our ability to work together and in concert, as real partners, will show how severe the impact of the pandemic will be, and how quickly the global economy will emerge from the recession. Moreover, it is unacceptable to turn the economy into an instrument of pressure and confrontation. Popular issues include environmental protection and combating climate change, as well as ensuring the security of the global information space.
The agenda proposed by Russia for the upcoming summit of the Five is extremely important and relevant both for our countries and for the entire world. And we have specific ideas and initiatives on all the items.
There can be no doubt that the summit of Russia, China, France, the United States, and the UK will play an important role in finding common answers to modern challenges and threats, and will demonstrate a common commitment to the spirit of alliance, to those high humanist ideals and values for which our fathers and grandfathers fought shoulder to shoulder.
Drawing on a shared historical memory, we can trust each other and must do so. That will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations and concerted action for the sake of enhancing the stability and security on the planet, for the sake of prosperity and well-being of all states. Without exaggeration, it is our common duty and responsibility towards the entire world, towards the present and future generations.
 
 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic at the initiative of the Serbian side.
A positive assessment was given to the high level of Russian-Serbian strategic partnership. The discussion covered prospects for stepping up interstate cooperation, including in the context of the phased relaxing of coronavirus-related restrictions. Aleksandar Vucic confirmed his participation in the events to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War to be held in Moscow on June 24, 2020.
During an in-depth discussion of the Kosovo settlement, Vladimir Putin spoke in favour of developing a compromise solution, acceptable to Belgrade, which should be approved by the UN Security Council.
 
READ ALSO: Telephone conversations with presidents of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil and Mongolia

  

THANK YOUR DOCTOR


Meeting with healthcare professionals
 
Vladimir Putin had a meeting via videoconference with healthcare professionals ahead of Medical Workers’ Day marked in Russia on the third Sunday in June.
 
Without exaggeration, you have been at the forefront from the onset, risking your lives each minute. Many have been separated from their friends and families, fighting, in the true sense of the word, for the people in the so-called hospital ‘red zones’, and oftentimes indeed to the limit of human capabilities and strength. Practically everyone worked like that – ambulance crews, aero-medical units, general practitioners, specialist doctors and paramedics, nurses, junior medical staff, technicians and drivers. They did this everywhere – in cities, villages and remote areas.
Despite all odds, you have shown an inexhaustible supply of love, empathy and compassion, something that a doctor cannot work without, as well as reserve, stamina and humanity. I am sure that you have done everything you could and beyond, displaying real miracles of professionalism. The main thing you did was bringing down loss of life to a minimum. This is your achievement.
However, the terrible and insidious virus did not spare your colleagues. I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their loved ones, to the families of doctors, paramedics and nurses.
Let me stress that the sacrificial feat of medical professionals during the epidemic will enter the annals of the history of our medicine and our nation forever, similarly to the heroic service of doctors and nurses during the Crimean War, World War I and the Great Patriotic War.
Outstanding medics have been honoured and glorified in the country at all times. The best of them have traditionally been awarded the Vocation prize as an expression of appreciation of the professional community. I would like to use this opportunity to once again congratulate this year’s winners. I know that many of them remained at their workplaces during the award ceremony, and many of them are still there.
 
READ ALSO: Presidential executive orders to decorate employees of Russian medical facilities and research institutions with the Order of Pirogov and Luke of Crimea Medal
 
Specialists of the military medical service of Russia and France exchanged experience in managing patients with severe form of a new coronavirus infection

The President visited the Main Cathedral of the Armed Forces and the Road of Memory Museum Complex on the Day of Memory and Sorrow

 
 
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

 
Preparations for the main parade in Moscow on June 24 are being carried out as planned with all necessary security measures in place.
Traditionally, parades will be held in other regions of the Russian Federation. This is a sign of special respect, first of all, for veterans and citizens living in different regions of our large country.
Military parades and artillery salutes will be held in hero-cities, as well as in cities where the headquarters of military districts, fleets, combined arms armies, the Caspian flotilla and army corps are stationed. In total, 28 cities in Russia.
In other cities and localities of the Russian Federation, on June 24, 2020, festive events and processions will be held with the participation of military personnel.
At the same time, the events will be organized and conducted in strict accordance with the decisions and recommendations of regional health doctors, according to the situation, in some cases in full, in some cases on a smaller scale. There is no and cannot be a goal to hold full-scale parades in each region at any cost, some of them will be held rather symbolic events. Again — according to the orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief — a security demand, the preservation of the health of soldiers and citizens while conducting the military celebrations on 24 June, the anniversary parade of 1945 year, will be fully implemented.

 

IN SPACE WE TRUST

   
City authorities of Arkhangelsk and the Greater Portland Archangel Sister City Committee (Maine, USA) sent a joint welcome message to the crew of the International Space Station: Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner, as well as NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy.
The statement emphasizes that sister-cities relations have been established between Arkhangelsk and Greater Portland since 1988. Over time, thanks to these ties, residents of other municipalities of the Arkhangelsk region and the state of Maine were also involved in friendly relations. That is why for our cities, the fact that Ivan Viktorovich Wagner from the Arkhangelsk Region and Christopher Cassidy from the State of Maine are working on board of the International Space Station is especially important.
The friendship between Arkhangelsk and Greater Portland has reached a new "space" level.
 
‘We consistently speak on all the possible and available negotiation sites such as the Conference on Disarmament for adopting the resolution to prevent arms race in outer space. With extreme cautiousness we perceive claims that Russia plans to place arms in space aiming at the USA,’ says  Roscosmos Deputy Director General Sergey Saveliev.
Russia is ready to develop comprehensive partnership between Moscow and Washington concerning a widest range of questions in space exploration, but not just supplying RD-180/181 rocket engines to the American companies and delivering US astronauts to the International Space Station, Sergey Saveliev added.
‘Naturally, in these cases we rely on the principles of mutuality and equality. Militarization of space with our American partners eventually taking the leading roles might disturb already fragile relations between the two countries in the sphere,’ Saveliev noted.
The Defense Space Strategy defines the way the US Department of Defense will promote space potential to ensure the capability of the Pentagon to compete, deter, and win in a complex security environment characterized by ‘great power competition’. This strategy views space as a special military potential area, which among others is the base for joint and coordinated full spectrum operations to strengthen national security.
This strategy implies the most serious reform in the history of the national safety program in space with a phased approach to the following areas: build a comprehensive military advantage in space; integrate space into national, joint, and combined operations; shape the strategic environment; and cooperate with allies, partners, industry, and other US Government departments and agencies. The document also contains accusations that Russia and China have militarized space.


FOREIGN MINISTRY
 
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif
 

Sergey Lavrov: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to settle Iran’s nuclear issue and UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which approved it, are a single whole.
When our American colleagues officially terminated their participation in the JCPOA through respective instructions and executive orders, they also forfeited the signatory countries’ opportunities and rights that are based on honest compliance with the JCPOA and sealed in Resolution 2231. While trying to prevent the other JCPOA countries from fulfilling their obligations to Iran, the United States also wants to punish Tehran by promoting illegal and absolutely unjustified initiatives, including those related to the arms embargo. I believe that this is a futile attempt and that it has no future in the context of international law. We are using every available opportunity offered by international law to ensure that justice is served.
The entire set of obligations of Iran and the other JCPOA countries are an integral whole. This package cannot be divided, leaving only Tehran’s obligations and trying to prevent Europe, Russia, China and all the other countries from maintaining legitimate trade and economic ties with Iran. I am sure that this is obvious to anyone who has even the most rudimentary knowledge of international law.

VISIT RUSSIA when it is possible again
 
 
Welcome to Kudykina Mountain! The way to this 'secret' place, where the legendary folklore dragon Zmey Gorynych lives, is not easy. The mountain is surrounded by hills and ravines, hidden among small abandoned villages and forests on the bank of the Don River.
 
 
The Kosovo knot: is a fair solution possible?
Public discussions about possible outcomes of the Kosovo knot have become noticeably livelier recently. The United States and the EU are striving to make themselves an indispensable part of the settlement and are competing for the leading role in this process. In addition, as it happened before, they often disregard the opinions of other stakeholders, which fact calls into question the very possibility of finding a fair solution. Looking back into the recent past and analysing the regrettable consequences of external interference in the region’s affairs is something that must be done if we want to avoid making more mistakes. We also believe it is important to provide a general assessment of the current state of affairs and to outline our fundamental approaches to the Kosovo settlement. <…>
 
On June 15, Russia, the United States and Afghanistan held trilateral consultations via video conference at the initiative of acting Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar. The Russian side was represented by Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.
The participants discussed the preparations for direct intra-Afghan talks. Russia and the United States welcomed the Afghan government’s intention to complete the process of releasing 5,000 Taliban in the coming days.
The parties also noted the need to reduce violence as a confidence-building measure and underscored that a universal and lasting ceasefire should be one of the key topics on the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks.
Haneef Atmar specifically emphasised the importance of expanding the Russia-US-China trilateral format through involving major regional and international actors in resolving the situation in Afghanistan.
 

RUSSIAN TECH

 

 
After Europe, the Promobot team began to conquer the United States. Skolkovo resident will supply 400 terminals with non-contact temperature measurement technology on the US East Coast. Wenger Medical has become a non-exclusive representative of the Perm startup.
Promobot Thermocontrol is equipped with a video camera, a screen and a remote thermometer. It works autonomously, measuring the temperature of 300 people per hour. An advanced version of the device can be integrated with security systems, limiting access to the building to potential virus carriers.
Startup Founder Oleg Kivokurtsev talks about the fast and successful transformation of the company: “We have launched a new product line: the Scorpion robot, the Promobot diagnostic robot and the Promobot Thermocontrol temperature measuring station.” The company's solutions work better than thermal imaging systems that use cameras, and are 3-4 times more affordable.
For a variety of other “antiviral” developments by the Foundation residents that may be useful during a pandemic, read the special section.
 
Russia-ASEAN news conference

Press release on anti-Syria Caesar Act
 
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, also known as the Caesar Act, went into effect in the United States on June 17.
<…> Washington is fully aware that the unilateral US sanctions against Syria, which have been in effect for several years and have been complemented with new restrictions today, were largely responsible for sending the Syrian pound down and the prices of fuel, food and basic necessities up. As a result of this, thousands of Syrians have been pushed to the edge of survival, according to representatives of specialised UN humanitarian agencies.
The United States went even further in its striving to politicise the humanitarian needs of Syrian civilians. The Caesar Act says openly that restrictions will not include “bona fide” international activities in the regions that are not controlled by the Syrian government. On the contrary, the United States welcomes and is encouraging the implementation of economic projects and investment in Idlib and the regions east of the Euphrates, where ISIS and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which are on the UN Security Council’s list of organisations designated as terrorist, continue to operate.
At the same time, Washington is touting itself as the leading donor of humanitarian assistance, but it keeps silent about its illegal trade in Syrian hydrocarbons, the freezing of Syrian bank assets or the blocking of approved international funding for Syria. Washington uses every opportunity to mention the well-oiled system of humanitarian exemptions, which allegedly are not hindering the provision of humanitarian aid to Syria but help to adjust extraterritorial sanctions, which are essentially illegal, to international law. <…>
 
READ ALSO: Press release on schoolchildren detained by militants in Idlib, Syria


Comment by the Information and Press Department on US Officials’ Statements on Russia's manipulation of the International Criminal Court
 
Last week, Washington announced more unilateral sanctions. Unfortunately, this has already become common practice for the United States. These sanctions are directed at an unusual target - not one of the many countries that are out of US favour, but the International Criminal Court and its staff. This event was the subject of a joint briefing by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defence, the Attorney General and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
As regards the assessments of what is happening at the ICC, the statements by the senior representatives of the US administration did not contain anything new to us. We have been consistently talking for a long time about the system-wide and deep-lying problems at the ICC at specialised international venues. Even some textual coincidences can be found – for example Mr Mike Pompeo noted that in 18 years of operation, the court secured only four convictions for major crimes despite spending well over $1 billion. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry statement of November 16, 2016 highlighted the same problem, and in literally the same wording. Only, the ICC was 14 years old then, not 18.
However, the statements made at the June 11 briefing said more than that, and added up to a rather unexpected picture: Washington seems to view the ICC as an institution that seeks to imprison American soldiers defending freedom because Russia is using the court for its own interests.
I will quote US Attorney General William Barr. He said that the Department of Justice is “concerned that foreign powers like Russia are also manipulating the International Criminal Court in pursuit of their own agenda.” We remind the Attorney General that the Russian Federation is not manipulating the International Criminal Court, and moreover, never engages with it, or finances it, or participates in its bodies or maintains any contact with it whatsoever. The United States, on the contrary, is clearly trying to influence the ICC, apparently to prevent the prosecution of US military members as part of the Afghan dossier. The sanctions are just one piece of evidence for that.
Apparently Washington advocates the fight against impunity only when the fight does not affect the United States itself and can be used to put pressure on another government or intervene in internal affairs - a very indicative example of double standards. And also a good illustration of the “rules-based international order” concept actively promoted by the Americans and their allies, where the United States, apparently, has the privilege to determine the rules the rest of the world should play by.


EMBASSY

The coronavirus pandemic has not affected the contacts between Moscow and Washington – Anatoly Antonov’s  interview with TASS host Mikhail Gusman
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s article about the Second World War has attracted significant interest in the United States and gave a start to discussions, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said Saturday in an open interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, describing the US reaction to the article.
The diplomat noted that the Russian embassy engaged in disseminating the article, sending it to "the leadership of the [US] State Department, leading non-governmental organizations and embassies of a number of leading Western European states."
"The publication raised a lot of interest and launched discussions. The people I talked to at least underline the importance of a serious talk about historic memory, noting that it influences modern political relations and ties in the security sphere," Antonov pointed out. Read more
"I would like to note that many Americans understand us, I know it from personally talking to former US Defense Secretary James Mattis, former governor of California John Brown and American veterans who were going to travel to us to the Red Square to take part in the Victory Parade but coronavirus git in the way," Antonov said. "There is no need to explain it to these people that it was the Red Army soldiers that liberated Europe."
According to the Russian envoy, there are burials of Soviet WWII military personnel in Alaska and Seattle. Americans respect the Soviet burials, "ordinary citizens come there to honor the memory of the Soviet-American war alliance" annually.
At the same time, the diplomat pointed out certain negative tendencies in the US regarding the historic truth. "Despite the Russian efforts, we feel that approaches to historic truth are distorted, the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazism is belittled. The emphasis is placed on some oppression of Eastern European nations by Russia," he concluded. "However, the second front is almost called the first that determined the outcome of the war. I underline, we never denied the allies’ role in the Second World War". Read more
"Contacts between the presidents have not been interrupted in spite of the pandemic. The leaders are continuing to discuss pressing issues of international security and bilateral relations over the phone. I will say that the conversations are business-like, friendly, pragmatic and constructive. They are focused on key issues," he said.
According to the ambassador, this can also be said about contacts between the foreign ministers.
"Military issues are discussed in phone calls by Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces Army General Valery Gerasimov and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is crucial that the defense ministers coordinate efforts in the military sector," Antonov said.
"We are hopeful that the time will come when we will see Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, [Russian Defense Minister and US Secretary of Defense] Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu and Mark Esper at the negotiating table," Antonov concluded. Read more
"I am firmly convinced that the cooperation between our doctors and scientists and the strengthening of the two countries’ healthcare capacities have been promising and of enormous significance," he said. "We will hope that it will probably happen to be that golden link that can pull the chain of Russian-US relations out of the crisis."
The ambassador recalled that first, Russia sent aid to the US, and afterwards, the US delivered a batch of 200 ventilators to Russia.
"We highly appreciate this constructive step of the American people and president and expect that the US had the same perception of our aid," Antonov added. Read more
"Overall, around 100 Russian citizens are in US prisons. Under contrived pretexts, Russians are put in disciplinary cells, stripped of normal medical care, medicine, while their calls to family are restricted," he said.The envoy expressed hope that Russian citizens could return home either via amnesty or via the Council of Europe’s 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. "We expect that US authorities will take into account the humanitarian side of the issue and the long terms that the Russians have already served. [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov often mentioned that in conversations with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo," Antonov added. Read more
"American military plans are overtly aimed at deterring Russia and China. We are offered the concept of rivalry between great powers, in fact, it means arms race," he said.
The diplomat pointed out that Russia would prefer to avoid this scenario.
Antonov informed that the Russian-US talks on arms control scheduled for June 22 in Vienna would be interdepartmental. He pointed out that, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and the United States bear particular responsibility for peace and security and should not facilitate the collapse of strategic stability.
"Therefore, Russian negotiators in Vienna will definitely place these issues in the focus of talks," the ambassador stressed. Read more
 


Congrats to Embassy school graduators
 
On June 17, a solemn ceremony of granting graduation certificates to the students of Embassy’s school took place.
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov delivered a farewell speech to the schoolchildren.We wish the graduators a happy journey to adulthood, hope their wishes come true in Russia!
 

On This Day in 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. 27 million of Soviet citizens fell during Great Patriotic War, which lasted for 1,418 days.
 
We remember the Red Army soldiers who resisted fiercely and believed in our Victory. Candles lighting ceremony took place at the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.

 

HISTORY

On June 18, 1937, a Soviet-built monoplane ANT-25, carrying legendary Soviet pilot Valery Chkalov, co-pilot Georgy Baidukov and navigator Aleksandr Belyakov, started the first ever non-stop transpolar flight to the United States.
They successfully ended it at Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, Washington State on June 20.
The single-engine ANT-25 was constructed by Andrey Tupolev, the outstanding Soviet aircraft designer, in 1934, and had by that time set a record for the longest distance flight, covering 7,712 miles in 75 hours.
The first attempt to perform the transpolar flight was made on August 3, 1935 by pilots Sigizmund Levanevsky, Georgy Baidukov, and Anatoly Levchenko, but it was not completed due to a massive fuel leak. Having reached the ground, the plane nearly burst into flames ignited by a little spark. Adding to all the troubles was rescuing $9,000, which the People’s Commissar of Defense, Kliment Voroshilov, had given to the crew, saying, “Once you land there – you guys have some fun.”
The ANT-25 flight, relatively uneventful for the first 24 hours, later proved to be a feat of strength and endurance for the three experienced cold-weather pilots. As they were approaching the Polar Region, the aircraft’s magnetic compass became inoperable. Navigation from then on relied solely on dead reckoning and a solar heading indicator. To make matters worse, headwinds and storms slowed the ANT-25’s progress and consumed fuel at an alarming rate. These impediments threatened the crew’s already scarce oxygen supplies. The plane was under constant danger of icing, since only the plane’s propeller was capable of de-icing. At one point in the flight even the engine coolant was about to freeze up. The crew quickly thought to put their drinking water supply to use, only to discover that it, too, was frozen.
After a 63-hour flight, covering a total distance of 5,288 miles, the plane landed at Vancouver’s Pearson Airfield, with a mere eleven gallons of fuel left in the tanks. Chkalov was the first one to exit the plane, yelling, “Guys! Look, General Marshall is waiting for us!” Baidukov, still inside the cockpit, was wondering who exactly was waiting for them – a general or a marshal, misled by the last name of General George C. Marshall, America’s future Army Chief of Staff. Besides, the Soviet aviator was unaware that the rank of marshal simply didn’t exist in the United States. <…>

HAPPY CHKALOV DAY

 

83 years ago, our Embassy received a great “tweet” from The White House with congratulations on the first transpolar flight from the Soviet Union to the United States carried out by Valery Chkalov’s crew.

...June 20, 1937, may have been the most memorable Sunday morning that George C. Marshall experienced as commander of Vancouver Barracks, Washington. Three days earlier pilot Valeri P. Chkalov, co-pilot Georgi P. Baidukov, and navigator Alexander V. Beliakov departed from Moscow to attempt the first nonstop flight over the North Pole to the United States. Their original destination was Oakland, California, but inclement weather and poor visibility caused the Soviet aviators to make an emergency landing at Pearson Field, Vancouver Barracks. The Soviet aviators successfully completed the first trans-polar flight in history having traveled 5,288 miles in 63 hours...

 LEARN MORE: How Soviet pilots made the first transpolar flight

READ ALSO: George C. Marshall and the Soviet Aviators
 

 
On June 20, Russian compatriots living in Washington State celebrated Chkalov Day by laying flowers to the Chkalov Monument dedicated to the transpolar flight, located near Pearson Air Museum at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
 

VISIT RUSSIA

 


Did you know that Russian Emperor Alexander II & US President Lincoln were pen-friends but never met in person. This was amended when a sculpture depicting the two nations' XIX century leaders was unveiled at the Burganov Sculptures Garden in Moscow.
 

 

"Pipeline to Russia: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War II" – now available online!

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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