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 RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #128
 

CORONAVIRUS: FAQs 

 

How is COVID-19 transmitted? What are possible complications? Are masks effective and what are the consequences of quarantine non-compliance? We answer urgent questions about the novel coronavirus infection.

 

PRESIDENT 


 Greetings on 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut
Training Centre and first cosmonaut team

 
Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to participants in a ceremony held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and the first team of Soviet cosmonauts.
The message reads, in part:
“We are celebrating a history-making event – the establishment of the Cosmonaut Training Centre and the formation of the first team of Soviet cosmonauts 60 years ago, in 1960. It marked the countdown to the first spaceflight made by Yuri Gagarin, who blazed the trail to the stars. We take pride in the fact that humankind’s daring dream of conquering the Universe materialised in our country.

This celebration is a wonderful opportunity to commemorate the many generations of cosmonauts, scientists, designers, medics and other outstanding professionals who were fully committed to their jobs and the Fatherland. Their courage, talent andselflessness created the foundation of the powerful potential of our space industry and the glorious chronicle of its victories and achievements.
I am certain that the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre will continue to preserve and build up the wonderful traditions of predecessors and will also make a major contribution to the strengthening of Russia’s prestige as a space power.”

 

On memory of Great Patriotic War, Stalin and Hitler
(Read TASS interview)

 
Andrei Vandenko: Victory. The 75th anniversary. Do you believe that it is fundamentally important that all leaders come?
Vladimir Putin: Not at all. It is our holiday. But I think that for our former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition the right thing to do would be to come here, from both a domestic policy stance and a moral one. We look forward to seeing them and we will be glad if they come. If not, well, that is their choice. But I think that would be a mistake for them.

Vladimir Putin on the global stage, Russia-US relations
(Read interview to TASS)

 
Andrei Vandenko: So you addressed Trump as ‘Donald’, in a friendly way.
Vladimir Putin: He calls me Vladimir, I call him Donald.
Andrei Vandenko: I mean, you have worked with four American presidents. Once Bush saw something in your eyes…
Vladimir Putin: Yes…
Andrei Vandenko: But things did not go well with Obama, is that correct?
Vladimir Putin: Well…
Andrei Vandenko: Who was it that you felt most at ease with?
Vladimir Putin: It is difficult for me to say now. Indeed, I had fairly constructive relations with each of them.
Andrei Vandenko: But it did not go well with Obama.
Vladimir Putin: Did it or didn’t… I had good relations with Bush.

Andrei Vandenko: Did somebody put you at odds with him?
Vladimir Putin: What?
Andrei Vandenko: Did somebody put you at odds with him?
Vladimir Putin: No, it has nothing to do with ‘being at odds’. It's just that, when a person says that…
Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean Barack?
Vladimir Putin: Sorry?
Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean Barack?
Vladimir Putin: Yes. He already stated that the US is an exceptional nation, with special, exclusive rights to practically the entire the world, I cannot go along with that. God created us all equal and gave us equal rights. So, I think it is absolutely ungrounded to say that some people should have exclusive rights to anything.
Andrei Vandenko: On a scale from one to five, not to make it too complicated, how would you rate Russia’s current relationship with the US?
Vladimir Putin: I would give it a three.
Andrei Vandenko: A three? Not bad.
Vladimir Putin: Between a two and a three. More like a three though. Look…
Andrei Vandenko: And how about earlier?
Vladimir Putin: Look, we do cooperate on counter-terrorism. I’m serious… It was actually me who called Trump to thank the US for giving us the information.
Andrei Vandenko: You mean on the St Petersburg cell?
Vladimir Putin: Yes. They had been looking into them for a long time. And after that, the FBI provided this information to the Federal Security Service.
Andrei Vandenko: Does it mean that the Americans are working better than us on our own soil?
Vladimir Putin: They work… I am not going to talk about it now, because this information is classified. They work globally.

Andrei Vandenko: I won’t tell anyone.
Vladimir Putin: I'll whisper in your ear afterwards.
Andrei Vandenko: Deal.
Vladimir Putin: They work globally, and so do we.
Andrei Vandenko: Ok.
Vladimir Putin: But they were the ones who tracked this case down. That time, we did not. Our services track down a lot of them, thus preventing dozens of terrorist attacks, they catch and intercept them. Several dozen a year. That specific case was detected by the US. I would like to thank them a lot for sharing that information with us.
Andrei Vandenko: So it’s a three now, but what was the peak rate?
Vladimir Putin: Well, let’s see… Trade turnover used to be higher, it dropped to 20 from 28, still very low. But in the last two years, under Trump, trade turnover started to grow.
In terms of security, a while ago we concluded an agreement with Obama, the New START was also signed when he was in office. Now it has not been extended. Just yet. So this raises a question.
The US keeps imposing sanctions on Russia. Another question. Take Nord Stream 2, they imposed sanctions on it as well. The US has always been against the development of our economic relations with Europe, even in the 1960s, when we launched the construction, you remember, the gas-for-pipes deal. Thank God, now we produce large-diameter pipes ourselves, which is, by the way, another recent achievement of our white metallurgy and other sectors. 75 percent, and it is crucial, 75 percent of facilities in our manufacturing sector, as well as machinery and equipment, have been manufactured in recent years, in the last 10 to 15 years. This is quite an achievement. They have always been against it. Against Nord Stream 1 – they did oppose it, now they oppose Nord Stream 2 in the same manner.
So why did they do it, what for? What was the reason – to ensure transit through Ukraine. Looks a bit strange too, doesn’t it? So they are wooing Ukraine and have introduced external control over it, but they want Ukraine to be sustained by our money as well. They don’t want to give Ukraine money themselves. They want Ukraine to receive something from us through transit fees. Ok, we agree, because following from the growth of gas consumption in Europe in general and in Ukraine in particular, we, too, will be interested in it and we will go on with gas transit. The volumes will be lower, but we will continue.
 
However, the main motivation, the excuse for imposing sanctions against Nord Stream 2 was the need to ensure transit through Ukraine. We have signed a transit agreement with Ukraine. So, what is needed now? Sanctions against Nord Stream should be lifted. There are no grounds for imposing them. And if the sanctions remain, it will mean that there is only one motive – to ensure competitive advantages for their LNG, for their liquefied gas.
Andrei Vandenko: But in fact, in geopolitical terms, Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok does not exist anymore.

 They are securing a market for their products, exclusively in their own selfish interests and at the expense of European consumers. But if the price of a fossil fuel rises by 25 to 30 percent, the competitiveness of the German economy, as well as the European one, will be undermined.
Vladimir Putin:
Andrei Vandenko: The strongest player sets the rules.
 Vladimir Putin: But it never existed. ‘Anymore!’ You’re talking now about something which never existed, as if it is something we have lost. Back in the day, de Gaulle spoke about a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. Then I extended that idea a little, and started saying: why to the Urals, why not to the Pacific, to the Far East? But I think we should aim for it.
Andrei Vandenko: Was your Munich speech an overreaction?
Vladimir Putin: Not at all. Now they repeat everything I said. For example, the German leaders. They almost repeat it word for word… They were mad at me at the time, angry with me, they said, why did you do that?
Andrei Vandenko: They took offense.
Vladimir Putin: No. Got angry because, well, it was a bit rude, at the wrong time; ‘why would you do that’. And what did I say? I said that it is inadmissible that one country, the United States, extends its jurisdiction beyond its national borders.
Today, say, the German leadership says exactly that, that it is inadmissible that the United States imposes secondary sanctions, i.e. on companies, that have no relation to the United States, trying to prevent them from pursuing their national interests.
 

VISIT RUSSIA 

Main Cathedral of Russian Armed Forces


The famous American boxer Roy Jones Jr. visited on Saturday the Main Cathedral of Russian Armed Forces in Moscow region, where he gave tribute to the fighters of the Red Army who died in the Second World War.
“The Cathedral is being built to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the bloodiest war in the history of mankind,” he noted.
“I see that the Russian people pay tribute to the memory of their fathers and grandfathers who gave their lives for the future generation and peace in the whole world, in contrast to some other countries where monuments to soldiers-liberators are destroyed, where world history is forgotten and deliberately distorted,” he said.

 “I think it is very correct to leave such a serious memory,” Jones said.
The Father Superior of the Main Cathedral, Archbishop Stephen, presented Jones with the completed lower temple and Baptiste, where the sacrament of baptism of young warriors will take place.
He said that the consecration of the lower temple will take place on the eve of Victory Day.
Representatives of the military construction complex of the Russian Defence Ministry, clergy, specialists in church art and restoration told about the sizes of the cathedral, construction features and application of unique architectural concepts, about production of elements of internal and external furniture.
He was also told that in 75 years since the Victory the Cathedral will be the first temple and house of worship dedicated to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War built in Russia.
 

Telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Russian side’s initiative.
The two leaders discussed the implementation of the agreements reached at the Russia-Turkey summit meeting held in Moscow on March 5. They noted with satisfaction a significant de-escalation of tensions in Idlib.
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the importance of continued close joint efforts, first of all between the Russian and Turkish defence ministries, in order to ensure a stable ceasefire and further stabilisation of the situation.
It was agreed to maintain a regular dialogue at various levels, including personal contacts.
 

Meeting with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas
Meeting with Vyacheslav Volodin and Viktor Medvedchuk

 
Vladimir Putin had a meeting with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Head of the Political Council of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedchuk, you once told me about your idea of creating a parliamentary dimension of the Normandy format, and Mr Volodin has recently reminded me about this. I believe it is a good idea. We discussed this idea some time ago; I do not remember exactly when it was.
Of course, I believe that this would be quite appropriate, if members of parliament in Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France support what is being done at the executive level. I strongly hope that you will succeed, with support from the Administration of the Ukrainian President. For our part, we are ready to join this project at any time.
I also know about the attitude of our French and German colleagues to this idea. I can only wish you success.<…>

 
Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Nazarbayev,
I am very happy to see you. I know that you have come to speak at Moscow University.
Thank you for not forgetting your creations. I am referring not only to modern Kazakhstan but also to the integration processes you launched in the post-Soviet space. This eventually led to the Eurasian Economic Union. Thank you for further promoting this concept.

 As for bilateral relations, at your initiative, we have established a strategic, an absolutely strategic alliance, a strategic partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan and this partnership is making steady progress.
We continue our political dialogue. We regularly meet with President Tokayev; our governments are working smoothly. Our trade is on the upsurge. I think last year it grew by 19.7 or 19.6 percent. It has reached almost $20 billion. I think that overall these are very good figures and we have good prospects for further progress.


FOREIGN MINISTRY
 
 
Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica Kamina Johnson-Smith exchanged messages of greetings on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries marked on May 12.
The Russian Foreign Minister underscored their mutual intention to further develop Russian-Jamaican ties, which was confirmed during Kamina Johnson-Smith’s visit to Russia in July 2019. Sergey Lavrov expressed his conviction that bilateral and multilateral relations will continue to grow stronger for the benefit of the two countries’ peoples and peace and regional security.
In turn, Kamina Johnson-Smith noted that a strong partnership was established between Russia and Jamaica over the past 45 years, in particular their fruitful cooperation in trade and investment, the granting of Russian scholarships and organisation of training courses, and expressed her confidence in the continuation of bilateral interaction.
 

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova,
Moscow, March 12, 2020


 
Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of China, France,
Russia, UK and US on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
 
On March 5, 1970, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force. Today, 50 years later, we celebrate the immeasurable contributions this landmark treaty has made to the security and prosperity of the nations and peoples of the world. We reaffirm our commitment to the NPT in all its aspects.

READ FULL TEXT 

 

DEFENSE MINISTRY


 Over 130 defence department delegations from abroad invited
to take part in the Army2020 International Military
& Technical Forum
 
Pursuant to the Decree of the Russian Government, from August 23 to 29, 2020, the ARMY 2020 International Military and Technical Forum will be held.
Since 2015, the Army IMTF has proved its status as one of the leading expositions of armaments and hardware, and prestigious platform for discussing development and strengthening international military and technical cooperation.
Figures of the ARMY International Military and Technical Forum shows high status of this event.
Distinctive feature of the ARMY 2020 Forum that it will be held simultaneously with the International Army Games 2020.
An organizing committee is made up of heads and representatives of state authorities, state corporations and leading enterprises and organisations.
ARMY 2020 International Military and Technical Forum – Procedure:
August 23, 2020 - joint opening of the Forum and International Army Games in the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Centre, official part, work of top public officials, heads of state authority, industrial enterprises and foreign delegations;
August 24-26, 2020 - days for specialists;
August 27-29, 2020 - days for the public.
The upcoming Forum’s programme will include a static exhibition exposition, demonstration and business programs, as well as protocol, cultural and artistic events.
 
EMBASSY
 
A number of Washington politicians stop at nothing to aggravate Russian-American interstate relations. With their attacks on Russia and our people, they pursue only their own selfish interests in the run-up to the next election campaign. We consider unacceptable their attempts to drag the EU states into another scam.
Trying to score political points by Russophobia and attributing incitement to interracial hatred to Russia is doubly cynical. It is also clear to us that this provocation is intended to cover up the scandal that broke after the anti-Russian allegations of the special envoy and coordinator of the Global Engagement Center Lea Gabrielle were proved groundless the other day. So, they failed to pin on Russia the blame for the mythical “millions” of fake messages in the social media.
We urge American politicians to exercise common sense and join forces in the fight against a common misfortune - the coronavirus pandemic. Sowing discord, panic and xenophobia means helping the disease to spread.
 
 
One of them is a portrait of a Soviet pilot Galina Brok-Beltsova by an American artist Stan Stokes, a gift of the Palm Springs Air Museum. She was an air navigator of a bomber Pe-2 during the World War II (read more).
The other one is a bust of a French flying ace Marcel Albert from the legendary Normandie-Neman regiment (read more), a gift of Mikhail Serdyukov, renowned sculptor, philanthropist, author of project Alley of Russian Glory.
In a recent interview Galina Brok-Beltsova said that her bomber regiment was escorted by the pilots of Normandie-Neman.
In a few days, these pieces of art will fly away each its own way. The bust will be moved to Florida to be installed in the town where the French hero was buried and the portrait – to Moscow to be presented to the veteran.
 
 
In a festive atmosphere employees of the Consular Section of the Embassy of Russia in the United States presented the jubilee medals "75 years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" to veterans and invalids of the Great Patriotic War, residents of besieged Leningrad and home front workers living now in Los Angeles.
The diplomats conveyed Ambassador Anatoly Antonov's warmest wishes to the compatriots - good health, good spirits and decent celebration the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory.
Our colleagues also paid tribute to those killed in combat and passed away defenders of the Motherland by laying flowers at the only monument in the United States to WWII veterans from the former Soviet Union (West Hollywood).



 

On March 9, 2020, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov met the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
The two sides discussed the current state and future prospects of Russia-U.S. relations, implementation of the arrangements reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump during the summits in Helsinki in 2018 and Osaka in 2019.

The Russian side reconfirmed its intention to continue joint work on stabilization of bilateral relations, expressed interest in maintaining a regular and direct dialogue between the Embassy and the U.S. Administration.

Marcel Albert’s bust to be installed in Chipley, FL

 
 In the year of celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the World War II the Russian Embassy has proudly received from Mikhail Serdyukov, renowned sculptor and philanthropist, a sculpture of Marcel Albert. He was French pilot who fought on the Eastern front as part of the Normandie-Niemen fighter regiment. Marcel Albert holds a title of Hero of the Soviet Union. After the war he moved to the U.S. where he lived till he passed away in 2010.
There are several busts installed in Russia in honor of this outstanding Frenchman. The most recent one was opened in the city of Kozelsk, where he shot down his first German plane.
On March 20 the bust will be solemnly dispatched to the city of Chipley, Florida (where the pilot rests in peace).


 SPACE COOPERATION

On March 12, 2020, the ISS-63 prime and backup crews completed the complex examinational training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. On March 20, the inter-agency committee will estimate the training results of the Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as well as NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy.
 
 

"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


 
Russian Embassy to the U.S.
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Write us on rusembusa@mid.ru
2018 Russian Embassy to the U.S.


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