News and arrangements
ENTRY INTO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IS TEMPORARILY PROHIBITED FOR FOREIGN CITIZENS AND STATELESS PERSONS FROM 18 MARCH 2020 TO 1 MAY 2020
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID 19) in the Russian Federation and in compliance with the Government Order № 635, from 18 March 2020 to 1 May 2020, entry into the Russian Federation is temporarily prohibited for foreign citizens and stateless persons.
Consular section of the Embassy as well as the Consulate General in Gothenburg from 18 March 2020 temporarily suspend the acceptance of documents, registration and issuance to foreign citizens and stateless persons of all categories of visas, except for diplomatic and official ones. Private visas in emergency cases of a death of a close relative will still be issued.
Drivers and crew members can apply for visa as usual.
From 18 March 2020 visa processing in the form of an electronic document for foreign citizens is temporarily suspended.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO VISITORS OF THE CONSULAR SECTION
Starting from March 17, 2020 the Consular Section of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sweden is temporarily closed for visitors (except for urgent and humanitarian cases) due to worsening sanitary-epidemic situation with the coronavirus COVID-19.
Visa applicants are advised to apply for visas at the Russian Visa Center in Stockholm.
Representatives of Swedish authorities can apply for visas at the Consular Section of the Embassy as usual.
Individual applicants with online appointments made before March 17, 2020 at the web-site of the Consular Section are requested to reschedule their appointment to a later date.
St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2020
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is a unique event in the world of business and economics. SPIEF has been held since 1997, and since 2006, it has been held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation, who has also attended each event.
Over the last 21 years, the Forum has become a leading global platform for members of the business community to meet and discuss the key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world as a whole.
The main events of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will take place at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Article by Andrei Krutskikh, Ambassador at Large of the Russian Federation, Special Presidential Representative for international cooperation in information security, published in the Kommersant business daily on March 27, 2019
Against the backdrop of the habitual – even ritual – anti-Russia propaganda, some voices of reason have been heard lately among American experts. Of particular interest in this regard is the recent article by the Daily Beast titled "This Hotline Could Keep the U.S. and Russia from Cyberwar". No doubt, for the professionals who have closely followed the development of the situation this publication will hardly be an eye-opener. What is important is that the article openly admits that the absence of a depoliticized expert dialogue between Russia and the U.S. on international information security is not only a road to nowhere but also a dangerous course fraught with further misunderstanding and a risk of a large-scale conflict.
Those are not emotional conclusions, but rather plain facts cited by American security officials who have formerly worked or still work at the administration, overseeing the issues of cyber security, i.e. by those who know the situation on the ground and, by virtue of their occupation, are bound to be utterly pragmatic.
If security officials and the expert community in the U.S. actually share this opinion, this is the case when it is hard to argue with the colleagues, even though they are "on the other side of the fence".
Six years ago, in 2013, we managed to reach agreement on establishing a direct line of communication between Russia and the U.S. in the event of cyber incidents. Basically, the system was modelled on a similar mechanism that had been in place during the Cold War for dealing with traditional military incidents and enables a prompt information exchange at all levels from institutional to political.
Since its establishment, the communication channel has been used, and more than once. In fact, during the Obama administration, we maintained a vibrant dialogue on cyber issues both at the routine technical level and in the format of full-fledged consultations. Physical meetings of experts enabling them to engage in direct discussions on emerging issues were held. Even a special high-level bilateral working group was established under the Russian-American Presidential Commission.
As for the operation of the “hotlines”, the most vivid example is the address of the American side during the U.S. presidential campaign in autumn 2016, in which the U.S. expressed concerns over the intrusion into its electronic infrastructure. Our response was prompt as usual, and an exchange of the relevant technical information took place. Our National coordination center for computer incidents, which is in charge of the line, as early as last December, announced its readiness to reveal the content of the correspondence to general public, subject to consent of the American side. We sent the relevant proposal to Washington through diplomatic channels early this year. The response was in the negative.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson offered an exhaustive explanation on the issue at her briefing last week. For my part, I can only add to this that our proposal to publish the above-mentioned correspondence was an unprecedented step, an example of true transparency, which our partners tend to invoke so often. Russia has nothing to fear – nor do we have anything to conceal. We are ready to open the correspondence for examination by the general public both in Russia and the U.S., the mass media, and experts, so that they could draw their own conclusions on what really happened. But at the moment, we cannot publish this data because of the refusal of the American side. The pretext for the refusal was the so-called "sensitivity" of the data. It is highly unlikely, however, that any information that is more "sensitive" for the U.S. than for Russia could be found there. Frankly speaking, this approach rather shows that they unsure of their position, since it would be much harder to disseminate information accusing Russia of "having a hand" in cyber intrusions if true facts were made public.
However this is not the end of this absurd story. We decided to directly address the US audience about the Moscow view on the situation around the “hotlines” and proposed a number of the leading US mass media to publish this article. We told them: we just give you “direct speech” and you comment on it in any way you like. If you don’t like our proposals, if you don’t believe us - put it on paper and let the readers judge.
First, these media showed the interest in the matter, asked us for the details, claimed that they were ready to publish the article. However, then they apparently got a stop light and refused, giving no explanation. They got cold feet maybe.
This is a matter of emotion while we want to be pragmatic. I once again agree with our U.S. colleagues (Michael Daniel, Chris Painter and Luke Dembosky), whose opinions were referred to in the article, that it is not enough just to set up emergency hotlines. For them to work effectively there should be a dialogue between those who maintain their day-to-day operation as well as a broader conversation on issues related to international information security.
Officials in Washington often say that, allegedly, there is "not enough trust" for this. The question is why would there be any trust if you keep avoiding any discussion on the matter? We have repeatedly proposed to hold bilateral consultations, but all our proposals have been rejected. At times things get absurd, as a year ago in Geneva, when the U.S. canceled a bilateral meeting two hours before it was supposed to begin, even though the delegations were already there. One might think that talking face to face seems so appalling to our partners that they would rather transmit their grievances through the media.
However, this issue is beyond routine politics, mutual poking or any subjective factors. Today, just as 50 years ago, we talk about preventing a cyberincident from escalating into a full-scale military conflict between Russia and the United States. If the established emergency “hotlines” bolstered with dialogue between experts stall for political reasons, we will face the risk of another Cuban Missile Crisis, only this time it will be triggered by information and communication technologies, not warheads, and events will unfold in a matter of minutes, leaving little time for both sides to make their decisions. It sounds like a science-fiction film, but actually it has long been our reality.
I want to believe that the U.S. recognizes this as well as Russia does. At least, the opinions expressed by the U.S. experts provide us with reasons for hope.
We also seek the same openness, democracy and constructive dialogue as we cooperate with the U.S. on cyber issues at multilateral fora. This year, two dedicated negotiating mechanisms are expected to be established to deal with international information security: the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG), which all the UN Member States can join, and the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE). It is interesting to note that even though the first one is being established on Russia's initiative, and the other, de jure, on America's; in fact, both groups were first proposed and sponsored by Russia, while Western countries were sceptical about the UN track and took every opportunity to criticise it. Nonetheless, the reality is that the UN will now have two groups working in parallel, and it is essential that we define today the principles of their interaction.
We do not believe that getting into "gladiator fights" on international information security is the right option to pursue at the UN. Russia, just like any other state, is interested in ensuring that these groups work in a complementary, non-adversarial, constructive and cooperative manner.
Out of common sense we suggest that it would be best to “share the burden”. According to this plan the OEWG is to focus on major political tasks concerning the majority of the international community: the rules of responsible behavior of states in the information space, confidence-building measures in this field, assistance to developing states and the future format for the negotiations on this matter (a standing committee of the UN General Assembly or Security Council, or some other option).
As for the GGE, it could in its turn address, as a matter of priority, an equally important, yet more specialized issue of applicability of the existing norms of international law to the information space.
Harmonization of efforts is the second pivotal principle of coexistence of the two groups. Their discussions should be non-politicized and pragmatic, and there should be complementarity rather than competition between their outcomes. The mandate of both the OEWG and the GGE demonstrate that the groups are to address an enormous set of issues, which can only be achieved with constructive engagement of all participants.
I would like to stress that back in November 2018, we offered such plan - a kind of programme of joint actions - to the United States. We suggested, as we had done many times before, that we should meet and discuss these matters. As before, we have not received any reply. There is not much time left before both groups set to work. We can only hope that our partners' common sense prevails and they will take advantage of this window of opportunity before it closes. We stand ready to engage in the dialogue.
Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation at the Plenary Session of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, March 20, 2019
Distinguished Mr. President,
Distinguished Mr. Secretary-General
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A year has passed since I last addressed this audience. By historical standards, this is a miniscule amount of time. Yet the events that have taken place over the year have brought us to the edge of a new era in arms control.
A year ago, you and us still hoped that, by means of constructive dialogue, we altogether could overcome differences, find compromise solutions and give new impetus to the joint effort aimed at strengthening peace and maintaining global stability.
But today we face aggressive foreign-policy egocentrism fueled by claims for an exclusive right to determine the "rules" of world order and the destinies of nations, countries and entire regions. We are witnessing more and more attempts to destroy fundamental agreements and reshape the whole multilateral arms control architecture according to own narrow opportunistic interests. In pursuit of dominance the instruments that for decades have been preserving the stability and predictability of international relations are being carelessly taken down.
Most recent example is a deliberate destruction of the INF Treaty by the US coupled with their categorical rejection of our persistent proposals to jointly and professionally analyze real problems accumulated in the context of this Treaty. Washington never made secret of the reason for its withdrawal from the INF Treaty: the US prefer to have their hands free in order to build up unrestricted missile capabilities in the regions where the US intend to push through their own interests.
This pushes us 30 years back in nuclear and missile disarmament but that is not the most pressing issue.
The US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty first, and then from the INF Treaty paves a way to a large-scale arms race with unpredictable consequences. Unlike the 1950s-1970s of the past century, when strategic arsenals of the two superpowers were involved, the new arms race would be provoked by perceptions of many other States that are left with no other choice but to have nuclear and missile capability as the only effective means to guarantee their national security. Dozens of countries have science, technology and industry advanced enough to do so.
We have been particularly concerned about the pattern of behavior by almost all Western States under the current circumstances and the extent of the indifference and irresponsibility they demonstrated to the Treaty's future including collective vote at the UN against Russian-sponsored resolution in support of the INF Treaty. NATO members openly supported its dismantling, thus giving "green light*' to the US nuclear missile ambitions. Groundless farfetched claims by the US on alleged violation of the INF Treaty prohibitions by Russia's 9M729 missile were readily accepted. However, after we had demonstrated the system, independent exerts began to point out to obvious inconsistencies in the US position. Notably, the US representatives in Moscow did not only ignore our invitation to attend the 9M729 missile presentation themselves but forced most of their allies to follow suit. Thus, Washington showed its unwillingness to pursue a constructive dialogue. This once again proved the lack of any argument in support of the US allegations.
The fact that we have already announced a moratorium on deployment of land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in those regions where no similar American systems will be placed is being deliberately ignored. As President Vladimir Putin stated, we will be forced to respond with "mirror actions" and only as reaction to the US steps. We will act in a way that would exclude our engagement in a costly arms race.
We are disappointed with the position of the European countries which in the INF context have de-facto given up their independent role in ensuring their own and European security.
We do not want the New START Treaty with its ten-year term set to expire on February 5, 2021, to repeat the fate of the INF Treaty. Russia stands for the Treaty's extension for five years. This would allow us to prevent further degradation of strategic stability and buy us some extra time to consider possible approaches towards new weapons emerging now throughout the world and possible ways to subjugate them to arms control measures, since not all such armaments fall under the START Treaty. Contrary to what has been recently articulated in this Chamber Russia is ready for such a dialogue.
But first we have to solve the problem related to US unilateral removal from accountability under the New START Treaty of their strategic offensive arms that have allegedly been converted though we cannot certify it as provided for by the Treaty. This complicated issue can be resolved if appropriate Treaty provisions are applied. We have discussed possible solutions with the US. It is a question of political will in Washington.
Russia has been a responsible party to the existing agreements. As we fully comply with our obligations, we share the responsibility for preserving peace and strengthening global security with other States. Yet our efforts go beyond. Russia has put forward and promoted a number of new important initiatives. Regrettably, our Western counterparts do not come up with any meaningful initiatives of their own, they either remain deaf to our proposals or deliberately seek to discredit them.
We are not trying to impose anything on anyone. However, we believe that our proposals could serve as a basis for negotiations. We have repeatedly urged all the States concerned about the future of humankind to work together to build common ground, address problems at hand and seek compromises.
As President Vladimir Putin pointed out all our proposals are well-known to counterparts, all our proposals remain on the table, and when the West is ready we are open for responsible and professional interaction. Meanwhile, instead of constructive response we hear speculations about resumption of nuclear testing, placement of strike combat systems in outer space, and even about feasibility of a limited nuclear conflict. Such developments would be unacceptable for Russia, and, I hope, for most States represented here. But it may become a reality if we fail to find together a reasonable alternative to the trend leading to further destabilization of international environment, exacerbation of contradictions between States, undermining of the established system of international arms control agreements.
Responsible consistent collective efforts are essential in order to ensure international security and stability. The crisis around the INF Treaty clearly shows that progress in the nuclear arms reductions can no longer be sustained in the bilateral Russia-US format. It is time that we seriously reflect on how to launch a multilateral process on nuclear arms control based on the principle of common and indivisible security. There is no point in approaching nuclear disarmament in isolation from a combination of factors that negatively impact strategic stability.
We consider it of utmost importance to take all necessary measures to both maintain the viability and ensure the effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Regrettably, here as well, we face mounting difficulties. Disagreements between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States are growing. Another destabilizing factor is the US decision not to ratify the CTBT and to start preparing its national test site for resuming nuclear tests. The situation with the implementation of the 1995 resolution on establishing a WMD-free zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East remains uncertain. Being one of the three со-sponsors of the resolution and fully aware of its responsibility for the NPT future, Russia supported the UNGA decision to convene a conference on the WMDFZ this November. We intend to contribute to its success taking into account the interests of all the States in the region.
A few remarks with regard to the UN disarmament machinery and its three components. Clearly, it is impossible to make the work of the Conference on Disarmament, the UNGA First Committee and the UNDC completely immune from politicization. However, certain States have persisted in using these fora to raise issues that help them settle scores with States they dislike. Over-politicization is becoming one of the major factors that obstruct the activities of the UN disarmament triad. Reasonable and meaningful proposals aimed at ensuring equal and indivisible security for all by launching substantive, constructive and professional dialogue are rejected.
As a result, the work of the Conference on Disarmament is being blocked, the decisions of the UNGA First Committee are being devalued, and the UN Disarmament Commission is losing its credibility. The ongoing difficulties, however, do not mean that the mechanism set up by our predecessors back in 1978 is intrinsically flawed and, therefore, should be dismantled as proposed by a number of radically minded delegations. Russia stands against it.
The state of the UN disarmament machinery is indicative of the overall deterioration of international environment, refusal by the collective West to engage in a dialogue on improving the current and elaborating new arms control instruments acceptable to all. The examples are plentiful. Let us take the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention negotiated here at the CD. Instead of a legally binding efficient verification mechanism of this Convention that is blocked by Washington, Western countries now propose so-called "peer review missions". By doing so, they intend to allegedly "prove" that activities and research carried out at the biological facilities are in compliance with the provisions of the Convention.
Another example is refusal to negotiate the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space. There is a relevant Russian-Chinese draft treaty with no other document on the table in this regard. However, the CD Member States are still unable to reach consensus to at least launch negotiations. For the second decade already, we have been hearing just excuses that the elaboration of an agreement would be a "time-consuming exercise", and that it is premature to begin talks before a real threat of space weaponization emerges. So it allegedly makes no sense at all to introduce a comprehensive ban in this respect.
In the meantime, the US has allocated funds for developing a missile defense (MD) space segment and deployment of strike capabilities in the Earth orbit. This MD segment would be capable of striking among others space-based objects. Thus, an operational combat structure would be built which would be ready to "cleanse" outer space from orbital property of the countries Washington dislikes. It opens the "Pandora box" for many States intensively participate in outer space activities and not so few of them are either already developing combat systems to be placed in outer space, or have the necessary capabilities to do that. So, the issue is becoming increasingly relevant. We expect that the UN GGE on PAROS established by the UNGA resolution which is at the moment in its final session could give additional impetus to the work of the CD.
Once again, I would like to draw your attention to the Russian initiative to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism (ICCBT) that I had the honour to present here in March 2016. One of the key provisions of this draft convention is the criminalization of the use of chemical substances and biological agents for terrorist purposes. This issue is extremely topical. After all, according to various estimates, in Syria alone, there has been between 300 and 400 terrorist attacks in which chemical agents were used.
We believe that the restraint towards our ICCBT initiative and the willingness to ignore multiple cases of chemical terrorism in Syria go hand in hand. Despite their stated concerns about the increasing threat of WMD terrorism, our opponents make the case against strengthening international legal framework to counter this evil.
Instead of working collectively, the Western countries have exerted all their efforts to establish and use an attribution mechanism within the OPCW, also by manipulating the Organization's Technical Secretariat as a tool for political pressure on the States they dislike. Such a brazen intrusion into the UNSC competence has already deeply divided the OPCW and will undoubtedly affect the CWC future.
Dear colleagues, I have to disagree with those who highlighting the continued stalemate at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament call for its eventual dissolution. Given that certain countries and groups of countries refuse to substantially discuss the matters that are critical, including to their own security, and make propagandists noise around them, it is extremely important to preserve the Conference as a single forum for negotiations on a wide range of the most pressing issues of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. There is no other format that indeed offers prospects for launching real multilateral negotiations. And it would be impossible to set up a truly inclusive one under the current circumstances.
We consider the discussions held in 2018 within the subsidiary bodies of the CD quite useful. We were ready to join the consensus on the UK's draft decision on their re-establishment based on all the agenda items. We regret that the draft did not enjoy necessary support. We are particularly frustrated with the unwillingness of the US delegation discuss this proposal in a substantive manner.
I am confident that we all have enough wisdom and strength to overcome this crisis, to preserve and consolidate the existing system of international instruments of arms control and non-proliferation, and to complement it with new arrangements. Regrettably, the statement made by the US representative yesterday so far proved the opposite. I do believe that our Western colleagues will be in a position to adequately assess the situation, set their priorities in a responsible way and rejoin our collective efforts to maintain peace and security including arms control architecture.
Thank you for your attention. I wish you to succeed.
Summary on the "East-2018" exercise
SUMMARY ON THE "EAST-2018" EXERCISE
The active phase of military maneuvers "EAST-2018" under the leadership of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation takes place in the period from 11 to 17 September, 2018.
The maneuvers will be conducted in accordance with the principle of recurrence of large-scale exercises of the troops of the military districts in the Russian Armed Forces completing the complex of mobilization, operational and combat training arrangements in 2018.
The theme of maneuvers: the use of troops battle groups (forces) to ensure Russia's military security in the Eastern theater of military operations.
The objectives of these maneuvers are:
- to improve the skills of commanders and headquarters to command and control combined troops battle groups (forces) during the military operations in the Eastern theater of military operations;
- to check the level of preparedness of military command and control bodies in planning and carrying out long distance lifting groups of troops (forces) and in organization of interaction between Army's and Navy's forces;
- to train commanders and headquarters in command and control of groups of troops (forces) in the course of preparation and conduct of military operation.
To work out the training issues during the maneuvers in the Eastern strategic direction it has been set up the situation, based on the escalation of confrontation between two coalitions of virtual states.
Reconnaissance of the military fields for practical actions took place in June, command-staff training in the Eastern military district, Central military district and at the Northern fleet were held in July. It followed in August by a sudden alert by the President of Russia - the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and 16 exercises with different types of combat support training.
The maneuvers will be held in two stages.
- At the first stage (2 days) the Joined strategic commands of the Eastern and the Central military districts and the Northern fleet will work out the final phase of troops (forces) deployment in the Eastern theater of military operations, training troops for military actions, boost forces of the Navy in the North, Far Eastern sea zones and in the North-West ocean zone as well as the issues of organization of interaction and comprehensive support of military operations in the interest of resolving tasks. The issues of conducting military operations to isolate conflict areas (first operations) in certain directions in the zone of responsibility of the Eastern military district will be practically exercised.
- At the second stage (5 days) military command and control bodies will work through command and control of joint groups of troops (forces) in the course of escalation conflicts and military actions in the whole theater of military operations.
At the training grounds of the Eastern military districts major tactical formations and military units will improve skills of field (naval, air) training with practical fulfilling of defensive and counteroffensive actions in the Zabaikalsky (Trans-Baikal) direction as well as in the naval operations in the sea zones of the Pacific ocean.
Practical actions of the military command and control bodies and troops will be conducted at six Army's military fields: "Tsugol", "Bamburovo", "Radygino", "Uspenovsky", "Lagunnoe", "Bikinsky", four military fields of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces: "Litovco", "Novoselscoe", "Telemba" and "Buchta Anna", at the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, the Avacha and the Kronotsky Gulfs.
The military command and control bodies, troops (forces) of the Eastern military district, some military command and control bodies, troops (forces) of the Central military district, Northern fleet's forces, all divisions of Airborne troops, divisions of strategic and transport aviation will participate in the maneuvers. Part of units of these forces is to simulate the enemy's actions.
In addition, a military contingent of the People's Liberation Army of China as well as Mongolian Armed Forces units will be involved for training of joint actions of units and subunits during the maneuvers.
The actions of troops (forces) in the course of maneuvers are conducted in accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan and the People's Republic of China on strengthening confidence in the military area in the border's regions, dated April 26, 1996.
In total, 297000 military personal, more than 1000 aircraft, helicopters and UAV, up to 36000 military vehicles, including about 1100 tanks, 1200 cannons, multiple launcher rocket systems, mortars, and up to 80 ships and logistics vessels are enlisted to maneuvers.
From the Chinese side, more than 3200 people, up to 900 combat vehicles and other military equipment, 6 aircraft and 24 helicopters take part in the maneuvers on the territory of the Russian Federation from the middle of August.
Russian-Chinese joint actions will be held at the "Tsugol" military field (the area is 431500 sq. km) in the Zabaikalsky kraj (Trans-Baikal Region). During the maneuvers a joint headquarters will be established and the command and control will be carried out by the representatives of the Eastern Military District of Russia and the Northern Combat Command Zone of China.
According to the Ministry of Defense of the PRC the main purpose of Chinese troops' participation is the development of Russian-Chinese comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in good faith invited representatives of the NATO Military Mission in Russia, the EU Delegation to Russia and military attaches of all countries to attend one stage of the maneuvers on September, 13, 2018.
Press conference on the results of briefing to the OPCW with participation of Douma's residents
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström
Russian Ambassador Victor Tatarintsev's interview to Dagens Industri
Comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry on illegal acts against Russian diplomatic missions in Sweden
Article by Russian Ambassador in Sweden Victor Tatarinsev in the newspaper Dagens Industri
Press release on First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov’s consultations with Swedish First Deputy Foreign Minister Annika Söder
On September 8, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov held consultations with Swedish First Deputy Foreign Minister Annika Söder in Stockholm.
The officials had a detailed discussion of topical issues in Russian-Swedish relations, including the schedule of political and interdepartmental meetings.
They reaffirmed their mutual interest in developing cooperation in regional structures in Northern Europe and the Arctic, and their determination to start up many new projects in this respect. Promoting security and stability in the Baltic Sea region was a special topic of discussion.
There was a comprehensive exchange of views on a wide range of international issues, including Yemen, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula, including in the context of Moscow’s and Stockholm’s cooperation in the UN, taking into account Sweden’s membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.
Russian Ambassador to Sweden Victor Tatarinsev’s interview to Svenska Dagbladet
Russian Ambassador to Sweden Victor Tatarintsev’s speech at a reception for Russia Day
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Today we celebrate together one of the major Russian state holidays - the Day of Russia!
Today we honor our motherland, which we love and which we are very proud of. We cherish our great history, our rich cultural and scientific heritage. We are proud of our people, who, even in the extremely difficult times, facing the most serious external challenges are able to evolve, to make breakthroughs to the new political, economic, scientific and creative achievements.
The Russian economy entered the recovery phase. The volume of Russia's gross national product is growing for the third consecutive quarter; inflation targets have been met. Our country demonstrates not so bad dynamics in improving the business climate. High quality of the Russian macroeconomic policy is noted by international investors and business leaders, for whom it is a valid argument in favor of working in the Russian market. Corresponding positive dynamics can be seen regarding inflow of foreign investments into the domestic economy.
The Russian Federation cares not only about the prosperity of their own people, but also makes a significant contribution to the progress of the entire world’s civilization, to the maintenance of international peace and security on the principles of independent development, taking into account the interests of all states, including Sweden.
Russia and Sweden are as we all know neighboring countries with quite a rich history of ups and downs in form of wars, conflicts and peaces. And now our relations are going through not the best period of their development. We have to admit to our pleasure that lately we could witness some signs and steps showing that awareness of no use of freezing ties with such a global actor like Russia - slowly but surely becomes stronger and gets more support here.
As far as the Russian Federation is concerned we are always open and ready to re-establish the level and scope of our bilateral interaction to at least what was the case 3-4 years ago.
The strength and the key to the successful development of Russia lie with civil and national consent in our vast multinational country with a complex federal structure - 85 subjects of the federation, 22 of which are republics. And today we would like to offer you a closer look at one of such Russian regions - the Chuvash Republic, which is situated in Central Russia and where the legendary Volga river is flowing by.
We with the support of the Plenipotentiary representative of Chuvashia to the President of Russia and the Russian fund of cultural and educational programs "Open Sea" have prepared a photo exhibition with a video presentation about Chuvashia and a short performance of a Chuvash folk music group.
I am sure that this presentation will help you to discover a new comer of Russia which you will want to visit, learn more about it, establish business and cultural contacts with it.
Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the Syrian "chemical dossier"
Reception on the occasion of the Victory Day
On May 8, the Embassy hosted a reception on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
Among the guests of the event were war veterans, representatives of Swedish authorities, local socio-political, business, scientific and cultural circles, the diplomatic corps, countrymen.
Fake Facebook page of the Embassy
The account "Ryska Ambassaden" on Facebook does not relate to the activities of the Russian Embassy in Sweden.
MINEPS VI - Kazan 2017
International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS) is a forum that facilitates intellectual and technical exchange in the field of physical education and sport and serves as an institutional mechanism for a coherent international strategy in this domain.
It is the only global platform of its kind, engaging governments, intergovernmental organizations, the sport movement, academia and specialized NGOs. The outcomes and recommendations of MINEPS are continuously strengthening the educational, cultural and social dimensions of physical education and sport while guiding the implementation of effective policies and practices around the world.
MINEPS conferences have been organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1976:
1976 — MINEPS I in Paris (France)
1988 — MINEPS II in Moscow (Russia)
1999 — MINEPS III in Punta del Este (Uruguay)
2004 — MINEPS IV in Athens (Greece)
2013 — MINEPS V in Berlin (Germany)
2017 — MINEPS VI in Kazan (Russian Federation)
About MINEPS VI
The Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI) will be held at the Korston Club Hotel, Kazan, Russian Federation, from 13 to 15 July 2017.
MINEPS VI is being prepared by a Programme Committee and an Organizing Committee. The Programme Committee, responsible for preparing the conference programme, is composed of UNESCO, the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Association of Sport for All (TAFISA) and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).
The Organizing Committee is headed by Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and includes the authorities of federal and regional bodies of executive powers.
It is expected that MINEPS VI will bring together ministers and senior officials responsible for physical education and sport representing 195 UNESCO member states, as well as representatives of involved international sports organizations.
MINEPS VI is intended to take stock of global developments in sport and to formulate strategic issues in international sport policy, with special reference to UNESCO's International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, and Declaration of Berlin, adopted by MINEPS V in 2013.
MINEPS VI is expected to mark a shift from declarations of policy intent towards measurable action. Consequently, rather than adopting another declaration, the conference is devoted to agree on a plan of actions to which the ministers commit.
In this regard, the presence at the Conference of senior officials of sports industries from all over the world, who shall endorse the final document by consensus, is of high importance. Therefore, the Russian Federation has undertaken a committment to cover the expenses of participation in MINEPS VI of sport ministers of the 50 least-developed countries.
Pursuant to Resolution 38C/47, a common framework for the international follow up to the Declaration of Berlin and the International Charter will be developed. As this common framework is expected to serve as a unified, international reference for orienting policy makers, especially, public sport authorities and the sport movement, it will also need to reflect the sustainable development goals (“SDGs”, Agenda 2030), that recognize the role of sport as “an important enabler of sustainable development”.
The following SDGs are particularly relevant:
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages;
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all;
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
- Reduce inequality within and among countries;
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Main themes and sub-topics of MINEPS VI
The Conference agenda is structured around three main themes, including specific sub-topics that will be further specified during the preparatory process:
Theme I:Developing a comprehensive vision of inclusive access for all, including
national sport strategies and plans; the cooperation between public authorities, sports organizations and other stakeholders; gender equality; non-discrimination; quality physical education.
Theme II:Maximizing the contributions of sport to sustainable development and peace, including physical activity and health; social inclusion; values and civic education; youth empowerment; national cohesion; urban planning; indigenous & traditional games; sport in post-conflict settings; major sport events; sport & ecology/climate change; sport and economic development.
Theme III:Protecting the integrity of sport, including good governance of sports organizations; fight against the manipulation of sports competitions; fight against doping; protection of participants, spectators and workers; child protection; fight against sexual exploitation and misconduct; prevention education and awareness rising.
Kazan Action Plan is considered to be an outcome document of MINEPS VI that includes five actions:
- Elaborate an advocacy tool presenting evidence-based arguments for investments in physical education, physical activity and sport;
- Develop common indicators for measuring the contribution of physical education, physical activity and sport to prioritized SDGs and targets;
- Develop a comprehensive set of international guiding principles orienting sport ministers’ interventions in the field of sport integrity (in correlation with the International Convention Against Doping in Sport);
- Conduct a feasibility study on a Global Observatory for Women, Sport, Physical Education and Physical Activity;
- Develop a clearinghouse for sharing information according to the sport policy follow-up framework developed for MINEPS VI;
The draft Kazan Action Plan is forwarded to all concerned stakeholders by the UNESCO Secretariat and is currently under discussion at the level of national sport authorities around the world.
In compliance with the bid submitted to UNESCO in September, 2016, to host the the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI), «the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation shall support the implementation of the articles of the mentioned Action Plan in every possible way».
At the same time the implementation of the mentioned actions is impossible without collective work of national sports governing bodies and international sport organizations that is coordinated by UNESCO.
- Draft Kazan Action Plan.
- Provisional Programme of MINEPS VI.
- Invitation to the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI) forwarded to Sports Ministers throughout the world on behalf of Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General.
Physical education and sport in the Russian Federation
Development of physical education and sports is a top priority of the country’s social policy. The Russian government has launched sport federal target programmes aimed at developing both high-performance and grassroots sport, modernizing children’s sports schools and providing them with equipment and gear, creating regional centres for sports reserve development, and constructing budget-friendly sports venues that will provide Russian citizens with the opportunity to practice sports.
Russia annually hosts a number of major grassroots sports activities, such as the Cross-Country Race of the Nation, Ski Track of Russia, Golden Puck and Leather Ball, as well as Spartakiades for different groups of population – students, young people, working teams, disabled people and retirees. Compared with the year 2008, the share of population regularly practicing physical activities and sports increased twice and reached 43 million people.
On September 1, 2014, the Russian government launched implementation of the Russian National GTO (the Russian acronym for the ‘Ready for Labour and Defence’ slogan) Health and Fitness Programme, or the GTO complex. The complex consists of standards for the physical development and preparedness of people across various age groups. Since the signing of the executive order on revival of the GTO complex, up to 700,000 people took GTO tests, and almost half of them passed them and were awarded gold, silver and bronze badges for meeting standards.
In view of positive social benefits of hosting sporting events such as development of sports infrastructure, promotion of healthy lifestyles and engagement of different groups of society in sports, the federal government invests considerable efforts in the delivery of major international events in Russia. This was evidenced by successful implementation of a whole number of high-profile sports projects: the 27th Summer Universiade (2013) in Kazan, the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (2014) in Sochi, the 16th FINA World Aquatics Championships and 16th FINA World Masters Championships (2015) in Kazan, and the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships (2016) in Moscow. Even more, in 2017 the FIFA Confederations Cup will be held in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan, and in 2018 eleven Russian cities will play host to the FIFA World Cup.
In October 2015, Russia submitted a bid to host the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI). Russia’s bid was approved on February 9, 2016. The sports capital of the Russian Federation, Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan), was selected as the host city for the upcoming conference.
The city’s achievements in the field of event management were more than once acknowledged with prestigious awards. On November 6, 2013, at the 7th International Sports Event Management Awards (ISEM) in London, UK, Kazan became winner in the Highly Commended Sport City category. In 2014, during the SportAccord International Convention in Belek, Turkey, SportsBusiness International magazine presented Tatarstan’s capital with the Best Newcomer award.
In 2009, Kazan was recognized as the ‘Sports Capital of Russia’. The city rightly and proudly bears this name, being a driving force for Russian sports development. Kazan is home to many award-winning athletes and sports clubs that participate in international competitions. The Rubin Football Club, Ak Bars Hockey Club, Zenit and Dynamo Volleyball Clubs, UNICS Basketball Club, and the Sintez Water Polo Club are the clubs whose names speak for themselves far beyond the country.
Staging of the 27th Summer Universiade in 2013 has given a new impetus to the development of children’s, youth and university sports not only in Kazan, but all over Russia. The Universiade was staged to the highest possible organizational standard and was dubbed as the best ‘World University Summer Games’ ever. Thus, Kazan has become a well recognizable city on the international sporting scene and an attractive place for hosting sporting events of all sizes.
In the summer of 2015, Kazan hosted one more major event – the 16th FINA World Championships – which became record-breaking in terms of the number of participating countries and cumulative TV audience. Apart from high-profile projects, Kazan regularly stages national and international sporting events at its venues. In 2017, together with Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi Kazan will play host to matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup and in 2018 the city is also in the list of 11 Russian cities for matches of the FIFA World Cup.
Condolences to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
The President expressed his condolences to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in connection with the tragic aftermath of the terrorist act in Stockholm.
Working visit of delegation of Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade
On March 14 a delegation of Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade headed by the first deputy Minister Gleb Nikitin was on a working visit to Sweden.
Mr. G.Nikitin was received by Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde, had negotiations with state secretary Oscar Stenström and heads of some Swedish companies to discuss the ways of development of Russian-Swedish trade and economic relations.
An important outcome of the meetings and negotiations of the first deputy minister was the agreement to hold a meeting of the co-chairs of the Russian-Swedish Steering committee on trade and economic cooperation. This intergovernmental body on the Russian side is headed by Minister of Industry and Trade D.Manturov, on the Swedish one - by Minister for EU Affairs and Trade A.Linde.