Embassy of
the Russian Federation
in the Republic of South Africa

Chancery
tel: +2712 362-1337
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Consular Section
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updated 6:26 AM UTC, Jul 24, 2017

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the approval by the Polish authorities of amendments to the law banning propaganda of Communism or any other totalitarian system

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the law of June 22, 2017, on amendments to the law of April 1, 2016, banning Communism or any other totalitarian system propaganda, which specifically provide for the removal of monuments and memorial plaques to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Poland from Nazi occupation in 1944-1945.

Russia has repeatedly drawn Warsaw’s attention to the fact that these actions are a direct violation of the international legal obligations in bilateral treaties and agreements that Russia and Poland signed between 1992 and 1994, under which Polish authorities have a duty to maintain and defend these facilities.

Apart from the international legal aspect, this issue has a crucial moral dimension. The monuments of gratitude to the Red Army and the Soviet liberator soldiers are a reminder that it was owing to the Victory over Nazism, to which the Soviet Union made a decisive contribution, that Poland could survive as a state and the Polish people were not destroyed or banished and were left to live on their own land. The USSR paid an immense price for the liberation of Poland, losing over 600,000 Soviet soldiers and officers, who died in engagements with the enemy in the territory of Poland and were buried there. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were kept in German concentration camps and also rest in peace in Polish soil.

The Polish authorities are certainly aware of the flagrant insult they are throwing at the Russian people and the peoples of countries that were once part of the USSR, whose sons and daughters were fighting against a common enemy and for the life and liberty of the European peoples, including the Poles. Nevertheless, Warsaw has consciously decided to go ahead with this outrageous provocation. Needless to say, it will not be left without a response.  

Press release on Mosul

The Iraqi authorities have announced the completion of capturing Mosul. This message was delivered from the liberated city by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who arrived as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to personally congratulate servicemen and militias.

And although scattered pockets of armed resistance by Islamic State remain, a crushing blow has been dealt to ISIS in Iraq. What lies ahead is the elimination of the terrorists' presence on the entire territory of the country.

The capture of Mosul was accomplished thanks to the courage and perseverance of the Iraqi soldiers, the people's militia, and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The offensive showed the ability of the government and people of Iraq – a friendly nation to Russia –  to jointly overcome the challenges of terrorism. 

Yet, it should be noted that a high price was paid in the offensive to recapture Mosul. According to various reports, the losses of the Iraqi forces stand at some 30,000. Horrific suffering has been endured by civilians. During the fighting to liberate the city, some 7,000 its residents were killed, as a result of both ISIS actions and the air strikes by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. About 900,000 Mosul residents have become refugees.

Moscow supports the actions by the Iraqi authorities aimed at restoring the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are certain that promoting intra-Iraqi national reconciliation, with due account of the interests of all ethnic and religious groups, will consolidate the progress in fighting terrorism. 

Russia Day reception

120617

 

Following the National Awards ceremony, a reception was held on the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square for the national holiday, Russia Day.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to congratulate you on Russia Day. This holiday marks the centuries-old, uninterrupted path of our Fatherland; our achievements and victories; the pivotal, breakthrough stages and the unending progress to new heights of development. The main credit for the renewal of the country, the strengthening of the state, always goes to its citizens, their work, unity and devotion to the Fatherland. We know this, and not just from history.
The sweeping transformations of the 90s changed the lives of modern generations. We ourselves lived through this difficult, dramatic period. The radical changes affected all branches and levels of government, economic and social relations. Changes of this scale and depth always have varied consequences. Russia, our people have not only lived through a rapid leap forward to a new life – and this is something without which development would be impossible – but also through extremely dangerous, alarming times when statehood was weakened, and the foundations of society were eroding and vulnerable.
However, all of these difficulties were overcome. Year by year, as democratic institutions developed and society opened up, there was a growing understanding of the importance of our roots and traditions, a growing realisation that progress can be made only in a strong, independent country and that the state’s power is derived from political stability, common goals and the consolidation of society.
Together, we were able to preserve the unique diversity of the Russian people, prevent the obliteration and devaluation of the principles of citizenship and patriotism, secure the sovereignty of our country, and clearly define the national interests of Russia. We learnt how to stand up for them, relying, among other things, on historical experience. And this coherent understanding of Russia is our most important possession.
The outstanding achievements of the National Award winners are a shining example of devotion and respect for the Fatherland. Once again, from the bottom of my heart I would like to congratulate you on the high praise that your work in the arts and sciences has garnered.
Dear friends,
In order to achieve success in the economy, in social development, we must understand, hear and respect each other, cherish what has already been done for the Fatherland to improve the quality of the people’s lives, their security. We all need to focus on a positive, creative agenda. Each of us is able to make our own contribution to strengthening Russia. This is our duty to the Fatherland, our responsibility for its present and future.
I would like to propose a toast to a free, prosperous Russia, to the well-being of its citizens! Happy Russia Day!

Meeting with heads of international news agencies

020617

Vladimir Putin began his work at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum by meeting with the heads of international news agencies.

Taking part in the meeting were President of EFE (Spain) Jose Antonio Vera, Editor-in-Chief of PTI (India) Vijay Joshi, Vice President of Kyodo News (Japan) Juno Kondo, General Director of DPA (Germany) Peter Kropsch, Editor-in-Chief of Anadolu (Turkey) Metin Mutanoglu, First Vice President of Xinhua (China) Zhang Sutan, Vice President of Associated Press (USA) Ian Phillips, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg (USA) John Fraher, President and Director General of ANSA (Italy) Giuseppe Cerbone, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of TT Group (Sweden) and President of the European Alliance of News Agencies Jonas Eriksson. Russia was represented at the meeting by Director General of TASS Sergei Mikhailov.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,
It is a great pleasure to see you again in St Petersburg on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
We meet regularly on the forum’s sidelines, but for some reason, these meetings always took place in the evening and went on very late into the night. This time, we have a chance to discuss things with a fresh head, as it were.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech at a reception for Africa Day, Moscow, May 31, 2017

Afrika

Colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Your Excellencies,

I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to all those present on Africa Day.

President Vladimir Putin sent his traditional message of greetings to the heads of African states and governments in which he praised the successes of African countries in diverse spheres, as well as Africa’s growing role in forming a fair and democratic multipolar international order. We confirm our readiness to further expand our wide-ranging cooperation.

Russia’s consistently friendly, partner relations with African states, based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, have stood the test of time and continue developing. Yesterday and today’s talks with the delegations of Nigerian and Zambian friends that are present here and are headed by Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and Zambian Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba reaffirmed their shared determination to deepen and diversify partnership and search for new, promising areas of cooperation.

We are developing high-level and top-level political dialogue, promoting our inter-parliamentary ties and expanding cooperation between foreign ministries. This year alone Moscow played host to the foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Zambia, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Eritrea. Following the talks the sides confirmed that their positions align on most international issues and ways of addressing security challenges and threats.

Russia is interested in developing cooperation with the African Union and other African associations. We value our regular political consultations with their leaders.

We are in favour of deepening the BRICS-Africa dialogue that was launched in Durban in 2013.

Socioeconomic progress is inseparable from our ability to ensure peace and security. We support the efforts of Africans to prevent and settle conflicts, including building up their own peacekeeping capacity. We are ready to broaden our cooperation in fighting international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and piracy.

We support the principle that African problems require African solutions. We are convinced that African countries know better than anyone else how to overcome difficulties on the path to peace, stability and sustainable development. The world community is called upon to help Africans and support these aspirations.

There are good opportunities for promoting trade and economic ties. We support the interest in expanding Russian business activity in Africa and the implementation of regional projects on mineral resources, energy infrastructure and agriculture.

We will continue carrying out debt-for-development programmes and using most favoured nation status in trade.

We will continue rendering humanitarian aid to African states, including as part of the UN and the G20, to African countries that have fallen victim to conflicts, natural and man-made disasters and pandemics.

The number of Africans studying in Russian universities is growing every year. There are about 15,000 students in Russia now.

The start of dialogue between the African Union Commission and the Commission of the Eurasian Economic Union is a new undertaking. We have an extensive and ambitious agenda.

Today, on Africa Day, I would like to wish you new achievements on this road. Congratulations to you once again. I wish you all the best. 

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