Posts Tagged ‘Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’

Russia urges U.S. not to interfere in Iran’s ‘domestic affairs’

January 4, 2018


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia urges the United States not to interfere in what Moscow calls Iran’s “domestic affairs”, TASS news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday as saying.

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his support for protesters who have been staging rallies across Iran over the past week against the country’s clerical leadership.

Writing by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Gareth Jones


Moscow says U.S. and North Korea should start a dialogue — Is Putin Playing Trump to Destroy Tillerson?

December 18, 2017

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow hopes that the United States and North Korea will start a dialogue, Russian state-run RIA news agency reported on Monday.

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FILE PHOTO – A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Ryabkov said Washington and Pyongyang should start actual talks instead of discussing conditions for such talks.

Russian military delegation arrives in N. Korea, scouting any chance for dialogue
Published time: 13 Dec, 2017 15:26
Edited time: 13 Dec, 2017 15:53
Russian military delegation arrives in N. Korea, scouting any chance for dialogue
Russian military delegation arrives in N. Korea, scouting any chance for dialogue
FILE PHOTO © Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Sputnik
Russian Defense Ministry representatives have arrived in the North Korean capital. It is the second visit by Russian officials in two weeks, and comes as Washington claims it is ready for direct talks with Pyongyang, while still staging war games in the turbulent region.
The delegation is headed by Deputy Director of the Russian National Defense Command Center Viktor Kalganov, and has been on assignment in North Korea since Tuesday. The officials are to remain in Pyongyang for the rest of the week.
N. Korea open to talks if recognized as nuclear power – Russian delegation to Pyongyang

The newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15. © KCNAN. Korea open to talks if recognized as nuclear power – Russian delegation to Pyongyang

There has been no word on their mission from the Russian military. However, almost simultaneously with news of the visit, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow is using “any opportunity for direct communication” and will continue to do so, including with the help of the Defense Ministry. “North Korea is our neighbor, we must develop relations with this country,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a briefing on Wednesday. “Political dialogue is extremely important,” he added.

The Russian military have traveled to Pyongyang to “activate” a settlement of the crisis in the region, Deputy Head of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council Aleksandr Kanshin told Interfax. “The aim of the military, political and diplomatic efforts is clear: all sides should be put back at negotiations table, to put away provocative and threatening military rhetoric and demonstration of force,” the official said. He noted that such missions are part of a road map proposed by Moscow and Beijing, which seeks a solution to the nuclear tensions through dialogue.

Moscow has repeatedly said that only diplomatic efforts can solve the crisis. Following a recent visit to North Korea by Russian lawmakers, the delegation said that Pyongyang is ready for talks if it is recognized a nuclear power. North Korea can sit at a negotiating table with the US with the participation of Russia as a third party, it proposed.

READ MORE: Pyongyang seeks direct dialogue with Washington, Moscow ready to help – Lavrov

While the Russian delegation is working in Pyongyang, Washington has made a U-turn in its hardline stance towards the North. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US is ready for talks with no preconditions. Russia, which has always advocated a diplomatic approach, welcomed the new tone of the American rhetoric, with Ryabkov saying that previously the US treated any direct contacts with Pyongyang as “abnormal.”

At the same time, the US has not abandoned another pillar of its policy in the region, which is the continuation of a series of military drills near the Korean Peninsula. The recent maneuvers are considered to be one of the largest military drills to date aimed at North Korea.

US holds massive military drills aimed at North Korea despite warnings from Moscow

8:45 – 12 дек. 2017 г.

US holds massive military drills aimed at North Korea despite warnings from Moscow — RT World News
US and Japanese warplanes held joint drills on Tuesday targeting North Korea despite recent calls from Moscow for restraint.

“Unfortunately, the US carry on with their non-constructive line aimed at military build-up in North-Eastern Asia,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. She reiterated that Moscow calls on all sides to refrain from moves that only escalate the crisis.


Moscow warns new U.S. sanctions take ties into uncharted waters — Post-Cold War low

July 26, 2017


JULY 26, 2017 / 3:07 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia warned on Wednesday that new U.S. sanctions against Moscow approved by the House of Representatives take already battered ties into uncharted waters and said it was close to taking retaliatory measures of its own.

Russia was responding after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on Moscow and to force President Donald Trump to obtain lawmakers’ permission before easing any sanctions on Russia.

Moscow had initially hoped that Trump would work to repair a relationship which has slumped to a post-Cold War low, but has watched with frustration as allegations that Moscow interfered with last year’s U.S. presidential election and concerns over Trump associates’ Russia ties have killed off hopes of detente.

Russia flatly denies the meddling accusations.

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency the latest U.S. sanctions move left no room to improve ties between Moscow and Washington in the near future and took the relationship into uncharted waters.

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Mikhail Voskresenskiy / RIA Novosti

“This is already having an extremely negative impact on the process of normalizing our relations,” Ryabkov told Interfax.

U.S.-Russia relations were entering “uncharted territory in a political and diplomatic sense,” he added.

Russia has repeatedly warned the United States it will retaliate against what it sees as hostile moves and Ryabkov made clear Moscow was growing tired of showing restraint.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier this month that too many American spies operated in Russia under diplomatic cover and that it might expel some of them to retaliate over Washington’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats last year.

That warning reflected rising frustration in Moscow over the Trump administration’s refusal to hand back two Russian diplomatic compounds which were seized at the same time as the diplomats were sent home.

Many Russian politicians believe Trump’s political opponents and Congress have successfully reduced the U.S. president’s room for maneuver on Russia to almost nil.

Ryabkov told Interfax the new sanctions bill was the “brainchild” of U.S. Congressmen who hated Russia and wanted to box in Trump.

Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the foreign relations committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, called on Moscow to devise a “painful” response to the U.S. move.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn


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Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S., is going back to Moscow and will be replaced.

Russia, mulling expulsions, says too many U.S. spies work in Moscow (Will relations now really sour?)

July 15, 2017

By Andrew Osborn and Maria Tsvetkova


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday that too many American spies operated in Moscow under diplomatic cover and said it might expel some of them to retaliate against the United States over Washington’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats last year.

The warning, delivered by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, reflects rising frustration in Moscow over the Trump administration’s refusal to hand back two Russian diplomatic compounds which were seized at the same time as some of Russia’s diplomats were sent home last year.

Barack Obama, U.S. president at the time, ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in December, along with the seizure of the two diplomatic compounds, over what he said was the hacking of U.S. political groups during the 2016 presidential election, something Russia has flatly denied.

President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate immediately at the time, saying he would wait to see what the new administration of Donald Trump would do.

Zakharova complained on Friday that U.S. officials were not issuing visas to Russian diplomats to allow Moscow to replace the expelled employees and get its embassy back up to full strength.

“We have a way of responding,” she told a news briefing. “The number of staff at the U.S. embassy in Moscow exceeds the number of our embassy employees in Washington by a big margin. One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers.”

If there was no movement in the U.S.-Russia dispute soon, she said Moscow would have to reluctantly retaliate and suggested U.S. spies working in Russia would be among those to be expelled.

“There are too many employees of the CIA and the Pentagon’s espionage unit working under the roof of the American diplomatic mission whose activity does not correspond at all with their status,” said Zakharova.

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Killenworth, an estate built in 1913 for George du Pont Pratt and purchased by the former Soviet Union in the 1950’s, is seen in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, U.S., on December 30, 2016. Credit  Rashid Umar Abbasi

‘Time Running Out’

Russia would also move to deny U.S. diplomats use of a dacha compound and a warehouse in Moscow, she made clear.

Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had not yet taken any decision on retaliation. He said Russia rejected the idea of linking the dispute to other issues.

Peskov was responding to comments made to CNN by Sebastian Gorka, a Trump adviser, that appeared to link the compounds’ return to Russia’s behavior in Syria.

Image result for Sebastian Gorka, photos

Zakharova said time for Washington to act “was running out.”

“We don’t want to resort to extreme measures. (But) if it’s the only way to make our American partners understand we will have to act.”

Asked when Moscow might retaliate, she suggested a lot would depend on the outcome of a meeting in Washington on Monday between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.

Russia expected U.S. officials to use the meeting to set out “detailed proposals” on the matter, she said.

“There is no precise deadline. Everything depends on the reaction of the U.S. side, its concrete actions, and on the results of the consultations which will now take place in Washington.”

Additional reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe

Russia To Target U.S. and Coalition Aircraft Over Syria

June 19, 2017

Russia steps up rhetoric after U.S. fighter shoots down Syrian government jet


June 19, 2017 10:33 a.m. ET

MOSCOW—Russia escalated tensions with the United States Monday, promising to actively track U.S. and coalition aircraft over Syria with air defense systems and warplanes, the country’s defense ministry said.

In a statement released Monday, the Russian military said it would treat U.S. and coalition operating west of the Euphrates Rivers as “aerial targets,” but stopped short of threatening a shootdown.

“In regions where the…



Russia warns US-led coalition over downing of Syrian jet


Defence ministry says planes flying west of Euphrates will be treated as targets and that it has suspended safety agreement with US

A US navy F/A-18 Super Hornet
The Pentagon confirmed that a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet had shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday. Photograph: US DoD handout/EPA

Russia’s defence ministry has said it will treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river in Syria as a potential target, after the US military shot down a Syrian air force jet on Sunday.

The ministry also said it was suspending a safety agreement with Washington designed to prevent collisions and dangerous incidents in Syrian airspace.

According to the Pentagon the Syrian jet in question had dropped bombs near US partner forces involved in the fight to wrest Raqqa from Islamic State (Isis) control. It was the first such US attack on a Syrian air force plane since the start of the country’s civil war six years ago.

In an apparent attempt at deescalation, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the defence and security committee at the upper chamber of Russian parliament, described the defence ministry’s statement as a warning. “I’m sure that because of this neither the US nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft,” he told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. “That’s why there’s no threat of direct confrontation between Russia and American aircraft.”

Ozerov said Russia will be tracking the coalition’s jets, not shooting them down, but he added that “a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that pose a threat to Russian aircraft”.

The deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the US strike “has to be seen as a continuation of America’s line to disregard the norms of international law.

“What is this if not an act of aggression? It is, if you like, help to those terrorists that the US is fighting against, declaring they are carrying out an anti-terrorism policy.”

The Russian response increases the risk of an inadvertent air fight breaking out between US and Russian warplanes in the skies above Syria.

The US military confirmed that a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet had shot down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday. The US said the Syrian jet had dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters who are aligned with US forces in the fight against Isis. Damascus said its plane had been on anti-Isis mission.

Col John Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, said there were no US forces in the immediate vicinity of the Syrian attack but that the SDF was under threat for more than two hours.

The growing risk of a direct confrontation between the US and Russia follows a decision by Donald Trump to grant his military chiefs untrammelled control of US military strategy in Syria.

Tensions have also been bubbling between Washington and Moscow over efforts to dislodge Isis from its Raqqa stronghold.

Russia, a staunch supporter of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has been pressing the US to make the removal of Isis a joint land and air operation, but discussions over Syria’s long-term political future appear to have ground to a halt, leaving the US military to operate in a political vacuum.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters working alongside western special forces, said it would take action to defend itself from Syrian warplanes if attacks continued.

The Trump administration has promised to improve arms supplies to the SDF after it concluded that it was the force most capable of freeing Raqqa from Isis.

In a sign of how complex the Syrian peace process has become, Russian-sponsored peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, are scheduled to resume on the same day – 10 July – as talks convened by the UN in Geneva.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, announced the date on Monday in the knowledge that it would coincide with the UN schedule. He also said that the UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, would take part.

A spokesman for de Mistura said “the subject is currently being discussed”.

Russia halts US aviation cooperation over downing of Syrian jet

June 19, 2017

AFP, Reuters and The Associated Press

© Omar haj kadour, AFP | A Syrian army jet fires rockets over the village of Rahbet Khattab in Hama province on March 23, 2017.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-19

The Russian defence ministry said Monday that it was halting aviation cooperation with the United States after the US downed a Syrian government warplane on Sunday, a move one Russian official described as a clear “act of aggression”.

The Russian defence ministry said it was halting cooperation with Washington within the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria, effective immediately. It also accused the United States of not using the proper communication channels before shooting down the Syrian army jet.

“The command of the coalition forces did not use the established communication channel for preventing incidents in Syrian airspace,” the ministry said, adding that Moscow “ends cooperation with the American side from June 19”.

Moreover, any coalition aircraft flying to the west of the Euphrates will be treated as targets, the defence ministry said.

“Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates river will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia’s air defences on and above ground.”

URGENT: Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19 – Moscow


@RT_comCoalition’s airborne objects in Russian Air Force’s Syria missions areas to be tracked as targets – Moscow

Voir l'image sur Twitter

Russia previously suspended the memorandum of understanding on air safety in April to protest against US airstrikes launched in response to a suspected chemical attack.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, on Monday firmly condemned the United States for shooting down the Syrian plane, calling it an “act of aggression”.

“This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America’s line to disregard the norms of international law,” Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow on Monday, the TASS news agency reported. “What is this if not an act of aggression?”

Ryabkov said the Kremlin had also warned the United States not to use force against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Moscow ally.

A Syrian jet plane

The incident marked the first time an American fighter jet had taken down a Syrian warplane, which Washington accused of attacking US-backed fighters.

The tensions come as the US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to evict the Islamic State (IS) group from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

>> Read more: MSF says 10,000 Syrians flee Raqqa as battle for the city nears

The Syrian jet was shot down after regime forces engaged fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance battling IS jihadists with US support, in an area close to Raqqa. The American F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down the Syrian SU-22 around 7pm as it “dropped bombs near SDF fighters” south of the town of Tabqa, the coalition said in a statement.

It said that several hours earlier, regime forces had attacked the SDF in another town near Tabqa, wounding several and driving the SDF from the town.

The coalition said the Syrian warplane had been shot down “in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defence of Coalition partnered forces”.

Syria’s army disputed the account, saying its plane was hit while “conducting a mission against the terrorist Islamic State group”.

It warned of “the grave consequences of this flagrant aggression”.

International imbroglio

The SDF entered Raqqa for the first time earlier this month and now holds four neighbourhoods in the east and west of the city.

In a further escalation of military action in Syria, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it launched a series of missiles into Syria on Sunday in revenge for deadly attacks on its capital that were claimed by the Islamic State group. It said the missiles were “in retaliation” for a June 7 attack on the parliament complex and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that killed 17 people.

Assad has focused his forces further east, to the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, which is largely under IS group control and where government forces are besieged in part of the provincial capital.

Outside of coalition operations, US forces have only once directly targeted the regime – when Washington launched air strikes against an airbase it said was the launchpad for an alleged chemical attack that killed more than 80 civilians in April.

The Kremlin denounced those US strikes as an “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”.

Syria’s war began in March 2011 with anti-government protests but has since spiralled into a complex and bloody conflict that has killed more than 320,000 people and become a proxy war for regional powers as well as ensnaring the United States and Russia.

Interfax reported that Ryabkov and the US under secretary of state, Thomas Shannon, would meet in St Petersburg on June 23 to discuss persistent tensions in bilateral ties.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)


The Syrian SU-22 fighter bomber was shot down by an American F18 Super Hornet after it had dropped bombs near the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces north of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)-held city of Raqqa in northern Syria.

The US, which has special forces troops in the area, had earlier sent a warning to the Syrian military to stop targeting the forces and called on Russia to rein in its ally, but they were ignored.

Russia, which intervened militarily to back the Syrian regime in 2015,on Monday condemned the US action, saying it flouted international law.

“It is, if you like, help to those terrorists that the US is fighting against, declaring they are carrying out an anti-terrorism policy,” Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said, adding it was a “dangerous escalation”.

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Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said: “It is hard for me to choose any other words but these: if you [the US] can’t help you should at least not interfere. As your ‘efforts’ once again do nothing but help the militants.

“You are fighting the wrong party: it is not the Syrian army that perpetrates terror attacks in European capital cities.”

See the whole report:



Russian diplomat: U.S. downing of Syrian warplane is ‘support of terrorists’: TASS

June 19, 2017

Image may contain: airplane

Moscow sees the downing of a Syrian government warplane by the United States as an “act of aggression and support of terrorists”, TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov)


The truth is, the U.S. has communicated with Russia and Syria many times not to fly in a threatening manner in certain areas. The consequences of Syria’s Russian-supported actions are clear. Russia’s answer is more fake news and propaganda. Peace and Freedom Editor

Russia Wanted Delay in Aleppo Ceasefire, Unacceptable to U.S.: State Department — Russia Shows Its Disdain for The U.S., Allies

December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department said on Monday Russia told the United States it wanted a ceasefire to allow civilians leave the Syrian city of Aleppo delayed for several days, a proposal unacceptable in view of the continued attacks on civilians.

“Rather than accepting the U.S. proposal for an immediate cessation, the Russians informed us that a cessation could not start for several days, meaning that the assault by the regime and its supporters will continue until any agreement will go into effect,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing in response to a question about weekend talks in Geneva.

“Given the dire situation in Aleppo and the reports of continued attacks on civilians and infrastructure, this was just simply not acceptable.”

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Eric Beech)


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) attend a bilateral meeting in Rome, Italy December 2, 2016. Photo by Gregorio Borgia – Reuters


Peace and Freedom comment: Mr. Kerry does not seem to understand the nature of Mr. Assad and Mr. Putin.
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Russia Says No Agreement With U.S. on Safe Exit for Aleppo Rebels — Kerry Unable To Get a Single Concession from Lavrov

December 11, 2016

MOSCOW — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Sunday that Moscow had not reached an agreement with the United States for rebel fighters in Syria’s Aleppo to have safe passage out of the city, RIA news agency reported.

Rebel officials told Reuters earlier on Sunday that a proposal had been tabled by the two countries for fighters to leave the city with their families and other civilians.

“What western agencies are reporting does not necessarily correspond with reality,” Ryabkov said, adding that Russia was working to create the necessary conditions for the safe extraction of people from Aleppo.

“The issue of withdrawing militants is the subject of separate agreements. This agreement has not yet been reached, largely because the United States insists on unacceptable terms,” RIA quoted him as saying.

Ryabkov said that talks between Russian and U.S. experts would continue in Geneva, RIA reported.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by David Goodman)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) attend a bilateral meeting in Rome, Italy December 2, 2016. Photo by Gregorio Borgia – Reuters


Peace and Freedom comment: Mr. Kerry does not seem to understand the nature of Mr. Assad and Mr. Putin.
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U.S.-Russia deal to allow Syrian rebels to safely leave Aleppo still in the works

December 8, 2016

MOSCOW — Russia and the United States are close to reaching an understanding on Syria’s Aleppo, the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.

“In the past several days an intensive document exchange on the situation in Aleppo has taken place,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

“We are close to reaching an understanding, but I want to warn against high expectations,” Ryabkov added.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that a potential U.S.-Russia deal to allow Syrian rebels to safely leave Aleppo was still on the agenda.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Hamburg later on Thursday after the two men held talks on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)