On the recent developments in Syria
The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy
multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies,
and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies.
Russia has repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities. This is the goal of the agreements by guarantor
countries under the Astana process – Russia, Turkey and Iran. Efforts are underway to implement these agreements.
However, such work is not going smoothly because of active resistance by terrorists and extremists who are doing their
best to disrupt the processes of establishing peaceful life and who do not want to see Syria a united, sovereign and
Clearly, the situation in each of the above problem areas has its own specifics. The attempts to put the entire
burden of responsibility solely on the official Syrian authorities are groundless. It is clear from past experience
that many of our Western colleagues tend to avoid thoughtful analysis of developments in Syria. They already know in
advance who is to blame for everything.
Raqqa has turned into a ghost city in the wake of massive bombardment by the US-led “anti-ISIS” coalition in the
autumn of 2017. More than 80 per cent of the buildings in this city have been destroyed. The mine clearance effort is
moving very slowly. In fact, no one is doing it.
Rukban camp located next to the border with Jordan cannot be accessed, because it is located inside a “security
area” which was illegally and without prior arrangement created by the United States. In fact, the US troops have this
area under their control.
The escalation of tension outside Afrin, where no Syrian government troops are present at the moment, was caused by
the United States supporting its “clients” despite Washington's assurances of supporting Syria’s territorial
On the night of 9 to 10 February, and on the morning of 10 February, Israeli aircraft dealt several missile strikes
on targets in Syria, including those on the border of the de-escalation zone in the south-west of the Republic. The
loss among the Syrians and the material damage resulting from these attacks are yet to be confirmed. In Moscow these
developments caused serious apprehension. Of particular concern is the danger of escalating tension within and around
de-escalation zones in Syria, the creation of which has become an important factor in reducing violence.
In this regard, the Russian Federation urges all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions
that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. It is necessary to unconditionally respect the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region.
Embassy of Russia in Botswana
On the XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
The next XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will take place on May 24–26, 2018.
St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is a leading international economic and business forum held annually in Russia. It was established in 1997. Since 2006 SPIEF has been held under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. Over its twenty years of history SPIEF has built a reputation of the most important international political and economic event in Russia. The Forum affirmed its relevance as a universally recognized venue for open and frank exchange of opinions between heads of state and government, international organizations and instiutions, representatives of business elite, academia, civil society and the media, establishing trustworthy business contacts.
There is growing international attention to SPIEF from various parts of the world, including Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa. Representatives of numerous foreign countries and companies traditionally choose the St. Petersburg Forum as an effective tool for promoting their investment projects.
Last year the Forum brought together a record number of participants – over 14,000 business representatives, heads of international organizations, officials, experts, scientists, and media from more than 143 countries. Among them were heads of 700 Russian and 400 foreign companies. Over 900 speakers and moderators took part in the Forum covering a wide range of topics including socio-economic development, energy, transportation, the environment, healthcare, culture, tourism, education, and science. 475 investment agreements and memorandums were concluded for a total amount of $ 30 bln. American business had the largest representation at the SPIEF-2017. In total, 560 people from 140 companies came from the US.
The programme of the Forum included a business roundtable under the theme “Russia–Africa: a Structural Approach To Cooperation In The New Economic Reality”. It got together representatives of African political circles and private sector, including such prominent figures as the then Vice-President of Zimbabwe Phelekezela Mphoko and the Second Vice-President of Burundi Joseph Butore.
Updated information about SPIEF-2018 is available at the official website http://www.forumspb.com/en.
Embassy of Russia in Botswana