After reading the latest Sunday Standard issue’s article “Masisi gets on Putin’s bad side”, the Embassy wishes to warn readers of this newspaper and the Botswana public in general that the content of this publication is inconsistent with reality.
First of all, the Embassy emphasizes that Russia has never classified Botswana as an unfriendly country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has never cancelled meetings with President Mokgweetsi Masisi, and all the speculations and gossips around the absence of Botswana in the schedule of the Minister’s trip to Africa last month do not deserve serious attention.
There have been no Botswana’s engagements with Russia asking to end the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. The interaction between Russia and Botswana, both in a bilateral format and at international forums, including UN, has always been mutually respectful and constructive.
The Embassy would especially like to highlight that its Note sent to Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the eve of the UN General Assembly vote on Russia’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council did not contain the text cited in the article. Moreover, the Embassy later expressed gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Botswana for its principled stand and decision not to support the Western-sponsored resolution, abstaining from voting.
We have to admit that all the insinuations and false conclusions that the author of the article comes to at the end of his opus have no basis and are nothing more than the fruit of his imagination.
Or is it the result of a deliberate provocation to damage the long-standing friendly relationship between Russia and Botswana? Then it’s easy to guess who the real authors of this nasty article are, and they are obviously not Batswana.
*PRESS RELEASE OF THE EMBASSY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
IN THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
by Alexey Nesterov*
Embassy of Russia