3 May 2015
Moscow: 18:51
London: 15:51

Consular Section:  
+44(0) 203 668 7474   
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

RUSSO-BRITISH ECONOMIC RELATIONS

  Economic co-operation has traditionally been a priority area of Russia-UK relations. However, recent general deterioration of the political dialogue as a result of a non-constructive policy of the British leadership regarding settlement of the Ukrainian crisis affected trade and economic ties in 2014.

  The interaction within key official co-operation mechanisms, including UK-Russia Joint Steering Committee on Trade and Investment as well as High level Energy Dialogue, was frozen on London’s initiative. British authorities have been actively promoting anti-Russian sanctions within the EU. Their implementation alongside with a drop of the oil prices led to a slowdown of Russian-British trade by 21% in 2014 to $19.3 bn.

  By using ever more sophisticated excuses and methods British authorities continue to set artificial obstacles to prevent Russian capital from coming to the UK market. The last example is London’s blocking of the commercial deal with the participation of the Russian “LetterOne”, which made a bid to acquire 12 British oil and gas fields in the North Sea. A hypothetical possibility of this company’s inclusion in the anti-Russian sanctions list in case of its potential expansion was alleged as a reason. At the same time, by feeding the negative anti-Russian rhetoric, the UK authorities are, in effect, pushing British businesses interested in the Russian market to give up their previously considered projects.

  However, British business community being interested in continuing normal relations with our country adheres to the constructive approach and does not support the attempts to politicize economic relations. This is specifically the reason why the UK  could maintain the position of one of Russia’s leading foreign trade and investment partners so far. Today about six hundred British companies continue to successfully operate in the Russian market. By the end of 2013 Britain’s accumulated foreign investment in Russia totalled $28 bn making it the fifth largest investor in our country.

  Russian business presence in the UK is also significant. The financial sector, energy, retail trade, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, mineral resources industry, transport, communications, pharmaceuticals and real estate are among the most attractive areas of investment co-operation. There remains interest in bilateral co-operation between our countries’ regions.

  The London Stock Exchange is still the leading international platform for Russian companies accessing investors on global capital markets with more than 50 Russian and Russian-focused companies traded on the LSE. These include Sberbank, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Norilsk Nickel, VTB, X5 Retail Group, SISTEMA, MegaFon and others.

  Our two countries continue their co-operation aimed to transform Moscow into an international financial centre. The latest meeting of the relevant Joint Liaison Group took place in July 2014 at the International Investment Bank in Moscow with the participation of over 40 financial and related industry professionals from both Russia and the UK.

  Thus, despite the current complications caused by the UK Government policy, Russian and British businesses understand each other, which allows them to continue developing mutually beneficial ties and preventing bilateral trade and economic relations from further deterioration.