21 January 2019
Moscow: 01:28
London: 22:28

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  

323 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     315 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Ambassador Yakovenko on the achievements in the Russian-British relationship in 2013 (Interfax)

The events of the passing year have confirmed that normalization of our bilateral political dialogue has become a stable and steady trend. Our relationship has been developing in a sustainable, dynamic manner, moving in the right direction, i.e. serving the mutual interests of Russia and the UK, our citizens. And most importantly, we share the philosophy that strong multilateral diplomacy should be supplemented by robust bilateral relationships, strong enough to withstand the impact of any political conjuncture.

The political leaders set the right, result-oriented tone for our bilateral relations. Over the last year and a half, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister David Cameron have held six personal meetings and have regularly spoken on the phone.

A new mechanism, that of the Strategic Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers, has been launched. The first “2+2” meeting was held in March in London, while the second one is scheduled to take place next spring in Moscow.

Russia and the UK have continued an active dialogue on topical global issues at other levels, including consultations between the Foreign Ministries. By tradition, concurrence of our positions on a number of topics was accompanied by serious differences on others. At the same time, wherever interests of the international community so required and the situation allowed, the differences did not prevent us from reaching agreement, in particular, on such important problems as the Iranian nuclear programme and political settlement of the Syrian crisis. Positions of Russia and the UK are especially close on such pressing international issues as safeguarding stability and security in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign military presences and the Middle East peace process.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council, Moscow and London, together with the other P-5 partners, pursued an agreed policy regarding the reform of the UN and the Security Council. The nuclear power status dictated close approaches of Russia and Great Britain to the matters of nuclear disarmament, including within the context of breaking the deadlock at the Disarmament Conference and efforts to launch a conference on establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

Russia’s G20 presidency and the UK presidency of the G8, as well as Russia’s G8 presidency in 2014, have provided another dimension to our cooperation in global affairs. The priorities and programmes of these presidencies have been subject to synergy to achieve maximum efficiency of collective work and ensure continuity.

Moscow and London continue intensive efforts to renew the legal framework of our bilateral relationship – agreements on military technical co-operation and mutual recognition of higher education certificates are discussed. We view the decision of the British side to resume contacts between the special services to ensure security of the 2014 Sochi Olympics as another positive development in our relations.

Dynamic growth has been witnessed in trade and economic cooperation. The UK has remained one of Russia’s leading partners in trade (with mutual turnover of USD 17.5bn in three quarters of this year) and investment (with UK cumulative investment in Russia reaching USD 24bn, and Russia’s investment in the UK coming to USD 9bn).

To cite the most significant economic events of the year, I would like to mention the 10th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Trade and Investment chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable in Moscow on 12 November, and the first meeting of the Russian-British High-Level Energy Dialogue led by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey in London on10 June.

Considerable attention has been focused on energy cooperation. The successful deal between Rosneft and BP in March, including exchange of assets, became one of the milestones in the development of the Russian market. Active effort is aimed at two promising areas – a possible increase of direct supply of Russian natural gas to the UK and enhancement of nuclear energy cooperation with a potential entry of Russian advanced technologies into the UK market.

On 18 September, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Secretary Owen Paterson endorsed our Veterinary services’ agreement to lift the temporary ban on the import of UK beef and lamb by-products to Russia. The ban on beef and lamb had been lifted earlier.

Technological and innovative cooperation is a relatively new area of our economic cooperation, and both parties recognize the potential behind expansion of partnership relations between such companies. One of the ideas is to create a Russia-UK Venture Forum, which would serve as a platform for interested companies and investors. A programme of cooperation for the near future was endorsed by the 11th meeting of the bilateral Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation held on 16-17 October in London under the chairmanship of Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov and Secretary of State Vince Cable.

Financial cooperation is another important area, including joint work on creation of a Moscow International Financial Centre (MIFC), as well as active participation of British companies in preparations for sporting events like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Summer Universiade in Kazan and the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Increasing attention is paid to regional cooperation; both sides continue to promote contacts between small and medium-size businesses.

The potential of the UK as a promising business partner, in my view, is bolstered with the accelerated economic growth over the last few months and the restored entrepreneurial and consumer confidence. I believe that there are things for Russian companies to pay attention to with a view to expanding the horizons of their operations in the UK.

The cultural cooperation has also been actively developing. Moreover, the traditionally substantial exchanges in this area are to be brought to a higher level. In March, in accordance with the decision of our leaders, the Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement on holding a Russia-UK cross-year of culture in 2014. The preparations have now entered the final stage, with plans having been made for over 250 events. On 12-13 November, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Gologets, Chairperson of the Russian Organising Committee, visited London to discuss the details of the Russian and UK programmes of events with Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza. The logo of the Year was approved and presented to the media.

The historical and emotional dimension of our relationship is of crucial importance. Having established the Arctic Star medal, the UK Government granted permission for the British veterans of the Arctic Convoys to be awarded the Russian Ushakov Medal. In 2014 our countries will take part in commemorative events to mark the centenary of World War One, in which we were also allies.


09.08.2018 - Letter from Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the Guardian’s editor

In response to the Ambassador Beruchashvili’s letter, offering not so much a recollection of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus, but rather a misleading reiteration of the Georgian claims against Russia I have to refer to some of the universally recognized facts and consequences resulting from those tragic events.

24.07.2018 - Eastern Economic Forum: the East is bright (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

When talking about Russia’s Far East, you invariably remember its stunning natural beauty, abundance in natural resources and vast territories. But when one thinks of its investments prospects, you also invariably remember its harsh climate, low average population density and the lack of transport and other infrastructure. But now the situation is changing fundamentally. The region is undergoing a huge and qualitative revival. The development of the region has been declared one of the national priorities for Russia. In the last 5 years 18 advanced development zones and 5 free ports have been established in the Russian Far East. Long-term tax exemptions have been provided for large investment projects. Paperless e-visas for visitors of Vladivostok are available for citizens of 18 countries.

03.05.2018 - SALISBURY: A CLASSIFIED CASE (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

On 4 March 2018 two Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were reportedly poisoned in Salisbury, Wiltshire with the toxic chemical named A-234 under the British classification. On 12 March Foreign Secretary Johnson summoned me to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attack. He invited us to respond by the next day, whether this had been a direct act by the state or Russia had lost control over this nerve agent. The incident had international repercussions, including expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from 28 countries, notwithstanding the fact that the charges were based on assumptions and unverifiable intelligence. The Western countries lost the same number of Moscow-based staff. Meanwhile, the British government provided no evidence either to the public, its allies or Russia. Subsequent events revealed that no proof of Russia’s involvement existed. On 1 May, National Security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill confirmed that (despite a number of previous leaks) no suspect had been identified, a statement that speaks for itself.

14.02.2018 - The international community needs a unified legal base to combat information crimes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Amid the rapid advance in technologies we face a growing number of cyber-crimes: in 2016, these offences caused damage of $445 billion and by 2020, according to experts, this figure can reach up to $3 trillion, exceeding the overall income received from the Internet.

26.01.2018 - UNGA: Glorification of Nazism must stop (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In December the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the traditional resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. It was supported by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States: 133 states voted for this document, 57 became its co-sponsors, and only Ukraine and the United States voted against.

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?

18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.

05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.

05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.

all messages