20 January 2018
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Ambassador’s Notebook: G20: On the Road to the St. Petersburg Summit


Russia has focused its G20 Presidency agenda this year on two main tasks: achieving balanced growth and creating jobs. Our priorities, supported throughout the Presidency by all our partners, are to encourage investment, increase transparency, and make regulation more effective.

The St. Petersburg Action Plan will be presented to the leaders at the St. Petersburg Summit on September 5-6. It will assess key global risks to sustainable growth and set out policies that should be applied by member countries to mitigate these risks. An updated report on continuing imbalances in G20 economies, as well as an enhanced Accountability Assessment Framework and a review of the progress made on previous G20 commitments will also be presented.

The G20 has already taken decisive steps to restore and strengthen global growth and to set it on a sustainable path. But global economic recovery is still fragile and serious downside risks remain, warranting the continued coordinated actions of G20 member economies.

Employment and job creation, including for vulnerable segments of the population, are key items on the growth agenda. On July 19, Russia hosted the Joint G20 Finance and Labor Ministers' Meeting – the first time in the G20’s history that a high-level meeting was convened in this format. The Joint G20 Finance and Labor Ministers' Communiqué reflected the commitments made on implementing integrated labor market policies, including employment policies, promoting job creation through investment and developing financial institutions, as well as building a favorable investment and business climate in G20 countries.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting was held on July 19-20. Our partners, including Australia – which will take over the G20 Presidency – supported further work on Russia’s investment financing initiative. The issues discussed included global economic development, monetary policy challenges (including quantitative easing), medium-term budget consolidation strategies, role of small and medium enterprises in securing an uptick in growth and job creation, further reform to the international financial architecture and problems related to taxation, including new OECD initiatives on tax base erosion and profit shifting.

The fourth G20 Sherpas’ Meeting held July 25-26 focused on consolidating ongoing work under existing initiatives developed under Russia’s G20 Presidency, and on drafting an agenda for the G20 Summit. "At the end of the previous year currency wars and tension in Europe were the main issues discussed, but this year the focus is shifting to other issues. And the issue of economic growth, which the Russian Presidency has declared central, is paramount for all G20 members," Ksenia Yudaeva, Russia’s G20 Sherpa said after the meeting.

I would also like to stress that the Outreach Strategy is an important part of Russia’s G20 Presidency. It aims to win support from different outreach groups, such as Business 20, Think 20, Civil 20, Youth 20 and Labor 20, which have all contributed to G20 policy-makers’ discussions and have great potential to deliver added value to the G20 Summit documents.

This May, at our Embassy in London, I hosted a meeting of the Business 20 Organizing Committee, bringing together the chairmen of G20 countries’ entrepreneurs' associations. Later in June, a Business 20 Summit entitled "В20-G20 Partnership for Economic Growth and Employment" was held as part of the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The B20 released its “Green Book” of recommendations to the G20 on topics such as investment and infrastructure, countering corruption, the financial system, trade, innovation, job creation and investment in human capital with a particular emphasis on future cooperation between the G20 and Business 20.

The Civil Track of Russia's G20 Presidency concluded with the Civil 20 Summit, held earlier in June in Moscow. Russia is the first presiding country to organize the civil society consultations process in this format and at this level. Civil 20 recommendations are also expected to be reflected in the G20 Summit agenda and documents.

Overall, our understanding, which our partners share, is that the G20 Summit cannot resolve overnight all the challenges that the global economy faces. That is not the point. From my perspective, the continued co-ordination of countries’ macro-economic policies on the key priorities of the international agenda is worth the effort. In this regard I am confident that G20 leaders in St. Petersburg will rise to the task of promoting further job creation and strengthening the path towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth.


17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.

13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.

08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)

25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.

20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.

16.10.2017 - Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times (sent 12 October)

Sir, If British MPs are free to speak out, wherever they wish, on any issue, why try to block their freedom of speech (“Helping Putin”, 11 October)? If a TV channel wants (and is legally bound) to present different points of view, why slam those who express these views? If the mere act of giving an interview to foreign media amounts to high treason, why does The Times interview Russian politicians without fear? And finally - while MPs critical of Russia are welcome guests on the Russian TV channel RT, does your paper give the same treatment to those critical of the paper’s owner? Konstantin Shlykov Press Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation

25.09.2017 - PRESENTATION by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Christian Future of Europe Conference 22 September 2017, London

Your Eminences and Your Excellencies, dear Mr. Ambassador, conference organizers and participants, I cordially greet all of those gathered today at the Russian Embassy in London to partake in this conference dedicated to the question of the future of Christianity in Europe. This topic is not only not losing any of its relevance, but is resounding ever anew. Experts believe that today Christianity remains not only the most persecuted religious community on the planet, but is also encountering fresh challenges which touch upon the moral foundations of peoples' lives, their faith and their values. Recent decades have seen a transformation in the religious and ethnic landscape of Europe.

23.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at presentation of the book "The Mystery of Repentance" held at the Russian Embassy

I’m glad to welcome you here to a discussion of two prominent hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, on Christian future of Europe.

12.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the exhibition opening (“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” 12 September, British Museum)

Today the British Museum and the State Hermitage of Saint-Petersburg are once again proving their unique world class by bringing a whole new civilization to London. Ancient, and almost mythical, but creative, powerful and very different from what we have all known about antiquity – the Scythians.

14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone's sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?

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