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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

29.01.2014

Sochi: new beginnings when the party is over (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK)

 

In little more than a week, the Winter Olympic Games start in Sochi, but the prospects after this landmark event are visible now. I am talking about the development of the region and the increased attractiveness of Russia for foreign investors.

A successful Games, organised on the principles of sustainable development, will leave a rich legacy. This legacy means positive changes in social, economic and environmental areas after the Games.

Construction of all Olympic venues in Sochi is successfully accomplished. The Olympic legacy today is more than 400 building projects, 140 of which will be owned by the city. During the preparation for Sochi 2014, more than 220 miles of roads and 125 miles of railways, and more than 100 bridges and 22 tunnels were built in the region. Many innovative approaches are applied in Sochi: the city is the first in Russia to introduce the “zero waste” principle. Both municipal landfills are closed and all waste is removed outside the resort.

Direct investment for the specific preparation of the Olympic Games in Sochi comes to approximately Ј4bn; the overall cost for getting the Sochi area into shape for the Games is Ј30bn.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was able to see in person the progress made in Sochi, when he visited the city in May 2013 and met President Vladimir Putin.

As practice shows, the economic impact of the Games becomes feasible only after three to five years, but if foreign investors want to take advantage of this huge opportunity they should act now. In other words, the warm subtropical Sochi climate could turn into a good investment climate.

Many British companies are already contributing to Sochi’s Olympic preparations in such sectors as construction, design, ecology, security, power supply, legal and financial services, education, marketing and PR. They include Mace, Populous, Arup, JCB and Aggreko – a few dozen in all.

Russia demonstrates the intention to increase the pace of co-operation with foreign companies and already has all the necessary conditions for that. Tourist agencies now offer excellent travel packages to Krasnodar – the region in which Sochi is located. Those who have never been to Russia, and shape their views on the basis of newspaper and television reports, or even rumour, should take this opportunity to see the country for themselves.

For example, the largely critical reaction of some western countries to the new Russian legislation banning promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors is largely caused by the lack of understanding of the details of this law. Simply put, it is not a prohibition of non-traditional relationships in Russia, but a guarantee that they will not influence the younger generation, which has the right to make their own choice.

In this regard, the fears expressed by many people that gay Olympic athletes will be in danger upon arrival in Russia have no basis whatsoever.

When Sochi was chosen as an Olympic host, it became part of a brand which draws on the recognition, success and reliability afforded to previous Olympic cities. This brand is a guarantee of worldwide recognition for investors.

Summing up, we emphasise that now is the best time for foreign companies intending to launch new business projects

or to increase their presence in Russia. Many Russian regions are ready to provide favourable conditions for investors.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will begin in a week, but the competition for promising new projects in Russia has already begun. And the results of these “games” will benefit more people by far.


Alexander Yakovenko, special to RBTH (RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES)




LATEST EVENTS

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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