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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

03.06.2015

Points of Ambassador Yakovenko’s speech at the Business Forum Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (3 June 2015, London)

Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. Chairman,
Доброе утро!
I am delighted to welcome you at the Annual Business Forum of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce in London. And welcome to new members of RBCC.
During the past year the Chamber continued to facilitate direct contacts between Russian and British businesses, promote bilateral trade and investment cooperation. Chairman Roger Munnings and Executive Director Trevor Barton were, as they had done before, generating new ideas, organized interesting events, worked hard to bring new members, raise the status and strengthen the image of the RBCC. And of course I would like to thank Prince Michael of Kent for His permanent and very important support of the Chamber.
However, I must admit that it was quite an uneasy task. Especially due to a cooling of political relations between Russia and the UK, the imposition of anti-Russian economic restrictions by the US, followed by the EU. These sanctions have had an extremely negative effect on Russian-British trade and investment links. Thus, in 2014 bilateral turnover fell by 21% coming down to USD 19,3bn, and then in the first quarter of 2015 – by 50% totaling a meagre USD 2,8bn, as compared to corresponding periods in the past. The sanctions negatively influenced business interests of our foreign partners, including British companies operating on the Russian market. Russia’s position on economic sanctions is well-known. We oppose to their use as an instrument of foreign policy. Russia’s policy to restrict agricultural imports from a number of countries is solely intended as a countermeasure. We are ready to revise it as soon as the Western countries lift their sanctions.
In spite of an ongoing sanctions pressure and a fall in oil prices, Russia’s economy has held out and is now bouncing back. This has been possible thanks to the implementation of a government anti-crisis programme, which included optimization of expenses, promotion of import substitution, support of the banking sector (by provision of RUR 1trln, etc). Significant attention is given to helping small and medium-sized enterprise, as well as reducing regulatory load on the economy.

By the way, in spite of volatile oil prices, a strengthening ruble has become a positive trend of late. These trends, along with current structural changes promise a substantial recovery of Russia’s economy and preserved possibilities for a further reduction of imbalances. We will continue to take measures aimed to modernize the economy, raise labour productivity, develop science and high technology, raise net worth of high conversion products in Russia’s GDP, improve business climate and simplify relevant bureaucratic procedures. The President of the Russian Federation personally oversees these matters.
Now let me say a few words about politics. I hope that London, just like Moscow, is not interested in another deep division of Europe over Ukraine. Such split would drastically diminish the opportunities for social and economic development of all Europeans, both in the west and east of the continent. The current pattern of global development indicates that efficient solutions to multiple challenges and threats can be found only through joined effort. We do not refuse to cooperate with the West and we hope that common sense will finally prevail. Above all, this cooperation should be based on the principle of equality and take into account national interests of all the parties. If we had taken a collective and concerted action on Ukraine, the crisis would have not taken place. We are against all kinds of unilateral actions.
As for Russia-UK bilateral relations, I am sure that, provided there is good will, especially on the part of the new British government, by joint effort we are able to break the current negative trend and resume the development of an equal and mutually advantageous partnership, which, by the way, used to be rather successful in the early years of Mr. Cameron’s first government. I would like to stress that Russia is open to any reasonable suggestions on the British side aimed to improve the situation in our bilateral relations. An important role in incentivizing British politicians to make positive steps traditionally belongs to British business circles.
I wish all the participants of the Business Forum successful and productive work!




LATEST EVENTS

27.09.2018 - Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council meeting, September 26, 2018

Mr President, Colleagues, In the modern world, an efficient fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly important for global and regional stability and the reliable security of all states without exception. Constructive cooperation in this area is an important component of the efforts to shape a positive international agenda. I think everybody agrees that the UN Security Council resolutions that outline specific measures against violations of non-proliferation must be strictly observed. Resolution 1540 remains the basis for this and contains obligations for the member states to take specific measures to prevent non-government agents from accessing weapons of mass destruction and their components. The UNSC decisions taken in pursuance of this resolution are particularly important as they include sanctions for handing over any types of weapons to terrorists. There have been incidents of such handovers and they must be thoroughly investigated.


07.09.2018 - Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC meeting on the incident in Salisbury

Q: Do you expect British sanctions on Russia soon? A: We are not expecting or afraid of anything. Taking to the account how things have been developing during the recent years we do not exclude anything. This discussion and yesterday’s speech by the British Prime-Minister in the British Parliament are not coincidental. I think that’s looks like a prelude to a new political season. Q: So, Ambassador it’s really coming from the highest level in the UK. A: It always comes from the highest level. Last time when the incident took place it also came from the highest level. Q: But it seems that you are not taking it seriously. A: We are taking it very seriously. We were saying it all the time. Why we’ve been asking for cooperation with the UK from day one. Only few minutes ago Ambassador Pierce was referring to an ultimatum that Boris Johnson made in his letter to the Russian Ambassador in London when the incident took place presented as a request by the British site to cooperate while in fact it was a demand to to accept the gilt. At the same time our requests which we sent to British authorities constantly through OPCW and bilaterally were ignored.


06.09.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at Bolshaya Igra (Great Game) talk show on Channel One, Moscow, September 4, 2018

Question: Today we have a special guest in our studio, one of the main participants in the “great game”, someone the future of the world really depends on in many ways: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. We are happy to welcome you in the Great Game studio. Sergey Lavrov: Thanks for inviting me.


22.08.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comment on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's anti-Russian claims

At a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's urges to European partners to slap their own sanctions on Russia in connection with the Salisbury incident.


16.08.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Salisbury Journal"

The Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal last week, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country. Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens on Thursday, Alexander Yakovenko said: “We are together with the people of Salisbury.”


24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.


20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.


21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.


17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.


26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.



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