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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!


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.

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.

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