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Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s speech at the opening of the V Russian-British Business Forum in London, 27 November 2019

Ladies and gentlemen! 

I am pleased with the opportunity to deliver my first speech as Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the Russian-British Business Forum.

Over the five years, the Forum has become a solid platform for open and direct dialogue and exchange of views, involving both business community and officials. The number of participants has been growing annually. Together, we have managed to create a constructive atmosphere of partnership.

We are grateful to our Russian and British partners for their active support of such an effective and promising dialogue platform. Let me express my special thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent for his unfailing assistance in strengthening Russian-British relations. I would like to emphasize the systematic work of Russo-British Chamber of Commerce in this area as well as that of many British and Russian companies.

Our meeting is taking place in time of major changes in the global economy and politics. Not only economic crises, trade wars, natural disasters and climate-related threats characterize this turbulent era. The world is facing a shift of techno-economic paradigm. The unprecedented development of science and technology opens up previously unknown opportunities for universal prosperity and solving the global problems. The knowledge we have allows us to achieve it. The key is to avoid barriers to the mutually beneficial exchange of information, goods and services. Our Forum, dedicated to the crucial topic of digitalization, also seeks to contribute to this process.

For its part, Russia is making a significant contribution to the world’s sustainable development. Political and social stability along with high macroeconomic performance create a solid base for further growth. It includes a high GDP, resilient financial system, low public debt, stable prices, significant gold and foreign currency reserves, nearly full employment.

Russia navigates well the sea of new opportunities which open up through advanced technologies and broadening of international ties. In the age of the 4th global industrial revolution, we have formulated our own effective model of sustainable development. We adopted the Paris Agreement this September and intend to hold a high bar of our climate-related obligations.

Russia has everything necessary to get adjusted to the new conditions. Our country has moved several dozen positions up in the World Bank’s «Doing Business» index only in five years and now stands among the top 30 economies. We pursue major structural changes in our economy in order to ensure its diversification and transition to an advanced growth pattern. It is based on knowledge, innovation, improvement of human capital and liberal economic order. In the years to come, the Russian government plans to spend tens of billions of dollars on economic reforms. The share of small and medium enterprises in the economy will be doubled by 2025 up to 40 % of GDP.

Russia implements a number of plans and programmes aimed at transition to the digital economy, introducing brand new approaches to regulation, establishing necessary institutions and contributing to investments increase. We have reached the 10th place in the world in terms of broadband internet access. The first 5G network was launched earlier this year. The National Artificial Intellect Strategy has been adopted. Active work is under way with regard to a draft law on digital financial assets, which will be among the first of its kind in the world. The digitalization is expected to add a percent point to GDP growth in the mid-term.

The high economic potential of Russia and our serious plans to fully unroll it is recognized internationally. Foreign business shows great interest in our country. International forums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok and Sochi always attract government officials and heads of biggest transnational enterprises from around the world. Deals worth billions dollars are forged during these events.

The latest successful example is the Investment Forum “Russia Calling!” which took place last week in Moscow. A frank exchange of views between the Russian leadership and leading business figures from Russia and abroad confirmed our openness to interact with all interested partners on mutually beneficial and non-politicized terms.

As repeatedly emphasized, the Russian government constantly works to improve the business climate in our country. We provide foreign business with all necessary assistance and this also applies to British companies.

British business understands this well. They show wisdom and pragmatism while increasing cooperation with their Russian partners in various sectors.

We are confident that a positive economic agenda will become a powerful incentive aimed at improving and strengthening our bilateral relations in all spheres, for the benefit of both "the global Russia" and "the global Britain".

I wish success to all participants of the Forum in their activities, as well as new interesting and productive meetings and expansion of their business and personal contacts.

Thank you for your attention.


28.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article about the world amid the coronavirus pandemic for Chinese newspaper Global Times, Moscow, May 28, 2020

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus changed life on the planet virtually overnight. It also became a crush test for international relations, both at the level of individual countries and multilateral associations. The obvious consequences include an economic recession, a crisis of global governance and the growth of protectionist and isolationist sentiments. The pandemic has seriously limited humanitarian, cultural and tourist exchanges, as well as people to people contacts. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

27.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the joint news conference with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas following the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council videoconference, Moscow, May 26, 2020

We have held a CSTO Foreign Ministers Council meeting via videoconference. Russia is chairing the CSTO this year. Considering the difficult situation caused by the coronavirus infection, we approached the preparations and holding of this meeting with certain precautions.

16.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the RBC media holding on current international issues, Moscow, May 15, 2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview on current international issues

14.05.2020 - Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a news conference following a video conference of foreign ministers of the SCO Member States, May 13, 2020

We have just completed the SCO Member States foreign ministers’ video conference where we discussed the general state of affairs in the region and the world and the SCO priority goals in connection with the spread and consequences of the novel coronavirus infection. We thanked our colleagues for supporting the Russian chairmanship’s proposal to hold this SCO foreign minister extraordinary meeting on this sensitive and important topic.

14.05.2020 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks and answers to questions at a news conference following the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States via video conference, Moscow, May 12, 2020

We have just concluded a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It took place via video conference for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

09.05.2020 - Online concert dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory

Ensemble Productions Company with the support of the Russian Embassy in London and Rossotrudnichestvo in the UK organises an online concert dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

09.05.2020 - Vladimir Putin congratulated veterans and all Russians on Victory Day

On the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the President laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden.

09.05.2020 - Message from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on the occasion of Victory Day

Today marks 75 years since the surrender of Germany brought an end to the Second World War in Europe. On this historic day, I would like to pay tribute to the men and women of that heroic generation, from many nations, who kept on fighting to achieve victory.

08.05.2020 - President Putin's congratulatory letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Dear Prime Minister, Let me send you and the British people my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Nazism.

08.05.2020 - Congratulations to leaders and citizens of foreign states on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War

Vladimir Putin sent congratulatory messages to the leaders and citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia as well as the peoples of Georgia and Ukraine, on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War... The President of Russia also sent greetings to the leaders and people of Great Britain, the United States of America and France.

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