19 June 2018
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Economic co-operation

Economic co-operation has historically been a priority area of the Russia-UK relationship. However, Anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West in 2014 following disagreements around settlement of the Ukrainian crisis affected trade and economic ties. Thus, bilateral turnover in the first ten months of 2016 decreased by almost 14% as compared to the same period of the previous year amounting only to $8.4 bn. Interaction within key official co-operation mechanisms, including UK-Russia Joint Steering Committee on Trade and Investment and High level Energy Dialogue, has been frozen on London’s initiative.
At the same time, British business community being interested in continuing normal relations with our country adheres to the constructive approach and does not support the attempts to politicize economic relations. This is specifically the reason why the UK has been able to maintain the position of one of Russia’s leading foreign trade and investment partners so far. Today about six hundred British companies continue to operate successfully in the Russian market. The UK has remained among the ten largest investors in our country.
Russian business presence in the UK is also significant. The financial sector, energy, retail trade, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, mineral resources industry, transport, communications, pharmaceuticals and real estate are among the most attractive areas of investment co-operation. There remains interest in bilateral co-operation between our countries’ regions. The London Stock Exchange is still the leading international platform for Russian companies accessing investors on global capital markets with more than 60 Russian and Russian-focused companies traded on the LSE. These include Sberbank, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Norilsk Nickel, VTB, X5 Retail Group, SISTEMA, MegaFon and others. However, with Russian companies loosing their confidence in British regulation, in view of the politicized sanctions against our country, this sphere has also witnessed negative dynamics.
Participation of large British companies in 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum provided a boost to our bilateral relations. A number of important accords have been made between businesses from the two countries, including Rosneft and BP as well as Gazprom and Shell.
Our two countries continue their co-operation aimed to transform Moscow into an international financial centre within the relevant Joint Liaison Group. The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce traditionally remains a strong advocate of maintaining and developing trade, economic and investment bilateral relations. Its activities make a significant contribution to strengthening direct contacts between Russian and British businesses.
Thus, despite the current complications caused by the UK Government policy, Russian and British businesses understand each other, which allows them to continue developing mutually beneficial ties and preventing bilateral trade and economic relations from further deterioration.