19 August 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

06.06.2018

Speech of Ambassador Yakovenko at the RBCC Business Forum on 5 June 2018

Your Royal Highness,

Mr Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am glad to welcome all the participants of the annual Business Forum of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce.

It is an honor to address this important economic conference. Definitely, its significance is increasing as we experience political and economic turbulence at different levels.

Russia is a consistent advocate for the rules-based free trade, economic integration as well as constructive and pragmatic partner-to-partner dialogue. We call on our partners from Europe, America, Asia and other regions of the world to advance together towards the sustainable development goals based on a growth model that would provide the most adequate response to the modern challenges.

The recent Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum showed a huge international demand for cooperation with Russia. We continue to enhance the competitiveness of the Russian economy and improve the domestic business climate, in addition to supporting the macroeconomic stability. Significant attention is given to helping small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as reducing administrative load on the economy. In spite of external pressure and a period of low oil prices, Russia's economy has shown its resilience. Russia is number 35 in the Ease of Doing Business Index. This has been possible due to the implementation of a successful anti-crisis programme. Our vision of Russia's future is based on four key principles: human-centered policy, expanding the space of freedom, creating favourable conditions for technological breakthrough, integration into the global economy.

Turning to Russia-UK trade and economic relations I would like to quote President Putin, who confirmed, while speaking at the SPIEF, that the Russian government supported foreign business presence in Russia and it would continue assisting it in every way. Of course this is applied to British companies as well.

Despite current political difficulties, British business has shown its pragmatism and continued to work with Russian partners. Some major British companies were represented at SPIEF 2018 showing a constructive and wise approach. However, they were outnumbered by firms from other Western countries. That means that the UK might see reduction of its share at the Russian market, should the negative political context continue to prevail over business.

Obviously, a positive economic agenda could be a powerful engine of Russia-UK relations in general. According to official statistics, last year our trade and investment cooperation continued to demonstrate positive dynamics. Trade volume in 2017 increased by almost 23% reaching almost 13 billion dollars. In January-March this year it amounted to 3.4 billion dollars (22% growth on year-over-year basis). But it is worth to mention that some years ago our trade had exceeded 20 billion dollars. It means that we have a good potential to further intensify our economic cooperation for the benefit of both the "Global Russia" and the post-brexit "Global Britain".

I would like to conclude my speech by thanking the RBCC for its work. Throughout the year the Chamber, under the active and able patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, wisely chaired by Mr. Roger Munnings and efficiently managed by Mr Alf Torrents and his staff, has stayed actively engaged in supporting the bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

I am convinced that today's conference will make a significant contribution to the strengthening of the economic relations between Russia and Britain.

I wish every success to the Forum's participants and other RBCC members.




LATEST EVENTS

18.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s comment on anti-Russian statement by Minister of State Mark Field

We have taken note of the speech by Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field in the Philippines during his tour of Southeast Asia. The Minister has irresponsibly stated, inter alia, that “in recent years many countries have fallen victim to Russian state aggression”. These accusations are absolutely misleading. As we have emphasized over and over again at various levels, Russia does not threaten anyone. The UK, on the other hand, in recent years together with the US have initiated aggression in Iraq, destroyed Libya and committed an act of aggression against Syria this April by launching a massive missile attack on its territory.


17.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on cooperation between the UK and the OPCW with regard to the investigation of Salisbury and Amesbury incidents

Question: How would you comment on the recent information regarding the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK upon the British authorities request for “technical assistance” in the framework of the investigation of the Amesbury incident? Answer: First of all, we would like to point out that the Embassy has learned about the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK from the media publications. Unfortunately, the British side continiously refuses to launch a transparent and independent international investigation.


17.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the UK plans to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria

Question: How would you comment on the statement by the UK government on its intention to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria? Answer: We monitor closely the modalities of the UK assistance in Syria, what are its objectives and who are its recipients. The official British statement issued today indicates that the assistance will be provided to Idlib province. Moreover, according to the statement, around 3 million civilians “have sought shelter” in this area, while “many have already been displaced multiple times”.


16.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning possible reputational costs to the UK and the US following the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the claims that the refusal of the British authorities to cooperate with Russia on the investigation of the Salisbury incident might damage the UK international reputation? Answer: The Embassy is still concerned about the lack of information regarding condition and whereabouts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Unfortunately, the British authorities continue to refuse us consular access to them. The UK government ignores numerous relevant requests for legal assistance sent by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation to the Home Office. This is a clear breach of UK international obligations.


16.08.2018 - Agricultural Attaché Vladimir Derbenskiy visits School of Veterinary Sciences University of Bristol

On 15 August 2018 the Agricultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy Vladimir Derbenskiy visited the School of Veterinary Sciences University of Bristol.


15.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s comment on the UK media speculations around the Arctic

We have taken note of a number of publications in the British media (including today's issue of the Daily Telegraph), presenting the conclusions of the House of Commons Defence Sub-Committee report "On thin ice: UK defence in the Arctic" as evidence of “a serious threat to Britain from Russia on the Arctic flank”. On this false basis the authors of the pieces call for enhancing the UK military potential in the region as well as an overall increase in the government defence spending.


13.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian assistance to Syria

Q: How do you assess the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian people? A: Our contacts at the FCO clearly show that the UK government, unfortunately, is not ready to change its position and join the international efforts aimed at providing assistance for the people of Syria. We do not see any practical steps by the official London in this direction, although, in our opinion, now is just the right time to act. However, British authorities do not go beyond expressing concerns over the Syrian population’s sufferings.


13.08.2018 - Foreign Ministry statement

On August 8, the US administration announced the imminent imposition of new sanctions against Russia on the basis of the US national law on Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination. Our country is accused of having used chemical weapons in connection with the so-called Skripal case, although no one has yet been able to provide any evidence of this, and the British side, despite our repeated requests, refuses to cooperate in the investigation of the March 4 Salisbury incident.


10.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q.: 12 August marks five months since the mysterious death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London. Has any clarity been established in this case? A.: Unfortunately, we have to state that no clarity has been established as the British authorities continue to ignore our requests. Since 26 April, when Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police Mr Neil Basu QPM informed us about the course of the investigation into Mr Glushkov’s death, only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has contacted the Embassy with the request to address all correspondence on this case not to the police, as it was advised earlier, but to the FCO in the first instance.


10.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new US sanctions against Russia in relation to the Salisbury incident

Question: How does the Embassy assess the introduction of the new US sanctions following the accusations that Russia is responsible for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury? Answer: It seems as if the US, as it was in the case of the Russian diplomats’ expulsion in March, has come to the rescue of London in their double game, while the British authorities are unable to present any credible evidence in support of their argument that Russia is responsible for the Salisbury incident. It has been publicly claimed for a long time that the decision of the Western bloc countries to expel Russian diplomats attests to Russia’s guilt in the Salisbury incident. The same logic is exploited herein: if the US is imposing new anti-Russian sanctions for the Salisbury incident, then a critical mass of evidence that allows to act in such way has been allegedly accumulated. At the same time the US itself, according to our Embassy in Washington, “refused to answer our follow-up questions, claiming that the information is classified”.



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