19 June 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

18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the British Authorities Response to the Complaints of the Russian Nationals about Unjustified Actions Towards Them upon Arrival in the UK

Question: Has there been a response from the British authorities with regard to the information sent to the Embassy by Russian citizens experiencing biased approach from the UK Border Force officials upon arrival in the UK? Answer: In response to the Embassy’s requests to the British Side to put an end to the practice of excessive and inappropriate security measures against Russian citizens (including minors) at the border in the points of entry to the UK, the UK Home Office has issued a formal reply. A letter printed on the Home Office form addressed to the Embassy consists of three sentences, does not contain any signature and is in essence a runaround reply reduced to “routine checks”. This demonstrates the lack of responsibility and ignorance towards serious concerns of the Russian Side and ordinary citizens travelling to the UK.


18.06.2018 - Comment of the Embassy Representative on the Consideration of the Russian Requests for Legal Assistance in the Cases of Nikolay Glushkov and Yulia Skripal by the British Side

Question: Are there any changes in the UK position on cooperation with the Russian Federation on the investigation of the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempt on the lives of the Skripals? What is the current status of the requests by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia received by the UK Home Office? Answer: The British Side continues to keep deafening silence and has not provided answers neither to the Prosecutor General’s Office, nor the Embassy on the status of the official requests for legal assistance on the criminal cases initiated in Russia after the murder and the attempt of murder of Russian citizens on the British soil. Clearly, the UK is showing zero interest in cooperating on the investigation of these high-profile cases. These actions undermine law enforcement and other legal procedures aimed at establishing the truth and justice.


16.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, 15 June

Q: What is your reaction to the article by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the “Sun” newspaper, where he claims UK chose not to boycott World Cup in order not to be unfair towards players and sport fans, because they “have a dispute solely with the Government of Russia”? A: We took note of the abovementioned article. We agree that politics should not intervene in affairs of international sport. And Mr Foreign Secretary is right claiming that British fans in Russia have no reasons to feel threatened. Russian authorities, in cooperation with foreign partners, took every precaution to ensure maximum comfort and security for all World Cup guests. We are happy to have over 600 000 guests from practically every country in the world, including 10 000 British fans.


15.06.2018 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s meeting with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow, 15 June 2018

On June 15, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov met with British Ambassador to Russia Laurence Bristow at the latter’s request.


15.06.2018 - President Putin's speech at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium, 14 June 2018

Friends, I welcome all guests to the legendary Moscow stadium Luzhniki, everyone gathered in the numerous fan zones of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and those watching us on television or online. I congratulate you – the entire large, multinational, tightly-knit international football family – on the start of the top tournament on the planet!


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Russia’s response to the G7 statement on the Salisbury incident

Q: What is your reaction to the G7 Communiqué, where Russia is again accused of having poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A: Just as in the case of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in April, we have again witnessed unfounded allegations against Russia, not supported by any evidence. The British authorities continue to rely on allies’ “solidarity” while offering their partners nothing but assertions that there is “no other plausible explanation” of the incident except that Russia is responsible.


13.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the inquest into the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q: Today marks three months since the death of Nikolay Glushkov. How would you comment on the course of the investigation by the British authorities of this case? A: We have to note that the British authorities are still refusing us cooperation on the investigation of the death on the British soil of ex-Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Nikolay Glushkov that occurred on 12 March.


08.06.2018 - Russia-Belarus border control rules for attendees of major sports competitions in Russia

On June 1, 2018 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Belarus on certain issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons to international sports competitions came into force. The document in particular regulates the entry procedure for certain categories of foreign citizens into the territory of the Union State during the preparations and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Agreement provides for visa-free entry into the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for the holders of spectator identity cards (fan passports or FAN IDs) or information about them provided they have an authentic ID. The said citizens can also cross the Russia-Belarus border if they travel via the following motor roads: M-1, P-23, A-240 and following railway routes Vitebsk-Pskov, Minsk-Smolensk, Gomel-Bryansk.


08.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new legislation introduced to Parliament in the context of the Salisbury poisoning

Question: How would you comment on the new bill introduced by the British government to give police new powers to investigate all forms of “hostile state activity” and to stop, question, search and detain individuals at the UK border to determine whether they appear to be a person who is, or has been, engaged in hostile activity? Answer: We do not have the opportunity to review and assess the whole text of the bill. Meanwhile, it is unclear from publicly available information, how these new sweeping powers of British law enforcement, border and customs agencies will be applied in practice. In regard to whom and how will they be used? Who and how will examine the level of “hostility” of foreign States’ activities?


08.06.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the publication of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report “The FCO’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup”

Q.: How would you comment on the contents of the report by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee expressing concerns over safety and security of British fans at the 2018 World Cup in Russia? A.: Unfortunately, this report is another attempt to fuel anti-Russian sentiments on the eve of the World Cup despite the fact that the British police and the FCO have given positive assessments of their cooperation with Russia’s law enforcement authorities on safety and security issues at the World Cup.



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