18 November 2017
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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

09.09.2011

Introduction by Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, FIRST Magazine, Special Report - Russia

The forthcoming visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Moscow this autumn is a good opportunity to review the current state of our political dialogue and areas of practical cooperation. We value multidimensional interaction between Russia and Great Britain in the UN Security Council, G8, G20 and other multilateral fora. This interaction is indispensable for international stability, including Euro-Atlantic region where the need for an open cooperative architecture of indivisible security without dividing lines becomes more and more obvious.
Within the context of an evolving, multipolar, more democratic and fair world system, based on the rule of international law, we cannot afford to be guided by politicised and stereotyped approaches inherited from a different era.
The visit of Prime Minister Cameron comes at an opportune time. More and more people, including politicians, understand that ideological obsessions must give way to pragmatism and the search for balance of interests, both internationally and in bilateral relations of states, in spite of the fact that governments might differ on certain matters. Key national interests of Russia and Britain are not contradictory. This is why we believe that the Moscow summit will provide further impetus to the mutual efforts to take our relationship to a new level.
This expectation is based on the results we managed to achieve lately in restoring the atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
We are witnessing a dynamic development of political dialogue based upon willingness to listen to and hear each other that underlie the relations between President Medvedev and Prime Minister Cameron. During their meetings in the margins of G8 and G20 Summits in Canada, Republic of Korea and France they could understand each other perfectly well and agreed to work together to strengthen the Russo-British relationship for the benefit of the two countries and that of the rest of the world.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Office are following the guidelines set by the two leaders. The dialogue aimed at achieving common goals is held at various levels. We have exchanged quite productive visits with Secretary Hague, and our respective departments and experts have developed useful working contacts.
An important component of our bilateral relationship is the interparliamentary dialogue which became livelier. The Russian Federal Assembly and the British Parliament are in touch with each other on a range of issues in different formats. Apart from the interaction in the multilateral bodies, such as Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and OSCE, there are regular bilateral meetings, including between the relevant parliamentary committees. The Chairman of the upper Chamber of the Russian parliament visited Great Britain last March, and further parliamentary exchanges between London and Moscow are being planned.
The cooperation between various departments of the two governments further enriches the fabric of the bilateral agenda. The Ministries of Education work hard on an intergovernmental agreement on adoption. The Federal Drug Control Service of Russia and the Britain’s SOCA have conducted several joint operations against drug trafficking. The interaction between Ministries of Justice is also evolving in a constructive fashion. Those are just a few examples.
Most importantly, our relations have a firm and solid economic foundation. In fact, trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the UK has been progressing over many years irrespective of political currents and differences in some other areas. Our bilateral trade in the first half of the year more than doubled and almost caught up with the level preceding the global recession. The UK is also one our top investment partners.
Prime Minister Cameron will bring with him to Moscow an impressive group of Britain’s business leaders. Many of them already have entered the Russian market or intend to do so to take advantage of its huge demand, as well as human and natural resources.
There are plenty of opportunities. Russia is working hard on diversifying its economy, introducing innovative approaches to growth based on modernisation and high-tech industries, and creating better conditions for mutually beneficial investments. Our priorities are very much like those of Britain as regards meeting the challenges of the current difficult situation on the global markets. The two governments have identified six areas of bilateral cooperation that deserve special attention and support. Those are energy and energy efficiency, financial services, including plans for the Moscow Financial Centre, high-tech and nanotechnologies, small and medium businesses, overall business environment and Olympic legacy.
When speaking about our ties, I cannot help mentioning that Russian culture is popular in Britain and the same can be said about British literature, drama, music and film in Russia. We hope that a series of high profile cultural events planned for  the coming year would meet keen interest of the sophisticated British public and foster mutual understanding between our peoples and nations.




LATEST EVENTS

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.


12.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the exhibition opening (“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” 12 September, British Museum)

Today the British Museum and the State Hermitage of Saint-Petersburg are once again proving their unique world class by bringing a whole new civilization to London. Ancient, and almost mythical, but creative, powerful and very different from what we have all known about antiquity – the Scythians.


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone's sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?


14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone\'s sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?


03.07.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at breakfast event: Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia (3 July, British Museum)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m happy that Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia exhibition is gaining momentum. We have all seen the excellent teaser reviews in the papers. They are a good sign, but one always expects world class events from the State Hermitage and the British Museum. The public expectations are high and no doubt they will be met.


15.06.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's speech at the British Library exhibition "Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths"

The exhibition "Hope, Tragedy, Myths" gives an excellent insight into the tragic events of 1917: why the revolution started, how it unfolded and evolved into the civil war. It explores the ideas behind the conflict and gives a comprehensive and accurate image. The exhibition gives a unique opportunity to see original documents related to the key personalities of the Russian history, and not only politicians - the section telling the story of the Russian emigration has valuable documents on Russian literature history.


13.06.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s speech at Russia’s National Day Reception (13 June 2017, London)

Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Dear friends, It is a privilege to welcome you all at my Residence on the occasion of Russia’s National Day. Thanks God for fine weather. Hope you will enjoy the time at our place. Ever since my country embarked upon the path of radical change 30 years ago, we have had a difficult, even painful journey. It was the price of profound transformation of a society, aspiring for freedom and justice. We abandoned any ideology as alien to common sense and real needs of real people. We have been seeing those tough decisions bearing fruit.


26.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s address at the RBCC Business Forum (25 May, “BMA House”, London)

It is my pleasure to welcome the participants of the annual Business Forum held under the auspices of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. Whatever the political situation, the Chamber has always been successful in its mission to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties (“Russo-British Chamber of Commerce” was registered on the 23rd of October, 1916, in London as a joint-stock company with the aim “to promote trade between the British and Russian Empires”).



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