17 November 2018
Moscow: 12:13
London: 09:13

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258 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     250 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

24.10.2017

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met Lord Mayor of the City of London Dr Andrew Parmley

On 20 October Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met Lord Mayor of the City of London Dr Andrew Parmley. The issues of Russian-British trade and economic relations were discussed. Specifically, the Ambassador briefed the Lord Mayor on the current situation in Russian economy as follows.

Tough challenges, including weak global growth, low energy prices and Western sanctions have been used by the Russian Government to put the economy of our country in order. Difficult, but sound decisions provided macroeconomic stability in Russia, forming the basis for a balanced and sustainable growth. So far, most of the problems have been overcome, and we have adjusted to the new, tougher terms of trade and economic environment, that some call deglobalisation.

The Russian Government has been working hard to minimize negative external effects and to secure structural change of the economy. A well-timed anti-crisis programme was launched and has proved successful. The Government is actively scaling down the dependence on commodities and implementing structural reforms. Russian economic growth in the second quarter of 2017 reached 2.7%, bringing the 1H 2017 figure to 1.5%. This is the beginning of a new trend presenting balanced economic development of our country. The main industry indicators show that Russia will have another record grain harvest this year and thus reclaim the position of the world’s largest wheat exporter. We also witness strong growth in car demand, up 18.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) in this July.

Y-o-y inflation fell to 3.3% at the end of August, down from 4.4% at the end of June, which allowed the central bank to make a 50-bps rate cut at the 15 September policy meeting. The regulator also indicated that it is likely to cut further during the next two quarters. Russian international reserves hit $418 billion at the end of June, their highest level since 2014. This September, Fitch credit agency has upgraded Russia’s sovereign credit rating from "stable" to "positive”, stating that Russia continues to make progress in strengthening its policy framework underpinned by a more flexible exchange rate, strong commitment to inflation targeting and a prudent fiscal strategy, reflected in the recently approved budget rule”. This policy mix, from the Fitch experts’ point of view, “will result in improved macroeconomic stability and, together with robust external and fiscal balance sheets, increases the economy's resilience to shocks”.

Current Russian public debt is low. Obligations for external debt repayment will have decreased from $130 bn in 2015 to $80 bn by the end of 2017. The federal budget deficit remains at safe level and will be financed by loans, which should not exceed the ceiling of 17% of the GDP. That is much lower than in the EU member states. Despite the difficulties, the government is meeting all of its social obligations in full. The unemployment rate stays reasonable.

Over past two years the financial stability of Russian banking system was restored. Its profits grew 5 times over the year. The volume of bad debt saw no increase. Loan portfolio remained stable without marked decrease. Dollarization of the economy (deposits and loans in US dollars) has reached 24%, which is much less than in other emerging markets (in some countries this indicator is 60-70%). Bank of Russia has also announced the launch of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance Mechanism (ELA) to provide emergency support for banks which are not able to get support in the usual way. Strict set of criteria was set for providing any such support.

Overall, the Russian economy is on a trajectory of sustained growth in the coming months making most international economists revise upwards their forecasts up to 2-2.5% growth in 2017. We believe that foreign direct investment will increase substantially. We welcome major foreign companies and investment funds with serious long term interests in investing in the Russian economy, its bond and stock market. The Russian Government is committed to providing every help and support to companies starting or continuing their business in Russia. Current ruble rate makes Russian assets very attractive for purchase. Real sector companies, including agriculture, pharmaceutical, car and other industries will benefit from localising their production in Russia.

We are quite confident that 2018 will drastically improve prospects for the Russian economy, further raising its attractiveness for foreign investors, including those from the UK.

The Ambassador expressed an opinion that in terms of Brexit the UK has a good opportunity to strengthen the economic cooperation and smooth over political contradictions, which are not Russian-caused, between two countries. In addition the Ambassador invited the Lord Mayor to visit Russia.




LATEST EVENTS

13.11.2018 - Embassy’s statement concerning Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London

We have taken note of Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London on 12 November, of which a significant part was dedicated to Russia. Unfortunately, we did not hear any “new approach” to Russian-British bilateral relations, mentioned in the British media a day before. A number of unsubstantiated accusations against Russia were again put forward by the Prime Minister, ranging from “attacks to undermine international security” to the “use of a chemical weapon on British streets”. The statement that the UK “remains open to a different relationship with Russia” was, in line with the traditional British style, made conditional on a number of categorical demands. For our part, we have been pointing at the unsatisfactory state of bilateral affairs for a long time. Russia and Britain are in an urgent need of genuinely equal, mutually respectful and result-oriented cooperation, befitting two Permanent Members of the UN Security Council sharing a special responsibility for global affairs.


06.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning new claims on alleged links between members of the Russian community in the UK and intelligence services

Question: How would you comment on the claims in the British media that “half of the Russians in London are working for Russian intelligence”? Answer: Those publications are based on a report by “Henry Jackson Society”, an organisation that does not hide its anti-Russian position. But even this superficial and irresponsible report has been distorted by the media affiliated with the current Conservative government for the sake of sensation and a further increase of Russophobic sentiment in the British society. A non-committal phrase – “Reflecting the level of paranoia within London’s Russian community, interviewees and interlocutors suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants” has been transformed by the media into a categorical statement: “The study said there were as many as 75000 Russian informants in London”.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning “An Invisible Chain” speech by the UK Foreign Secretary

Q: In his speech at the “Policy Exchange” think tank UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has dwelled on the shifts in the global balance of power. Do you agree with his assessment? A: We believe Mr Hunt’s view on the trends in global development is right in principle. The centre of the economic power shifts to the East, the BRICS countries as well as a lot of Asian economies are on the rise, and with economic power comes greater political influence. The speech reflects growing awareness in the UK political classes that the place and role of the West in the shaping of the international order is in decline. The world is changing rapidly, and the UK will have to adapt to the new reality.


01.11.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement by UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce on Ukraine

Q.: At the UN Security Council Briefing on 30 October UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce claimed general elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic to be illegitimate and a clear breach of the Minsk Agreements. How would you comment on this statement? A.: The elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic scheduled for November 11 are held to fill the power vacuum after the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, which cast suspicion on Ukrainian destabilizing activities in the east. This murder must not result in a halt to daily life in the region, people in Donbass need to carry on with their lives, making ends meet under constant blockade and the threat of the use of force from Kiev. The proposed elections have no bearing on the Minsk agreements, which pertain to municipal elections.


31.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statements by Prime Minister Theresa May in Norway

Q.: On 30 October UK Prime Minister again claimed that Russia “deployed chemical weapons” in Britain. How would you comment on this statement? A.: We strongly reject these insinuations. Another portion of accusations of Russia is a far cry from reality.


29.10.2018 - Joint Statement by China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States

We, the nuclear weapon States recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty, in all its aspects, fifty years since its signature.


28.10.2018 - Joint Statement by the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey, the French Republic, the Russian Federation and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the French Republic H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin, and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany H.E. Angela Merkel gathered in Istanbul on 27 October 2018 for a Quadrilateral Summit on Syria.


26.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning publications on cyberattacks

Question: Recently there have been numerous publications in British media regarding alleged Russian hacker attacks against the UK infrastructure. Has the Embassy received any evidence from British officials on this? Answer: The Embassy has not received any official evidence from the British side on either of these publications. We believe this clearly shows that there is nothing behind them.


25.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Question: Does the Embassy have any new information regarding circumstances of the death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London on 12 March? Answer: Unfortunately, we have to state once again that the British side evades any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of Mr Glushkov’s death.


22.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning comparisons in Britain between Russian and Saudi Arabia’s reactions to high-profile incidents

Question: After the reports concerning the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the British media have been drawing parallels between the actions of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are there any good reasons for such comparisons? Answer: We have already stated that we would not be commenting idle talks. It is for journalists, not diplomats, to speculate on this kind of issues. However, we have taken note of yet another article by Boris Johnson in “The Daily Telegraph”, where he compares the death of Jamal Khashoggi to the so-called poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. In particular, he insists that Saudi Arabia and Turkey should – and rightly so – provide the public with as much information as possible concerning the exact causes of the journalist’s death.



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