14 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

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”.


08.08.2018 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus

Ten years ago, on the night of August 7-8, 2008, the Government of Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia breached the agreement on a peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict by launching a full-scale military operation against South Ossetia.


08.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new invitation of the OPCW experts to the UK

Question: How would you comment on the recent statement of the FCO concerning the new invitation to the OPCW experts to return to the UK to assist in the investigation into the Amesbury incident? Answer: The Embassy is not in a position to comment on the investigation into the Amesbury incident related to the British nationals. Meanwhile we are interested in establishing the truth of what happened in Salisbury as the UK has again invited the OPCW experts to continue their work on identifying the nerve agent. Our approach is absolutely clear – we seek the truth and wish to know what happened to the Russian nationals in Salisbury and where they are now. Unfortunately, we have to note once again that no substantive answers have been provided by the British authorities to our numerous legitimate and comprehensive questions. Over the last five months the Embassy has sent a number of Notes Verbales requesting the FCO to clarify as to how and by whom blood samples from Sergei and Yulia Skripal were collected; how it was documented; what was the procedure of sample collection; what assistance from the OPCW was requested; what information and material evidence the British side provided to the OPCW experts, etc.


07.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning visas for the staff of the Russian diplomatic missions to the UK

Question: Has the Russian Embassy work got back to normal, after the reduction of its staff in March 2018? Are visas being issued to new staff members? Answer: The arbitrary mass expulsion of our diplomats in March has further exacerbated the already difficult situation of the Russian diplomatic missions to the UK. The attitude of the British Side to reduce the Russian diplomatic presence is still there. As far as we can tell, the set of tools remains the same: visa limitations, meaningless extended delays in visa application processing for newly appointed staff members, along with three-month incremental visa extensions for personnel accredited in the UK, accompanied by withholding of diplomatic passports.


07.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the publication of “The Daily Telegraph” regarding the “Perepilichny сase”

Question: How can you comment on the information published in «The Daily Telegraph” on 6 August that, at the start of the police investigation, the higher authorities were allegedly kept in the dark despite indications of political aspects in the death of A.Perepilichny? Answer: We have had a close look at the publication. It is regrettable that some British media outlets remain tools for throw-ins of unsupported theories in the course of the Coroner’s inquest into the death of a Russian citizen A.Perepilichny (who died in the UK in November 2012). Clearly, this is yet another attempt to question the investigation conducted by the police and the results of the two postmortem examinations, performed by the UK Home Office experts after the death of the Russian national, which established the cause of death as “non suspicious”. Moreover, during main hearings at Old Bailey, started in June 2017, the Surrey police have stated that the experts have not established any indications of poisoning, violent death or third-party involvement.


07.08.2018 - Russian-British Business Forum in London

The Russian-British Business Forum (RBBF) under the theme «Partnership in Innovations» will be organized on 26-27 November 2018 in London by the Russian Trade Delegation in the United Kingdom with the support of the Russian Embassy in the UK and a number of other prominent organisations. The event will aim at furthering the Russian-British trade and investment cooperation through a direct dialogue between the authorities and business communities of both countries. The Forum will host representatives of governments, regional authorities, CEOs of leading corporations, banks, investment funds, service sector companies, innovative enterprises and edge-cutting start-ups as well as professional and business associations (around 500 people altogether). Numerous business meetings on different aspects of economic cooperation between Russia and the UK are foreseen to take place on the margins of the Forum. The event will be held in premises of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE) in the framework of the traditional «Eastern Seasons» Russian business and culture week organized by «BSI Global Group» company.


07.08.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veteran

On 4 August 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medal to the Arctic Convoys veteran Mr Peter John LAKER.



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