24 January 2019
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326 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     318 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

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

22.01.2019 - Embassy press officer’s response to a media question concerning possible further EU sanctions against Russia

Question: How would you comment on the news that the EU has adopted further sanctions against Russian nationals allegedly involved in the Salisbury incident, upon British initiative? Answer: Russia’s political assessment of this decision has been made clear in a commentary of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To add to what has already been said, this is yet another example of bloc decision-making based on the ill-conceived “solidarity” rather than facts. The UK Conservative government has so far failed to provide the Russian side, the public or even their EU and NATO allies with any reliable and verifiable information as to what happened in Salisbury last March.


22.01.2019 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the EU decision to add Russian citizens to the sanctions list

On January 21, the EU Foreign Affairs Council approved restrictions against a number of Russian citizens for their alleged involvement in the Salisbury poisoning in March 2018. By so doing, the EU tested a new mechanism against our compatriots of restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. The new accusations against Russia and Russian citizens under the so-called Skripal case do not stand up to scrutiny. The information campaign was launched by the British government over this case for predominantly domestic political purposes. It is indicative that the renewal of this campaign has coincided with the latest crisis in the Brexit talks.


21.01.2019 - Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a media question regarding a teenager receiving an award for administering first aid to Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the media reports suggesting that it was Abigail McCourt, 16, who was the first to help Sergei and Yulia Skripal after they were poisoned? Answer: If this is true, let us express sincere admiration and gratitude to Abigail for having saved the lives of our two compatriots. At the same time, we have to say that these reports, as many others related to the Salisbury case, are unofficial and unverifiable. Moreover, the fact that Abigail was present at the crime scene together with her mother, Alison McCourt, who happens to be a Colonel and the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, adds to the numerous extraordinary coincidences characteristic of the Skripals poisoning. Furthermore, one has to wonder why this information, unusual as it is, has only been made public ten months after the incident.


18.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding the UK position on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Question: Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Alan Duncan, addressing the Commons Defence Committee, has once again accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and of the planned US withdrawal from it. He found it difficult to explain the Russian position, calling it a “mystery”. How could you comment on that? Answer: Indeed, the discussion between the FCO Minister of State in charge of Russia and members of Parliament’s Defence Committee was startling. After repeating a standard set of accusations against Russia widely used by the US to cover its urge to unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty, Sir Alan visibly struggled to explain the Russian position, not to mention our well-known concerns with regard to the US compliance. Moreover, in order to understand our motives the Minister, referring to the Beatles, suggested one would need to take “a magical mystery tour”.


17.01.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 Moscow, January 16, 2019


08.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer comments on the latest media publication on the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the Daily Telegraph publications alleging that British authorities have established full details of the assassination attempt of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and describing their current life in England? Answer: We are dealing with yet another media leak, unofficial and unverifiable. It provides no new facts on the Salisbury incident, let alone evidence. The circumstances of the incident remain as confusing as ever.


05.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements on Russia by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Question: How would you comment on Jeremy Hunt’s speech in Singapore, in which he named Russia’s actions on the international arena as the prime example of a threat to the rules-based international system? Answer: Such rhetoric of British officials is not new. It again combines manipulation of international norms with distortion of facts. As stated repeatedly, Russia does not accept the concept of a “rules-based international system”. The international order is based on international law, i.e. legally binding norms that have been agreed on and accepted by all states. By substituting “international law” with obscure “rules”, the UK and other Western countries aim to shed the responsibility for their unlawful behaviour, while assuming the right to randomly blame other countries of breaking “rules” to which they had never signed up.


04.01.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question regarding recent statements by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Syria

Question: How could you comment on the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a “Sky News” interview on President Assad’s future and the role of Russia in the Syrian peace settlement? Answer: We have taken note of Mr Hunt saying that “regretfully” Bashar al-Assad “is going to be around for a while and that is because of the support that he’s had from Russia” and “Russia may think that it’s gained a sphere of influence [but] you’ve also gained a responsibility”.


31.12.2018 - Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov for the show, Moscow. Kremlin. Putin, Moscow, December 30, 2018

Question: What is the main outcome of the year for you? Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to highlight something specific. If we speak about foreign policy, I cannot make an evaluation myself. We have tried to do everything that is necessary in order to fulfill the instructions of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, to implement the foreign political course set by him. It is not for me to judge how successful we were. This should be left to the people to decide, of course, and to the leadership of the Russian Federation.


28.12.2018 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the situation with the staffing of the Russian and British diplomatic missions

Question: Could you comment on the statement by Ambassador Yakovenko regarding the forthcoming restoration of the number of Russian and British diplomats, which was subsequently denied by the UK Foreign Office? Answer: We saw the rebuttal by the British side. Here are the facts. In December Russia and the UK have, for the first time since March, issued a number of visas for future employees of the diplomatic missions of the two countries, on the basis of reciprocity.



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