Category Archives: News

Speech By British Ambassador To Russia At The RBCC’s RussiaTALK Investment Forum

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Russia Dr Laurie Bristow gave a speech at the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce’s RussiaTALK Investment Forum on Thursday 1 November

Dr Laurie Bristow

Dr Laurie Bristow

Welcome to Russia Talk.

We need to talk. And the place to start is by being honest about the challenges we all face. The last year has been one of the most difficult in living memory, at the political level. Between the UK and Russia, for sure. But also between Russia and a wide range of Russia’s international partners.

The chemical weapons attack which took place in the UK last March was a turning point. It crossed all possible moral and legal red lines. We are very confident in our judgement that it was carried out by agents of the Russian state. Twenty eight other countries acted with us to reduce Russia’s ability to harm us.

It will not be possible to have a normal political relationship with the government of a country whose agents attack us in this way. Our first duty is to protect the UK.

But we do not seek confrontation with Russia. What we want is a relationship based on mutual respect and which benefits the people of both countries. In business, education, and culture. And in addressing the 21st century opportunities and challenges that are too big for any country to deal with alone. Such as climate change, anti-microbial resistance, artificial intelligence and new technologies. That is clearly in the interests of the UK.

It will take a long time to build the kind of relationship we want with Russia, and it will be difficult. To some extent it will depend on changes in Russia over which the UK has little influence. But we have some important successes to build on.

First, the depth and breadth of the economic relationship. British and Russian firms work together across a broad spectrum, creating jobs and improving living standards in both countries.

UK-Russia bilateral trade in 2017 was worth nearly £12bn. It isn’t just trade: many UK companies invest in Russia for the long term, employing Russians and supporting the Russian economy. Rotork, a UK engineering company, recently opened a new office and manufacturing facility here in Moscow. My Embassy supports a large number of British companies operating in Russia, and Russian companies seeking to invest in the UK. In October we held events promoting education, fashion and marketing communications. We work closely with the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce to support trade, helping you identify opportunities and manage risks – including legal and reputational risks for example from sanctions compliance.

Second, we have over the last 25 years built strong and lasting education links. The successful economies of the 21st century will be the ones that can create knowledge and bring it to market. So we need to work now to create and strengthen links between educational and research institutions. I meet a lot of young Russians as they graduate from joint degree programmes between Russian and UK universities. They are the people who will be doing our jobs a few years from now. Supporting those links remains one of the most important long term investments we make. My Embassy will continue to do so despite the Russian government’s decision to close the British Council in Russia. Earlier this week we held a seminar for 100 Russian teachers to promote UK education to Russian students.

Third, the strength that comes from our cultural and historical links. We will build on these in 2019 with the UK-Russia Year of Music in 2019. Business will have an important part to play, given the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy.

And fourth, the strength that comes from individual contacts. Our visa numbers are rising, and the number of Russian tourists travelling to the UK is rising. Last summer, tens of thousands of British people visited Russia for the World Cup. That is surely something for both sides to build on.

As I said at this conference last year, business and commercial ties are important in their own right. But they are also a stabilising force in the relationships between Russian and its foreign partners. There is a lot to talk about.

Thank you very much.

Do We Need The Nord Stream 2?

Speech of the GAZPROM Chairman A. Miller in Saint Petersburg October 4, 2018

“As you will know, in 2017 the volume of gas supply to the European market reached 194.4 billion cubic meters.These are the GAZPROM volumes. This figure indicates 8.4% growth in comparison to 2016.Today we start from 6% growth but proceeding from a higher absolute base of the record last year. This indicates that GAZPROM results of 2018 will strike a new record of gas supply to the European market.But here we must mark a few points. First, the absolute volume of supply will be higher than 200 billion cubic meters of gas.

What does it mean? This means that we will approach closely or probably reach the point of 205 billion cubic meters of gas supply to Europe.

This will fit the maximum yearly contract volumes for all our contracts of supplies to the European market.

In total we will reach 100% of our obligations which we have before our partners.

GAZPROM Chairman A.Miller

GAZPROM Chairman A.Miller

Without doubt a trend has emerged.

From every side, we see the demand for the Russian gas growing further.

We can see this in the framework of those negotiations that we had with the OMV on the side lines of this forum.

We witness that our traditional partners- not only OMV- state their intention to buy even larger volumes of gas.

With this we need to understand that those figures are very, very substantial.

That’s why we confirm that the new coordinate system proves that today on the gas market as a market of vendor has emerged.

And this is quite a new situation.

This is not the situation that we saw five to ten years ago. This is the first point.

Secondly. It deals with the question of demand for some gas transportation routes. In particular, the Baltic Sea – Nord Stream project.

During the last 12 months the load of Nord Stream became 7% higher than the planned project capacity.

I will remind you all that the project capacity of the pipeline is 55 billion cubic meters, but its technological possibilities allow us to export a little more.

During the last 12 months we supplied to Europe 59 billion cubic meters.

That means that the Nord Stream as an export gas transportation route from Russia was in demand for more than 100%.

This is the answers to this question: “Do we need the Nord Stream 2?”

All the existing capacities are being explored far beyond the projected ones. “


Human Rights Council 39: UK Statement On Russia

The UK welcomes Russia's engagement with the UPR, but remains deeply concerned about attacks against journalists, civil society and LGBT persons in Chechnya

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr President,

The United Kingdom welcomes the Russian Federation’s continued engagement in the UPR process. In follow up to our recommendations to Russia, we would like to make the following remarks.

We remain deeply concerned by the response of the Russian delegation to calls from the international community to investigate the persecution of human rights activists and LGBT individuals in Chechnya. The statement that they were “not able to find anyone” representing an LGBT organisation whose rights had been violated, is not credible. We continue to call on the Russian authorities to fully investigate the persecution and hold those responsible to account.

Together with our partners, we continue to call on Russia to grant international human rights monitors access to illegally annexed Crimea. We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate calls to immediately release all Ukrainian political prisoners, including Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh.

Mr President,

We are concerned that impunity for attacks on journalists and civil society activists remains a major problem in Russia. The Russian authorities must protect all activists and journalists, and allow safe space for civil society to operate. Severe restrictions remain on the freedom of assembly and association, and the freedom of expression, with a lack of opportunities for dissenting voices to be heard. Most recently, on 9 September we saw over 1000 Russian citizens detained for exercising their right to peaceful protest.

Thank you.

UK Statement On The Death Of Georgian Citizen Archil Tatunashvili

Her Majesty´s Ambassador, Justin McKenzie Smith, calls for a full investigation into the death of Archil Tatunashvili in South Ossetia, Georgia

Justin McKenzie Smith

Justin McKenzie Smith

We are deeply concerned by the death of Georgian citizen, Mr Archil Tatunashvili, while under detention in South Ossetia and express our condolences to his family.

We expect the de facto authorities to ensure that there is a full, open and transparent investigation into the death, and to allow the two Georgian citizens detained with Mr Tatunashvili to travel to Tbilisi-Administered Territory without delay.

This tragic incident highlights the dangers and human suffering caused by the conflicts in Georgia, and illustrates the need for those in de facto control of South Ossetia to allow full and unhindered access for international human rights and humanitarian institutions. This latest incident underlines the need for additional measures to ensure transparency and improve confidence.

We take this opportunity to reaffirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

Foreign Office Minister Condemns Russia For NotPetya Attacks

UK judges that the Russian government was responsible for the NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad has today attributed the NotPetya cyber-attack to the Russian Government. The decision to publicly attribute this incident underlines the fact that the UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity.

The attack masqueraded as a criminal enterprise but its purpose was principally to disrupt. Primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors. Its indiscriminate design caused it to spread further, affecting other European and Russian business.

Foreign Office Minister for Cyber Security Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

The UK Government judges that the Russian Government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017.

The attack showed a continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. Its reckless release disrupted organisations across Europe costing hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West yet it doesn’t have to be that way. We call upon Russia to be the responsible member of the international community it claims to be rather then secretly trying to undermine it.

The United Kingdom is identifying, pursuing and responding to malicious cyber activity regardless of where it originates, imposing costs on those who would seek to do us harm. We are committed to strengthening coordinated international efforts to uphold a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace.

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