From history of Russian-British relationship


The Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin safeguards a unique and rare testimony, being the first pages of Russian-British trade, diplomatic and cultural relations. In 1553, a society of British merchants, run by Richard Chancellor, reached Moscow, thus completing its long and challenging journey from the shores of “Foggy Albion”. Upon his arrival in Moscow, Richard Chancellor was granted an audience with Ivan the IV (The Terrible), to whom he presented a silver gilt and carved ecclesiastical bowl, which still brightens the famous Kremlin treasury. Chancellor’s journey started the development of Russian-British trade and diplomatic relations.


In 1555, a “Muscovy Company” was set up in London. It was granted the right of duty-free trade with Russia and was using it till 1698. As a result of this, British merchants engaged in active trade, both in and outside Moscow.


In return, Russian merchants were granted the right of duty-free trade with Great Britain. Unlike their British colleagues, however, they did not have the chance to use this right since Russia did not possess a proper fleet at that time.


Several times throughout history, diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain were suspended and re-established; the reason for this being numerous wars waged by both countries, palace coup d’états and regular changes of power.


The Soviet Period of 1917-1991 seriously thwarted progress in bilateral relations. A trade and cultural boom followed, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as improved relations with new Russia.

Today, many British and international companies have their offices in Moscow and in other cities of Russia. Being one of the largest countries in the world, and possessing the largest stock of mineral and energy resources, Russia provides a great opportunity for a wide spectrum of activities as well as for the implementation of projects in many areas.


Moscow, as one of the biggest cities of the world (population 10 million plus) is the country’s political, economic, cultural and scientific centre. Nearly all large Russian companies have their offices there. This centralisation of resources and management makes it easy to do business in the capital. Still, Moscow and the regional markets are quite unexplored compared, for instance, with those in Europe. This makes Russia an extremely attractive proposition for both local and foreign business.


London and Great Britain retains its position of one of the strongest and highly developed markets in the world. Great Britain has a clear tax regime, integrity in its legal system and extensive international connections – all this creates great conditions for doing business here. Many companies establish their head offices or affiliates in London.


London is a world centre of politics, culture and business. No wonder it attracts professionals from all over the world. It is here where the oldest traditions blend with the latest technologies. Events of universal importance take place as much in economic, as in social and cultural spheres.


A very special subject of interest for many is education. Most British universities are top-ranking institutions compared with their European counterparts because they use unique teaching methods and deliver a high-standard of quality.


The history of the Russian-British relations is developing; the present and future of the interaction and collaboration are in our hands.