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Monthly Newsletter - May 2013

“Hot. Cool. Yours.”

Upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia help politicians to find common ground and encouraged one Russian city to reassess the past.

The preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are in full swing with eleven sports venues already built and being tested since the beginning of 2013. The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be celebrated from 7 to 23 February 2014 with ninety-eight events in fifteen winter sports being held. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC).

In many bigger cities, a countdown clock was installed to count how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left until the Olympics commenced (263 days, 13 hours, 44 minutes and 53 seconds left at the time of writing this newsletter). These clocks are installed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Khabarovsk, Yekaterinburg and some other cities. The latter mentioned is interesting with the fact that the clock replaced a memorial dedicated to Lenin, who is still broadly worshiped in Russia. This act may imply that the modern Russia is reflecting on reassessing its past.

Construction in preparation for the Games involve the building of new venues, modernising the telecommunications, power, and transport infrastructure of the area. Russia provides nearly 327 billion rubles (approximately US$10.85 billion) for the total development, expansion and hosting of the Games. Financing from non-budget sources (including private investor funds) is distributed as follows:

  • Tourist infrastructure – $2.6 billion
  • Olympic venues – $500 million
  • Transport infrastructure – $270 million
  • Power supply infrastructure – $100 million
  • [Resource: Wikipedia]

The Olympics, awaiting to host 1.2 millions of tourists, are not the only major international sports event to be held in Russia in the near future. Within the 5 next years, Russia will host following major sports events:

  • Rugby Sevens, June 2013;
  • 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, July 2013;
  • The Winter Olympics, February 2014;
  • The Formula One Grand Prix, 2014;
  • The FIFA Confederations Cup, 2017;
  • The FIFA World Cup, 2018;
  • + other major events such as Ice Hockey, Aquatics and Athletic Championships.

  • Obviously, such a big number of major events will attract huge numbers of sport fans, tourists, investors, celebrities and, unfortunately, buddies as well. Russia may not be the place where one would expect the highest standards of security, but we could be surprised when we learn about the progress Russia and international security services has done.

    One of the most impressive and positive pieces of news is that the UK security services are ready to cooperate for safer Sochi Games. Interaction between British and Russian security agencies has been suspended at the British initiative after the death of ex-officer of Russian Federal Security Service Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Spring-time negotiations between Russian and British special services, however, result in agreement to cooperate in light of the Boston bombings and the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said: “We are pleased to see the willingness to cooperate for the sake of having a secure and safe Olympics in Sochi.”

    What is more, Sochi 2014 organisers promise the 'safest games in history'. Dmitry Chernyshenko, the CEO of the organising committee assure, that "The security system for the Games was devised with the participation of leading international experts. It conforms to the security demands of an event of this magnitude and has been repeatedly checked at test competitions and other events.”

    Security may not be the only concern of major sport events visitors, organisers and participants. Another big issue is the visa obligation. We cannot expect Russian visa requirements will be denied in the blink of an eye, but we may hope that the fact that Putin canceled visa regime for sports delegations, is just the first brick of domino to fall.

    Business Opportunities for the Security Sector around major events in Russia

    Should you wish to learn more about the security aspects in Russia, don't hesitate to attend an event, supported by Russia Local, where security in Russia will be discussed down to the last detail. The event will take place on Thursday, 20th June in London and will be organised by our partners, company Major Events International, that specializes on global major events marketplace.

    The masterclass will give attendees a chance to learn more about opportunities that are available within the security sector around the major events that are taking place in Russia over the next 5 years. Questions will be encouraged and there will be a networking drinks reception after the presentations have finished.

    Cost: Free to MEI members and £30 plus VAT to non-members.
    Sponsorship: Opportunities to sponsor, support and display banners are available.
    Contact: Piers Lawson on +44 (0) 20 7934 9008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Entering the Russian market

    "l’esperto di commercio russo, il “guru” Ignaty Dyakov"

    If you read an Italian newspaper Il Tirreno from 30th April 2013, you would find out, that Russia Local's director – Ignaty Dyakov, is a guru. How did he merit such a flattering appellation? Very simply. He accepted an invitation to Florence, Italy, and delivered a day-long training, during that he advised owners and staff members of more than a dozen boutiques and jewellery shops on Selling to Russian customers.

    ‘Doing business in Russia: an Introduction’ workshop on 5th July in the City Business Library

    You are not an Italian luxury brand, but you want to learn about business possibilities in Russia nevertheless? Don't worry, we have an option for every pocket. You can join us on the 5th of July in the City Business Library in London, where we are giving a free-to-attend lecture on Doing business in Russia: an Introduction. Don't miss an opportunity to find out what Russian market's peculiarities are, how to attract Russian clients’ interest, what to say and what not to say when negotiating with Russians, how to find the right person to talk to and much much more. Admission is free, but the tickets must be booked via

    Keep track of the CBL website and book your tickets on time. The capacity is limited and according to our experience from the previous volume, the tickets go quickly.

    The Guardian Q&A: Exporting to BRIC countries session

    Those who are too impatient to wait until the 5th of July can find many useful tips about exporting to BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in the record of The Guardian Q&A session Russia Local took part in as an exert. The virtual Question & Answer meetings are organised by The Guardian on a regular basis and try to give answers to questions which are of interest or concern of small or medium size businesses. This time, the session looked at the following topics:

    • the benefits of trading with the BRIC countries;
    • country-specific business culture, practice and regulations;
    • what support is on offer to help your company;
    • experiences of small businesses who already export to these regions.

    Besides other helpful information, you could learn that in Russia, “British goods and services are generally perceived to be something more than just good quality, it is also an aura, tradition, reputation, the sense of being closer to the British spirit. That's an added value which [Russian] customers look for.”

    The discussion leader – Emily Wight, laid a question, which may also be of your interest: “What are the top 5 reasons small business owners should export to Russia?” What do you think it could be? Try to get involved and guess the answer. If you are at your wit's end, you can find our answer in the round-up of the session HERE.


    Book launching

    You are also warmly invited to join us for the launch of our Russian language textbook written by Ignaty Dyakov at The European Bookshop in Central London on 13th June 7-9pm.

    On the evening, Ignaty will talk about his experience of teaching Russian to business people, share some useful tips on learning Russian and then advise on how best to use the textbook he wrote. Some chapters from the book might be read aloud as well. The talk will be in English and questions and contribution to the discussion will be most welcomed. Drinks and veggie snacks will be provided. Ignaty was inspired to write the textbook in the form of a detective story that would also teach useful vocabulary and grammar structures after some of his business clients complained that existing text books were boring and had no relation to real life.

    ‘The Story Sensation: for learners of the Russian language (and not only for Guadeloupians!)’ - ‘Rasskaz-Sensatsiya’ in Russian - is the result, containing approximately 800 words that are crucial for everyday communication, repeated in the text several times in different contexts and weaved into a detective story. The story is about a banker at the Guadeloupe national bank who loves singing and his yellow woollen scarf, against the evil Mr Schyokin who represents a major organisation aiming to control most of the world’s governments and finance.

    Both paper and audio versions of the book are now available for sale from The European Bookshop as well as from other major British bookstores and Amazon.

    5% of all proceeds go to the SOS Children's Villages orphanage in the Leningrad region, Russia.

    RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    This event is completely free-of-charge.


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