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Russia Ambivalent Over Farnborough Snub

Published: July 9, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • Sberbank, a major financial partner of Russian aerospace companies, announced Monday that it would not be taking part in this year's edition of the Farnsborough airshow because of "changing priorities..."
    Photo: Nathan O'Nions / Flickr

Although Moscow responded stormily to the U.K. Foreign Office's refusal to invite Russian officials to the Farnborough International Airshow because of "Russian actions in Ukraine," analysts believe these outbursts are unlikely to impact the country's ability to strike military deals with foreign partners.

"That a large portion of the Russian delegates have been denied British visas is an unhealthy sign of dishonest competition, a sign of weakness, if you wish," said Sergei Kornev, the head of Russia's

Rosoboronexport defense export delegation at the Farnborough Airshow, ITAR-Tass reported Monday. "A strong, self-confident player would not resort to such tactics."

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement Monday, saying it expected official clarification on the situation from British officials and that it reserved the right to reciprocate. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the country's military-industrial complex, wrote on Twitter on Sunday that the members of the delegation who were already at the airshow should "return home."

Some Russian entities seem to have already reacted to Rogozin's plea. Sberbank, a major financial partner of Russian aerospace companies, announced Monday that it would not be taking part in this year's edition of the airshow because of "changing priorities in the implementation of exhibition activities," but said it would continue to cooperate with Farnborough in the future, RIA Novosti reported.

According to Ivan Konovalov, deputy director of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Rogozin's reaction was "emotional" and his plea to withdraw from the event will ultimately have no impact on Russia's dealings with its partners in the civil and military aviation industry.

"Contracts are not made at these types of airshows," Konovalov told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday. "When contracts are signed at Farnborough, it means that there has been a long negotiation process prior to the actual signing. And this, of course, does not take place at the airshow. Russia still has a stand at Farnborough; it is still being represented, despite any calls to boycott."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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