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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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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