Britain bars Russian delegation from Farnborough air show



2014/07/12 • Russia

London (AFP) – Britain said Saturday it had barred a Russian delegation from attending the Farnborough air show because of the Ukraine crisis, sparking an angry reaction from Russia.

The Russian embassy in London expressed “regret” that Britain had not issued visas to a large part of its delegation and demanded an urgent explanation.

The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is a key event in the aviation sector calendar, with Russia usually sending a sizeable contingent as it seeks foreign sales.

Britain has been a strong backer of EU asset bans and travel freezes against Moscow over what it says is Russian interference in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it invites representatives from foreign governments to attend Farnborough as government guests, even though it is a commercial event.

“But due to Russian actions in Ukraine, no representatives from the Russian government have been issued HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) invitations to FIA 2014,” a spokesman said in a statement to AFP.

London had also taken “clear action” to remove Russia from the list of countries eligible to buy British planes or equipment “in order to discourage Russian attendance” at Farnborough, it said.

The Russian embassy said in a statement that it “expresses its regret that the visit of a greater part of the Russian delegation… is falling through”.
Delegates from the Russian industry and trade ministry, the Russian space agency and air transport agency, plus dozens of Russian companies had been affected, along with technicians for Russian aircraft meant to be flying at the show, it said, without giving specific numbers.

“The Embassy of the Russian Federation has asked for relevant explanations in an urgent note to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” it said.

Russian delegates at other events including a security forum and the London book fair had also been denied visas earlier this year, it added.

Talks between Russian weapons exporter Rosoboronexport and foreign partners on Monday had been “practically ruined” because of the visa denials, a source in the Russian delegation told RIA-Novosti news agency.

Russia will also cancel several presentations, for example, of its military helicopters, according to the source.

In March, London suspended all bilateral military cooperation and halted arms exports to Russia, while warning that the West and Russia faced changed relations for decades.

In 2012, Russia complained of delays in obtaining visas for the last Farnborough Air Show, although at the time Britain said that was due to people applying too late.


  • On the Balcony

    I’d be more impressed if The City closed its bank vaults…but… every little bit in support of Ukraine helps – (I won’t be churlish and note that this action likely helps the UK arms industry more than it hurts Russia.)

    • Putin’s missing inches

      Surely its the other way round with regards to banking and finance? Putin hates Russian money going abroad and has tried to make laws to repatriate oligarchs wealth. Every ruble thats hidden away in London or Cypress means less tax revenue for the Russian government. I say the door for Russian money should be flung wide open, making the Russian gov./military more under-funded and weaker and also giving us leverage and greater relations with the more liberal russian elite who may be able to overthrow Putin in the future.

      • On the Balcony

        No. Oligarchs and companies keep their deposits in other “off-shore” countries like Cypress to avoid taxes. Oligarchs, Russian companies and Russia itself heavily use London for processing international transactions, advisory, consulting and other banking services which currently generate approx. 2 BILLION a year in revenues for London’s financial center. A ban on these services would make it difficult for Russia to do business. If the U.S. concurrently denied Russia access to the dollar it would seriously and almost immediately cripple their entire economy.

  • sandy miller

    I can’t ever believe the Russian gall. I agree close the bank vaults and stop all business with Putin. Europe should not wait and get really serious about putting NATO troops on border of Ukraine and Russia. Putin is running around gathering his allies who maybe as rotten as he and his regime are. Stop him before he becomes to powerful. He’s shown his true colors over and over again. He says one thing and does something else. Cannot not be trusted. The lies coming out of that regime are unbelievable.

  • Reformedviking

    There’s sadly been little or no movement on the sanctions front. The Russians seems to be without shame when they feel “mistreated”, knowing full well they just annexed Crimea… No shame and great ability for cognitive dissonance.

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  • garyoptica

    Russia’s military machine will pay a huge price by cutting off Ukraine its great military supplier.

  • cotoman

    Canada, the UK, NZ, Australia and the USA are the heroes of this movie.

    And is disgusting that fucking frenchies still sell the Mistral ships to the vodka “Wehrmacht” of Adolf Putin