Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning upcoming annual conferences of the UK’s major political parties

Question: What does the Embassy expect from the party conference season in the United Kingdom starting this week?

Answer: Annual conferences of UK’s major political parties are important events in the country’s life. At the conferences parties set out their priorities on a wide range of issues and arrange open and frank discussions on pressing domestic and international matters. Among other things, they offer a platform for a dialogue between party leaders and activists and the diplomatic corps.

Throughout the years, the Embassy has traditionally been attending the conferences of the Conservatives, the Labour, and sometimes of the Liberal Democrats, regardless of the state of Russia-UK bilateral relations. However, this year the Conservatives have refused to grant accreditation to our diplomat, making it clear that Russian officials are not welcome at the conference.

Such decision is regrettable, but not surprising. This is yet another confirmation of the Conservative government’s policy to persistently dismantle the fabric of our bilateral relations. This attitude includes attempts to isolate Russia and the Russian Embassy in London in particular.

This decision demonstrates the real value of the statements by British officials claiming their interest in continued engagement with Russia.