press release – westminster russia forum holds international multilateral ties forum with over 180 attendees & 47 international speakers Promoting positive cultural, economic, political and people to ties between Russia and its International partners.

For all media enquiries please contact Nicholas Cobb or call +44(0)7541350439. For Immediate Release – Correct as of 11.12.2020

UNITED KINGDOM: Held online on December 11, one of the largest online conferences dedicated to promoting international relations and understanding was held with nearly 50 speakers and 200 delegates.

The Westminster Russia Forum (WRF), together with Rossotrudnichestvo and the National Civil Committee and nearly 30 international partners successfully held the 5th Annual Multilateral Relations Forum dedicated to strengthening international relations. Long since a platform for promoting East-West dialogue, the WRF event attracted 47 international speakers from some 12 counties including the UK, Russia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Bermuda, Belarus, Australia, Denmark, and the USA amongst others.

The unique trilateral event attracted a diverse delegate base and the mood was positive, pragmatic and highlighted practical areas in which we can improve ties including:

Boosting ties outside of politics to include culture, media, sports and tourism
Expanding business relations through the equity if trade and business relations
The English legal system are now the established norm in the FSU
Mass culture and sporting events such as the World Cup have resulted in greater people to people ties
Visa regime normalisation will positively help ties
Education is key and Russian universities are looking beyond Russia to include new international student bases
We must recognise the differences but also acknowledge that we have more that unites us than divides us
The event took the form of working panels and a set of understandings were undertaken to boost ties year on year including the positioning of the WRF as a coordinating body for similar international organisations. An MOU will be sent to delegates and attendees in the coming days. According to Nicholas Cobb, Chair of the WRF:

‘It seems that we are not merely entering but are already in the
grip of a second cold war – a consensus reached by many of our participants today. Whilst this is regrettable, and we must  acknowledge the differences we must also do our bit to capture the positive spirit of optimism and cooperation presented by many of our influential speakers and partners from across the world. We have clearly more that unites us than divides us and as such we will do all we can to move East-West relations forward.’

Building upon previous successful events the forum was by far the most senior level and with top-level stakeholders from across the international relations scene the event presented a sustainable narrative to counter the prevailing negativity that we see in much of our press and political spheres today.

In short the event today provides a platform to promote equitable ties for the benefit of all our peoples – the WRF will do all it can to further dialogue.

About the WRF: The Westminster Russia Forum (WRF) is a UK based voluntary group and UK-Russia think tank with a global reach. Funded by its membership and founded in 2012 to promote a greater cultural, commercial and political understanding between the UK, Europe and Russian Federation the WRF is now the only organisation of its kind in the UK promoting ties between the UK, Europe & Russia, as well as the wider CIS.

Annex: Speaker List & Agenda

A full agenda can be found at this link & the full recording can be found here.

H.E. Andrei V. Kelin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Dr Alexander Rahr, Research Director, Deutsch Russisches Forum & Author (Germany)
Mikhail Gusman, First Deputy Director General – ITAR TASS (Russia)
Dr Alexander Neu – Member of the German Bundestag and Defense Committee, Eastern European Commissioner, Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (Germany)
Anton Morozov, Deputy of State Duma International Relations Dept. (Russia)
Yury Zhdanov, President of IPA Russian Section (Russia)
Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European History, University of Kent (UK)
Mirjam Zwingli Director European Relations of the WRF  (Germany)
Christo Visser, President, Australia Russia Dialogue (Australia)
Prof Dr Veronika Wittmann, Global Studies JOHANNES KEPLER UNIVERSITY LINZ (Austria)
Prof Dr Zoran R. Vitorovic, Advisory Board, East West Bridge Intl, Editor in Chief, Global Process Journal, (Serbia / Croatia)
Valery Voronin, Head of International Dept., Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (Russia)
Hunter Cawood, President, Russia-America Public Affairs Committee (USA)
Gabriel Gavin, Journalist & Commentator – Has written widely on the region for the Spectator, Independent and Kyiv Post (UK)
Ernest Reid, Political Analyst, Acting Chairman of the Youth Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
Anton Chesnokov, Head of the UK Rossotrudnichetsvo  (Russia)
Martin Hoffman, Executive Director, Deutsch Russisches Forum (Germany)
Andrew Fox, Director, The Solidarity with Russia Trust (UK)
Richard Peers, Director and Founder, British Football School Moscow (UK)
Olga Balakleets, President, Ensemble Productions (UK / Russia)
Michael Wynne Parker, Chairman Introcom International / President, Commonwealth Sambo Association & Head of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, UK Branch (UK)
Francis Russell, Co-Chair, Arctic Convoy Museum Project  (UK)
Sergei Vasiliev, Former Director of MGIMO Odintosovo (Russia)
Nicholas Cobb, Director, CEC Global Communications & Chair of the Westminster Russia Forum (UK)
Dr Karin von Bismarck, Chair Business Club Germany-Russia Berlin (Germany)
Hermann Pönisch, Vice President of the East West Business Club Bavaria (Germany)
Philip Owen, Director, Volga Trader (UK)
Alexander Yarovoy, Russian Trade Delegation (Russia)
Jens Jorgen Nielsen, Business Consultant, Professor at a Business University in Copenhagen and Member of Russian-Danish Dialogue (Denmark)
Anton Samoylenko, Deputy Chair of the Siberian Alliance Group & National Civic Committee Russia (Russia)
Prof Dr Luigi Santacroce, ALDO MORO UNIVERSITY & President, East-West Bridge International (Italy)
Kirill Savrassov, SVP & CEO, Phoenix CRetro Reinsurance Company (Bermuda)
Ben Wells – CANDEY (UK)
Dr Andreas Knaul – Rödl & Partner (Germany)
Sergei Eremin – Herbert Smith Freehills (Russia)
Dmitry Zapol – IFS Consultants Ltd (Russia)
James Collins – CANDEY (UK)
Markus Stender – sdh attorneys at law (Austria)
Yuri Botiuk – CANDEY (UK)

12 Декабря 2020

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