Trade turnover between the United Kingdom (UK) and Russia is on the upswing after nearly four years of geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and the Caspian region.
Bilateral trade has grown this year for the first time since 2014, increasing by 25 percent year-over-year, for the first nine months of 2017 and reaching $9.3 billion. Russia’s exports to the UK increased by 29.4 percent to $6.5 billion over the first nine months of 2017 in comparison to the same period last year.
“We see a significant rise in both export and import. And if the Russian export’s increase could be explained from the viewpoint of the oil prices, the UK export to Russia is rising not because of the increasing oil prices, but in connection to the growth of purchasing capacity in Russia,” said Russia’s Trade Envoy Boris Abramov, according to Sputnik news agency.
While the UK is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France, it ranks 13 in terms of Russia’s top trading partners. In 2016, trade turnover stood at $10.4 billion.
“Russia sells to Britain 1.7 times more goods and services than Britain sells to Russia. At the end of 2017, this figure will be more than $4 billion,” said Boris Abramov, Russia’s trade representative in the UK, at the Third Russian-British Business Forum that was held in London from November 28-29.
According to some estimates, trade could double in the next five years.
“If the current macroeconomic indicators remain on the same level and the potential for trade and investment cooperation is realized, trade turnover between Russia and the UK may double in the next five years", said Oleg Fomichev, Russia’s State Secretary-Deputy Minister for Economic Development, according to PR Newswire.
While trade between Russia and the EU, including the UK, had slowed dramatically after Russia was accused in 2014 of military intervention in eastern Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean peninsula, trade began to taper off as early as 2013 as the global price of crude oil dropped.
The UK retains its place among the top three traders with Russia in terms of services, like banking, transportation, information technology and consulting.