UK Government bars Russian delegates from this year's Farnborough International Airshow

The UK Government refused to issue visas for a number of Russians who had planned to attend the event

Jack Simpson
Saturday 12 July 2014 18:57
Russia usually send a massive delegation of trade and industry executives to the Air Show
Russia usually send a massive delegation of trade and industry executives to the Air Show

The Russian embassy in London has reacted angrily after a number of its delegates were barred from attending this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.

According to a spokesman for the British Government, representatives from Russia were not given visas to enable them to travel to this year’s Airshow because of the “Russian government’s actions in the Ukraine”.

The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is a key event in the aviation calendar, and delegates from various countries are usually invited by the UK’s foreign office.

Russia is known for normally sending a large delegation to the event, but this year the Russian representation was severely depleted because of the ban.

In addition to banning Russian delegates from attending the Airshow, the British Government also made a decision to remove Russia from the list of countries that would be able to buy British planes and equipment.

The ban by the British Foreign Office is said to have affected many delegates from Russia’s trade and industry ministries, it is also said to have prevented Russian aircraft scheduled to perform at the show from flying.

One weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport, reportedly said that talks with their foreign partners had been “ruined” due to the visa refusals.

In reaction to the ban, the Russian embassy in London has expressed “regret” at Britain’s decision.

A statement said: "The Russian embassy expresses its regret that the visit of a greater part of the Russian delegation... is falling through."

The embassy added that it would be asking for “relevant explanations” as to why the Foreign Office had decided to take the action it did.

Britain has been a strong supporter of the sanctions against Russia that have seen asset freezes and travel bans handed out to a number of Russian officials.

In March, the Foreign Secretary William Hague, along with the EU, announced travel bans and asset freezes after Russia signed a decree recognising the newly annexed Crimea as a sovereign state.

It was then announced in May by Mr Hague that the EU would be increasing the number of Russian officials subject to travel bans.

Speaking to Parliament after the announcement, Mr Hague said: “Russia is already paying a serious price for his actions, and the longer (Russia) breaches the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine, the heavier the price it will pay”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments