Mr. Voloshin, clean-shaven and almost unrecognisable without his trademark beard and moustache, was joined on the platform by Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of TheCityUK, who chaired the hour-long meeting, Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to the UK and David Wootton, the Lord Mayor of the City of London. In the audience were Viktor Spassky, the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Kosof, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s state development bank, Vnesheconombank, and representatives from Bloomberg, Societe General, ICAP, ING, VTB Capital and other leading city institutions.
The reason Mr. Voloshin and a large Russian financial sector delegation were in London was the second meeting of the Joint Liaison Group on establishing Moscow as an International Financial Centre (IFC), which took place earlier in the morning. The Group was established earlier this year and held its first meeting in Moscow during the former Lord Mayor’s visit to Russia in June. The large city delegation accompanying the Lord Mayor included the current Lord Mayor, David Wootton.
The Russian government has identified the city of London as its preferred partner in developing Moscow as an IFC and during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Moscow in September this year TheCityUK, The Russian Presidential Taskforce and Vnesheconombank signed a Memorandum of Understanding detailing the objectives and working arrangements for their cooperation on the Moscow Project.
During the Lord Mayoral visit in June six workstream groups were established:
- · Alternative Dispute Resolution
- · Equities and Listings
- · Derivatives
- · The Regulatory and Administrative Environment
- · Long Term Market Development, including infrastructure financing (PPP) and
- · Branding, Marketing and Public Relations
On Wednesday, two other groups were added on Pension Funds and Professional Traing and Education.
Mr. Cummings said that what was good for Moscow was good for the UK, “We are baking a bigger cake,” he said stressing that in growing trade there were no winners or losers.
Mr. Voloshin, speaking fluent English, said the Russian Taskforce’s goal was to “Take the country’s economy to a new level, attract investment from abroad and give Russian businessmen a better working environment.”
The Russian said they were countering problems and difficulties and that world financial events “do not make us happy” but that “We are pressing ahead with MIFC.”
In the only reference to the recent parliamentary elections, Danny Corrigan, Chairman of TheCityUk’s Russian Group and Managing Director of ICAP’s Rouble product business, asked if the newly elected Russian Duma (Parliament) could blow the project off-stream by not passing the sought-for raft of legislation “or is it A-political”.
Mr. Voloshin replied that there were “no enemies for this project”, and that it was widely supported by the Russian President, Prime Minister and the Duma. Mr. Voloshin said that he had extensive meetings with Duma Deputies from all factions and had found no one opposed to the project.