Russia deputy PM tells Farnborough delegation to 'go home'
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Monday told the Russian delegation at the Farnborough air show to go home after being snubbed by the British government over the Ukraine conflict.
‘I recommend our delegation to wind up its participation in the show and return home,’ Rogozin, who is in charge of the defence sector, wrote on Twitter on the day of the air show's opening.
Britain's Foreign Office said Saturday that no Russian delegates had been invited as government guests to the key event for the aviation sector ‘due to Russian actions in Ukraine.’
Britain also said that it would remove Russia from the list of countries eligible to buy British planes ‘in order to discourage Russian attendance.’
That prompted the Russian embassy in London to express ‘regret that the visit of a greater part of the Russian delegation... is falling through.’
The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is a key biennial show, to which Russia usually sends a sizeable contingent as it seeks foreign sales.
Sergei Kornev, head of the department for sales of military aviation of Russia's arms exports agency, Rosoboronexport, told Russian news agencies on Monday that ‘the lack of British visas for a significant number of the Russian delegation is an unhealthy sign of unfair competition and weakness.’
He said however that the lack of visas would not significantly affect Russian arms sales.