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Russia, Diplomatically Speaking - a new book by Stuart Prior Print E-mail

December 2011 - Prior Group and the Moscow News presenting: “Russia, Diplomatically Speaking” - There are many aspects to the profession of diplomacy, one of the most important, and in my view under-rated, professions. Diplomacy is more than “saying nothing beautifully”.

It is a principal means of communication between nations. Diplomacy can be flexible and creative. The art of interpreting a society and its peoples, understanding their motives and motivations, and conveying those accurately to one’s own Government is essential for a diplomat. Knowing how to communicate messages and instructions from one’s own Government to the Government of a host country is the companion art.

In The Moscow News publication “Russia, Diplomatically Speaking” senior diplomats from a range of countries represented in Moscow draw on their collective experience to set Russia into a global context. Given the rapid emergence of Russia as a leading global political and economic power, their insights will be valuable to all those interested in the future directions of this great country, ways of dealing with the Russians in a business and everyday context.

The book editor is Stuart Prior, New Zealand Ambassador to Russia 2003-2006, Chairman, Prior Group.

Russia’s year as APEC host will spotlight the rapid development of Russia’s links with the dynamically growing Asia/Pacific region. It will showcase the Pacific face of Russia and will highlight the unique role of Russia as a bridge between the economies of Europe and of the Pacific.

In the English and Russian languages, the publication will highlight some of the key social, cultural and historical features and values of Russia, Russian character and mindset which inform Russia’s approach to international trade and economic relations.

The book is aimed at foreign managers and their Russian business partners, whether businessmen, officials or politicians. It will undoubtedly be of interest to a much broader Russian and foreign readership among those whose imagination is captured by Russia and all that this magnificent country represents.

“Russia, Diplomatically Speaking” will be published in December 2011.

Questions which diplomats answer include:


What have been your strongest impressions about Russia?
What have been your strongest impressions about the peoples who live in Russia?
How has your family adapted to life in Russia?
What was the thing which you found most unexpected about Russia?
What has been the most difficult problem you have encountered in Russia? How has it been resolved?
What experience has pleased you most?
What have you found most disappointing?
When the people of your country think of "Russia" what stereotypes and images immediately come to mind?
What do you see as the most distinctive characteristics of Russians as people?
What do you think is the self-image of Russians? is it positive, negative, defensive, arrogant??
How can Russia, and Russians, show themselves and their societies more effectively to foreigners?

Doing Business

What are the most important specific features of the Russian way of doing business with international partners?
What do you see as some of the main socio-economic developments in Russia over the next five-ten years?
How important are history and culture to understanding how Russians work today?
If asked to give businessmen from your country three pieces of advice about how to work successfully in Russia, what would they be?

Russia on the World Stage

In your view, how could Russia improve the effectiveness of its work with international partners?
Over the next 10-15 years, in what areas do you see Russia making the most impact in the international political arena?

To pre-order please email Marina Vinogradova at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel.+7 (495) 645 6403



Russia - New Zealand Video

To see the video of Russia Channel showing Russian Rugby Team training in New Zealand, Feb 2011 please go to

Russia - New Zealand Quotes

Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.Winston Churchill, 1939
I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast. Elizabeth II
Я никогда до этого не была в Новой Зеландии. Но одним из образцов подражания для меня всегда была Зена, королева воинов, она родилась там. Мадлен Олбрайт, 1995

Prior Group Market Reports

Russia - New Zealand History

Lieut. -Colonel H. C. Barclay, M.D., of Timaru, writing to the Christchurch Sun, says: — Arriving in Petrograd, after a tedious 22 days journey from Japan, I was anxious to waste no time, but to get to the front. At that time no reverses had be fallen the English or French troops, and the idea of my commission leading to an appointment in England among the army that was to be recruited had not occurred to me, and so I promptly offered myself as an army surgeon to the Russians, and was accepted as an operating surgeon, though of the language I knew nothing. Still, if they were game to take me, I was game to go. During the ten days of waiting I had some interesting, if not exciting, personal expediences. I had the honor of being, presented to the Empress - that is, the Dowager Empress, the mother of the present Tsar. It was at one of the summer palaces on the island of the Neva, on the borders of Petrograd. After some formal introduction to a baroness and one of the Princesses, the Empress came in. She was attired in black with a plain white collar and a pearl necklace, her hair dressed in ordinary English fashion. There was no difficulty in seeing at once the likeness to Queen Alexandra, whose sister she is, but she was not as tall, nor as impressive in appearanpe as I understand the late Queen of England to be. She was exceedingly gracious in manner and in speech, and spoke English like an English lady would. Among other things, she expressed her pleasure at seeing an Englishman with her troops, and when she spoke of  the Anglo-Russian alliance, the emotion behind the words was plainly visible to me. A TALISMAN. When I said  that while with her countrymen I hoped to do my duty faithfully and well she slipped a little present into my hand, saying, -"Keep this for my sake, and may it protect you." Then her Majesty looked me very straight in the face and paused - her eyes were moist “Thank God for the English alliance," – she said and raising her hand to my lips I kissed it, bowed, and she passed out. It needed no keen observer to be aware of the feeling at the back of words in themselves so simple. Needless, to say, the little gift was of the nature of an amulet, a religious token to be worn round the neck. Of her interest in my reasons for being in Russia at the time, and of her questions about New Zealand and Australia I need not write. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13570, 23 December 1914, Page 2

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