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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

     Interview of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key by the leading Russian journalist Sergey Brilev, Vesti

Russia - New Zealand Quotes

There are the Russians, who are the Antipodes to all other nations, born, it would seem, into a different perspective or proportion, often overtaken by disaster owing to ignorance or vastness, but wrongly blamed for never having been happy.Sacheverell Sitwell, 1941
Жуткая трагедия в Южных морях! Три миллиона людей заживо попали в ловушку.Томас Скотт, 1979

Prior Group Market Reports

Russia - New Zealand History

We are having long lambskin coats made with outer surface of Gabardine. A good warm cloth overcoat is also recommended by Australian Legation which advises in addition, furlined coat. We have not examined cost of latter but have been informed by a local resident previously living in Russia that they are “de rigueur” for official classes, sheepskin coats being associated with peasantry…Fur caps and furlined gloves are recommended. Top hats are not being taken.
What a country in which the occurrence of queues outside shops is a sign of improving conditions.
It is the most wonderful springtime, the tenderest green on the trees. As always in Moscow, the spring is so fresh, it seems to be happening for the first time.
The Russian language is like a sack pulled over the head of the wretched foreigner. Those like Ruth Macky and me, who have cut an eyehole or two in the sack, have to lead by the hand those who are still living in the darkness. Curious, but the one who shows most promise of all the beginners is Mrs Boswell. For myself I reckon I’ll know Russian well in ten years’ time. It really is a monster of a tongue. Paddy Costello, New Zealand diplomat and linguist, Moscow, 1944

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