• International Insurance Blog

  • Thursday, February 22, 2018

Winston Churchill said about Russia, after long experience of negotiating with Russians: ’ I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.’ Allowing for the different circumstances, this is a good description of how you may feel after a Russian negotiating session.

Business culture is hierarchical in Russia. Correspondence, particularly at the initial stages, is responded to more readily if it is between senior executives. A response to correspondence can often take longer than expected. During certain times of year, particularly early January, early May, and July-August, many people in Russian organizations take extended holidays.

It is customary to exchange business cards during any business meeting; it is worth having some cards printed in Russian. Speaking a few words of Russian at the beginning of a meeting is received appreciatively. Even if your contact speaks English or French, it is advisable to bring product details and price lists already translated into Russian.

As a visitor to Russia, be alert to your surroundings. People carrying valuables in backpacks, in back pockets of pants and in coat pockets are especially vulnerable to pickpockets. The most vulnerable areas include underground walkways and the subway, overnight trains, train stations, airports, markets, tourist attractions, restaurants, hotel rooms and residences (even when locked or occupied).

It is recommended that foreign visitors have medical insurance covering Russia. There are a number of international medical clinics in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Rates are high for such care. Here are recommended clinics in Moscow (accept credit cards or rubles): European Medical Centre (E.M.C), International S.O.S. Clinic, and The American Medical Clinic.

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