Subscription and demo access

About Interfax
Press Releases
Products & Services
Contact us
Customer Login


09/16 10:01   No one has lifted OPEC+ obligations, Russia is adhering to them - minister
09/16 09:59   Sentsov sees no serious changes at home, sad that 'everyone is fighting everyone'
09/16 09:54   Russia sees no need for emergency measures within OPEC+ due to Saudi situation
09/16 09:47   Russian military report deployment of S-400 missile systems on Novaya Zemlya
09/16 09:37   Russian foreign minister to visit Kazakhstan in October
09/16 09:35   Banks have 2612.3 bln rbs on CBR correspondent accounts on September 16
09/16 09:27   Ankara summit may address attack on Saudi Aramco facilities - Peskov (Part 2)

You can access a demo version of, recieve more information about or subscribe to Interfax publications by filling in and sending the form below.

First name:

Last name:







Please enter the digits in the box below:  |  Interviews  |  Laurie Bristow: Our top priority for FIFA World Cup is to make sure British...


June 09, 2018

Laurie Bristow: Our top priority for FIFA World Cup is to make sure British fans stay safe

UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the level of cooperation with Russia as part of preparations for the FIFA World Cup, his expectation as to the number of British fans who will come to Russia and other aspects of preparing for the tournament.

Question: How many football fans do you expect to come from England for the World Cup to Russia?

Answer: First of all, of course, England like all teams will play in the group stages. They are playing in Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kaliningrad. It is quite difficult to tell exactly how many English fans will come, because of course some people - not from England - follow the England team as well. But we are working on the basis that it will be about 10,000. So, a big number. What we have been doing for the last two years is preparing our arrangements at the Embassy to support the fans and to support the team. Our objective, our priority is to make sure that the British fans that do come to Russia have a great time, that they enjoy the tournament, that they stay safe, and that they will go back having enjoyed their time in Russia. So, we have been working with the football authorities and the Russian police for two years now to make sure that that happens. I took part in a video conference on Thursday morning with the Foreign Secretary just to check our arrangements for that. On the police links, what happened is that UK police officers and football specialists have been to Russia a number of times. They have invited their counterparts back to the UK a number of times. They have got to know how each side works, they have exchanged information and experience, and of course there will be a team of British policemen here in Russia making sure that the cooperation with the Russian police goes well.

Q.: How would you describe in general the coordination of law enforcement officials with Russia, because Foreign Secretary Johnson said that the coordination was not sufficient?

A.: The political relationship is very, very complex, as you understand, but as far as the preparations for the football are concerned, we are happy with the level of cooperation. A lot of work has gone into it on both sides - of course you can always do more - and the test is what actually happens over the next month. But we think we are as prepared as we can be. As I said, our top priority, my top priority for the next month is to make sure the British fans that come to Russia have a great time, stay safe and go home having enjoyed their time.

Q.: Could please speak about the Memorandum of Understanding?

A.: This is really an important point. I signed on Thursday afternoon a memorandum of understanding between the UK government and the Russian authorities setting out how our police will work with the Russian police.

Q.: Do you have information on any problems that British people have in receiving free Russian visas?

A.: Russian visas... Well, Russian visas are a matter for the Russian government. I am not aware of any particular problems, but what we have been doing on our side for the last year or so is putting out advice to our fans who want to travel to Russia, pointing them towards what they need to do, say, need to apply for you ticket for the match, apply for your Fan ID. We also have a campaign of information for our own people which is called Be on the Ball. Basically, it is a travel advice aimed at our fans to help our people, our citizens to stay safe while in Russia, the things you need to know if you want to stay safe in Russia.

Q.: Russian-British relations have been rather tense but 10,000 people coming from Britain. Do you expect any confrontation between Russian and British fans? And what is done to avoid such situations?

A.: Russia is the host of the championship, and it is Russias responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of the fans from all of the 32 countries coming to Russia for the championship. Our job is to help Russia and help our citizens visiting Russia to have a good time and to stay safe. Of course, for all of us in the background is what happened in Marseille. Our intention, as I said, our priority, my primary interest over the next month is to ensure that our fans have a trouble-free visit and an enjoyable visit to Russia.

Q.: Are there any contacts besides the Interior Ministry, probably with the Foreign Ministry, on the issues related to the upcoming championship?

A.: We are in contact with all of the relevant authorities, all of them. My embassy is being strengthened. We have 12 members of staff coming in temporarily, they have their visas, we have jobs for them, we have a plan, we have been practicing that plan for over a year now, everybody knows what job they will do. We will send a team of staff to each of the cities where our team will play. They will set up a temporary "embassy" in those cities - so, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, then Kaliningrad, and others, if we get further. We call it a pop-up embassy. An embassy in a box.

Q.: Who of the British senior official should we expect in Russia for the championship?

A.: Our government made it very clear after the attack in Salisbury that there would not be members of the government, ministers or members of the Royal Family coming to Russia for the football. It is unfortunate, but that is our position. Something very, very serious happened in Salisbury - we were attacked using a chemical weapon - and I am afraid that has created a problem in the political relationship. So there will not be senior representation from Britain for the championship, but we will do everything that we can, everything that we need to ensure that our fans have a great time here.

Q.: Are you a football fan? What do you expect? What will be the result for the England team in Russia?

A.: It is not my specialism. But of course what I am hoping for is that England plays Russia at Luzhniki in the final.


U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman, who will leave his post in early October, has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about exchanges at the highest level between Moscow and Washington, a possibility of Russias return to G8, as well as his vision of the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty on that is expected on August 2, about Russia‘s response to the U.S. and NATO possible deployment of missiles banned by the treaty, and about whether the Cuban Missile Crisis may repeat itself.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold negotiations on the sidelines of the Petersburg Dialogue forum in Germany on Thursday. Maas has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the forum, in which he speaks about prospects of settling the conflict in Ukraine, Germanys preparations for ensuring security in the absence of the INF Treaty and attempts to save the Iranian nuclear deal.

German Ambassador to Russia Rudiger von Fritsch, who is leaving Moscow after a five-year mission, told Interfax about the state of affairs in bilateral relations, Germanys position on the Nord Stream 2 project amidst sanction risks, and assessed prospects for settling the crisis in Ukraine under the new authorities in Kyiv.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about results of the trilateral meeting on Afghanistan settlement that took place in Moscow on April 25, prospects of the intra-Afghan meeting in Doha, and Russia‘s role in the Afghan issue.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the Alliances 70th anniversary that is to be celebrated on April 4. He speaks in the interview about the NATOs vision of future relations with Russia, its attitude to the situation surrounding the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty and the New START Treaty, as well as further plans of expanding the Alliance.

British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the current situation in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia, the impact of the Skripal case on it, the restoration of the numbers of diplomatic staff, exchange of information on counter-terrorism, possible introduction of sanctions over the Kerch Strait incident, the INF Treaty, and British-Russian economic relations.


 ©   1991—2019   "Interfax News Agency" JSC. All rights reserved.
Contact information   |   Privacy Policy   |   Interfax offices   |   made by web.finmarket

News and other data on this site are provided for information purposes only, and are not intended for republication or redistribution. Republication or redistribution of Interfax content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Interfax.

Browse other Interfax sites:   |   IFX.RU   |   Interfax Group   Rambler's Top100