A Snapshot: UK-Russia Trade Relations

By Shaan Afzal-Khan

Shaan Afzal-Khan


Expanding on our UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, we are now building a collage of all the relevant information pertaining to UK-Russia trade relations – with particular attention on the everyday relationship between the two countries – so all the information is at your fingertips. 

Period: Four quarters to the end of Q2 2021 (unless specified otherwise)

  • Rank as trading partner (goods and services):
    • 20th largest trading partner (accounting for 1.2% of total UK trade) 
    • 17th largest goods trading partner (accounting for 1.6% of UK goods trade)
    • 31st largest services trading partner (accounting for 0.6% of UK services trade) 
  • Rank as export market:
    • 26th largest export market (accounting for 0.7% of total UK exports)
    • 24th largest goods export market (accounting for 0.8% of UK goods exports)
    • 29th largest services export market (accounting for 0.6% of UK services exports) 
  • Rank of import market:
    • 17th largest import market (accounting for 1.7% of total UK imports) 
    • 12th largest goods import market (accounting for 2.1% of UK goods imports)
    • 34th largest services import market (accounting for 0.5% of UK services imports)
  • Total trade in goods and services: £14.6 billion (increase of 12.8% or £1.7 billion from previous year) 
  • Total UK exports to Russia: £4.2 billion (decrease of 7.3% or £332 million from previous year) 
  • Total UK imports from Russia: £10.4 billion (increase of 23.7% or £2 billion from previous year)
  • Outward stock of FDI (2019): £12.3 billion (0.8% of the total UK outward FDI stock)
  • Inward stock of FDI (2019): £655 million (<0.1% of the total UK inward FDI stock)

For further information, visit DIT’s Trade and Investment Factsheet for Russia


Latest News about UK-Russia Trade: 


  1. The Iranian foreign minister says Iran and Russia are redoubling their joint efforts to nullify US and European sanctions targeting the economies of the two countries (19/01/22): https://en.abna24.com/news//amir-abdollahian-iran-russia-redoubling-efforts-to-nullify-western-sanctions-cement-trade-ties_1220359.html
  2. Russian stocks take biggest tumble since March 2020 as fear mounts for western investors over Ukraine invasion (18/01/2022): https://www.ft.com/content/7c8c2717-0cd4-4dc4-98d4-2f4be8142804
  3. Russia’s Gazprom has no Europe gas exports planned in February via Yamal pipeline (17/01/2022): https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/yamal-gas-pipeline-flows-still-heading-eastward-germany-poland-2022-01-17/
  4. A new batch of OneWeb satellites have been delivered to Kourou spaceport for launch atop Soyuz rocket in February (17/01/2022): https://tass.com/science/1389227
  5. Tobias Ellwood, chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, has told GB News that British energy prices on the line if Russia invades Ukraine (15/01/2022): https://www.gbnews.uk/news/british-energy-prices-on-the-line-if-russia-invades-ukraine-warns-defence-committee-chair/205548
  6. MPs to re-examine UK response to Russian oligarch money laundering in London (10/01/2022): https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/10/mps-to-re-examine-uk-response-to-dirty-money-from-russia
  7. Russian submarines threatening undersea network of internet cables, says UK defence chief Sir Tony Radakin (08/01/2022): https://news.sky.com/story/russian-submarines-threatening-undersea-network-of-internet-cables-says-uk-defence-chief-sir-tony-radakin-12511437
  8. Britain’s foreign secretary said that any further military incursion into Ukraine by Russia would bring “massive consequences, including coordinated sanctions to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy” (06/01/2022): https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/britain-warns-russia-over-ukraine-were-working-high-impact-sanctions-2022-01-06/
  9. Gazprom cashed in a £179 million dividend from its London-based international trading arm (02/01/2022): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/london-traders-at-russias-gazprom-cash-in-on-gas-price-turmoil-cm5scjmn8
  10. Russian rocket takes 36 more satellites from British firm OneWeb into orbit, bringing the company over half way towards completing global broadband internet goal (27/12/2021): https://techxplore.com/news/2021-12-uk-firm-closer-global-internet.html
  11. Russian start-up ‘L-Charge’ aims to bring mobile EV superchargers to London (23/12/2021): https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/russian-start-up-aims-bring-mobile-ev-superchargers-london-2021-12-23/
  12. Sensitive UK police data that was obtained during a data breach of UK firm Dacoll has been leaked by Russian hackers (19/12/2021): https://www.rt.com/uk/543692-russian-hackers-british-police/
  13. Russian online retailer ‘Wildberries’ launches sales in the UK (17/12/2021): https://tass.com/economy/1377435
  14. Russia raises interest rate to 8.5% and expects inflation to slow to 4-4.5% by end of 2022 (17/12/2021): https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russia-raises-key-rate-sharply-85-its-highest-since-2017-2021-12-17/
  15. UK warns that China and Russia threaten ‘free and open internet’ in document setting out its new cyber strategy (14/12/2021): https://www.ft.com/content/561fe2ec-1a89-47dc-ba29-c902746ee6bc
  16. UK gas prices hit record high amidst concerns over Ukraine invasion (14/12/2021): https://www.ft.com/content/17b58434-be03-4cb8-b75a-456e49f3bc0b 
  17. EU’s top diplomat states that the bloc is making Russian sanctions plan with the UK and US (13/12/2021): https://uk.news.yahoo.com/eu-making-russia-sanctions-plan-114634587.html
  18. Britain’s foreign secretary states that the UK would aim to damage the Russian economy if it makes an incursion into Ukraine (11/12/2021): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/russia-ukraine-liz-truss-g7-b1974075.html
  19. Boris Johnson tells call with world leaders that the UK will use ‘all the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal’ to prevent any invasion of Ukraine by Russia (07/12/2021): https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/uk-use-all-economic-diplomatic-25633473
  20. Floating nuclear power plant near the arctic town Pevek is expected to power several resource projects including Mayskoye, a gold mine developed by UK-listed miner Polymetal (01/12/2021): https://www.ft.com/content/f5d25126-94fc-41fc-bc35-341df0560f4d
  21. Britain’s foreign secretary urges Nato allies to block Nord Stream 2 pipeline (30/11/2021): https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/30/truss-urges-nato-allies-to-block-russias-nord-stream-2-gas-pipeline
  22. Catherine the Great letter supporting inoculation sells for $1.3 million in London auction (29/11/2021): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/arts/catherine-the-great-vaccination-letter-auction.html
  23. Russian discount supermarket ‘Mere’ delays opening more UK stores amid supply chain problems and recruitment issues (24/11/2021): https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/russian-lidl-mere-delays-opening-25538543
  24. UK gas prices rise as Germany rejects Russian pipeline (18/11/2021): https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1523247/gas-prices-rise-17-percent-germany-rejects-russian-pipeline
  25. UK’s National Cyber Security Centre warns of record number of cyber incidents in the UK, with ransomware attacks originating from Russia dominating its activities (17/11/2021): https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/nov/17/uk-tackles-record-cyber-incidents-as-russian-ransomware-attacks-increase
  26. Boris Johnson warns Europe that there is a choice coming between ‘mainlining ever more Russian hydrocarbons in giant new pipelines, and sticking up for Ukraine’ (15/11/2021): https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uks-johnson-says-choice-looms-between-russian-hydrocarbons-backing-ukraine-2021-11-15/
  27. Russian ambassador to the UK denies that his country lacks urgency on climate change despite absence from COP26 and also states that there is a good chance that Brexit will present an opportunity to establish a new and better relationship with Russia especially for ‘businessmen’ (10/11/2021): https://news.sky.com/story/cop26-russian-ambassador-to-london-denies-his-country-lacks-urgency-over-climate-change-12465468
  28. Conti, a Russia-based ransomware group, is demanding tens of millions in cryptocurrency following  a ransomware attack on London’s Graff jewellers (01/11/2021): https://www.itpro.co.uk/security/ransomware/361409/london-jeweller-graff-conti-ransomware-celebrity-leak
  29. Russian news company RT loses appeal against £200,000 Ofcom fine for ‘breaches of impartiality’ about the Salisbury poisoning and the war in Syria (01/11/2021): https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/19686856.salisbury-poisonings-rt-loses-appeal-ofcom-fine/
  30. Gas prices tumble in Europe as Russia signals more supplies next month (29/10/2021): https://www.ft.com/content/097438c1-c0c0-4e6b-993a-9c502f05cf83
  31. Segezha shareholder Bonum Capital would support the forestry group seeking a London listing (26/10/2021): https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-segezha-bonum/russias-bonum-says-it-would-support-forestry-firm-segezha-in-london-listing-idINL8N2RM311
  32. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urges President Putin to commit to net zero by 2050 (rather than 2060) in call ahead of the COP26 climate summit (25/10/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-putin-of-russia-25-october-2021
  33. President Putin says he will not attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow (21/10/2021): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-58977993
  34. The Moscow Exchange aims to boost gold trading by the set-up of links with the London market (19/10/2021): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-19/moscow-bourse-wants-to-boost-gold-trade-after-london-market-link
  35. Russian railway networks constrained as explosive growth in sea shipping costs has led to Chinese manufactures sending more goods to Europe through this avenue (19/10/2021): https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/surge-goods-china-strains-russias-080331634.html
  36. Russian ambassador to the UK states that Russia has not cut off gas supplies for ‘political reasons’ and that it will come to the rescue of the UK if needed (18/10/2021): https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1507405/russia-latest-news-moscow-uk-ambassador-andrei-kelin-vladmir-putin-gas-supplies-ont
  37. British American Tobacco will close production in Saratov due to falling demand and rising prices (18/10/2021): https://tass.ru/ekonomika/5690755
  38. 36 more satellites from British company Oneweb put into orbit by Russian rocket (14/10/2021): https://tass.com/science/1349697
  39. Russian tech giant Yandex launches an ultra-fast grocery delivery service in the UK to compete with a multitude of rapid grocery delivery apps (14/10/2021): https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/14/russias-yandex-launches-rapid-grocery-delivery-service-in-london.html
  40. UK gas prices fall from record high after Russia says that it is boosting supplies to Europe (07/10/2021): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58815665#
  41. Russian IT firm Softline plans London IPO and secondary listing in Moscow (30/09/2021): https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/russian-it-firm-softline-plans-london-ipo-secondary-listing-in-moscow-2021-09-30-0
  42. Russia supplying less natural gas to the market than before the pandemic (23/09/2021): https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/23/business/europe-uk-energy-crisis/index.html
  43. Polymetal, a Russian gold miner that is part of the benchmark FTSE 100 index, warns that the chip shortage afflicting the car industry will hit the makers of mining vehicles and machinery (31/08/2021): https://www.ft.com/content/36b8dfd6-6818-44f2-8e86-b1fee7ea4ed5   
  44. Russian Rocket launches 34 new satellites for British company Oneweb (22/08/2021): https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/08/22/russian-rocket-launches-34-new-uk-satellites-a74863
  45. A Russian discount food retailer has opened its first UK store (18/08/2021): https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/1478487/mere-uk-russian-lidl-discount-supermarket-budget-prices-store-opening

Shaan Afzal-Khan is a Global Leadership Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative. He is part of the PRPI team behind the UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, and serves as the lead for the Kingdom of Denmark and Russia. 
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