Great Britain is among the first five most important trade partners of Russia, official spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti. Great Britain accounts for 3.5 percent of the Russian foreign trade turnover, he said. The trade turnover between the two countries, beginning from 1996, has stabilized at the level of 4.3-4.5 billion US dollars a year with a positive trade balance in favour of Russia. "The structure of trade turnover has not been changed for several years now," Yakovenko said. "We continue to import machines, equipment, chemical industry products and consumer goods," he continued. The share of raw materials in Russian export exceeds 80 percent (oil, ferrous and non-ferrous metals). Great Britain is a major investor in the Russian economy (responsible for about 7 percent of the total volume of foreign investments), Yakovenko said. Britain shows great interest in the Russian fuel and energy complex. As an example he pointed to the British Petroleum Amoco company which is building petrol stations throughout Russia and which has invested about 750 million dollars in Russia's economy. Speaking about Russian-British economic ties, Yakovenko laid a particular stress on the role of the Russian-British inter-governmental committee on trade and investments created in 1992.
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