Preparations for the official Russian residence in Davos
have resumed following the withdrawal of previously announced
restrictions which would have prevented Russian business representatives from
attending the World Economic Forum. Russia House will open its doors for
business, government, and media representatives from 21 to 25 January 2019.
The decision by the management of the WEF to discriminate against
individuals from the Russian business community was in contravention of the
forums own underlying principles as set forth by Founder and Executive
Chairman Klaus Schwab, namely, that the event is «independent, impartial and
not tied to any special interests». However, in spite of their principles and
declared values, the WEF had, under pressure from the US government, taken the
decision not to invite a number of business representatives from Russia. This
group included Andrey Kostin, Viktor Vekselberg, and Oleg Deripaska. The
development was reported by the global media in November, which cited US
sanctions as the reason behind the decision.
It was a decision that came in for criticism in the media for being
politically motivated, contravening international law, and running contrary to
the principles of the forum itself. A large number of forum participants from
Russia had said that they would no longer be travelling to Davos as a result.
The official government delegation also reconsidered their plans. And in light
of the discrimination shown towards Russian business representatives, the
Roscongress Foundation had decided to cease preparations for Russia House a
well-established feature of Davos in recent years, and one which had enjoyed a
great deal of popularity among forum participants and guests. These
developments and criticisms, coupled with the threat of court action, led the
organizers of the World Economic Forum to reverse their discriminatory
The World Economic Forum has invariably positioned itself as a neutral
platform to discuss global issues. A stated aim of the forum is to achieve
harmonious global development. This is impossible without Russias
participation. Over the past 20 years, Russia has had a continued presence at
events held at Davos. The forums President, Børge Brende commented in December
last year that «Russias voice is always very loud». In addition, Advisor to
the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov had earlier commented
that the main objective of Russia House was to demonstrate the countrys
openness and showcase partnerships between experts from Russia and the World
Economic Forum to develop international collaboration in key areas.
Russia House is a platform for promoting Russian initiatives to the
international business and political communities who gather annually at the
Swiss alpine resort town of Davos during the World Economic Forum. In 2017, a
memorandum of understanding was signed at the St. Petersburg International
Economic Forum between the Roscongress Foundation and the World Economic Forum.
As a result, Russia House was assigned the status of official Russian
The Roscongress Foundation will shortly begin to draw up the business
programme for Russia House and prepare the venue, which will provide an
effective working space for the official Russian delegation, members of which
will be announced in January 2019.
Official Russia House website: http://houserussia.com/.