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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Moscow

Below is Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Moscow on Wednesday 16th February 1994.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, what can you tell us about the likelihood of this Royal Visit by The Queen?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have been considering for some time the possibility of The Queen visiting Russia, Her Majesty is keen to do it, I believe it is a very good idea. The Russians have now had democratic elections, they have got a democratically elected President, it now seems an appropriate time to proceed with it. It may happen as early as this autumn but final details are not yet arranged.

QUESTION:

What do you hope to achieve by this visit of The Queen?

PRIME MINISTER:

The relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia has been getting closer over some time, I think that will set the seal on the much closer relationship we now have.

QUESTION:

Is it the first visit since the death of the Romanovs?

PRIME MINISTER:

So far as I am aware it is the first visit for a very long time, it may even be the first visit ever.

QUESTION:

It is quite clear that Mr Yeltsin very much wants this visit, it gives him I suppose a sort of respectability in everyone's eyes?

PRIME MINISTER:

I discussed this matter with Mr Yeltsin some time ago, we discussed it again yesterday, there were some more discussions overnight with London and I was able to confirm to him this morning that the visit was on. But we as yet have to agree dates.

QUESTION:

Will she be seeing a bit more than just Moscow, a very extensive tour?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are looking at the programme now, that is not yet clear how much she will see but I would think certainly more than Moscow.

QUESTION:

Have you had a reaction from The Queen?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have discussed this with Her Majesty in the past, she is keen to make this visit.

QUESTION:

What does she hope to get out of the visit herself?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think The Queen is very keen to visit Russia and see Russia, The Queen is one of the finest Ambassadors the United Kingdom has ever had. I think from that point of view it is highly desirable that she should visit Russia and she is very keen to see it herself.