Russia, as the largest country in the world for surface area, largest natural gas reserves, and world’s leading natural gas exporter is an interesting country for doing business.

Russian Federation is an extremely important factor in the economic environments of Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

Negotiating with Russian businessmen depends on a lot of factors like every country but the cultural dimensions and negotiators’ communicative behavior become more important.

Identifying the culture of clients and respect them is necessary to be successful in international trade.

Russians are very different in their negotiation styles so, knowing the communication barriers in Russia can help to have a successful deal.

Let’s talk

The Russian business culture relies more on personal relations than on any other formal or technical factors. In business, Russia has a high number of conversations and meetings to know better their partners.

They do not deny the necessity of using digital way of communication like e-mail, phone or Skype but they believe personal contacts will be essential to maintain relations alive and to progress in the cooperation.

Who is the boss?

Hierarchy inside the agency and identifying a key person are important rules in negotiations progress in Russia. Representing your company by the owner or the chairman is a good way to create trust. So Don’t waste your time negotiating with intermediate managers.

First trust, second trust

Russians can be unfriendly with people who they do not trust. It takes considerable efforts to get the needed details.

Don’t be afraid of Russians

Russians’ presentation is a little different because their style of negotiation is harsh. Therefore, you should be patient and you have to listen, explain and speak without fighting.

Be on time

Russians are strictly punctual and they arrive at a meeting even half an hour earlier. Being precise means that you are interested in the project and collaboration.

Mobile phones for relationships

Russians answer their phones in a meeting, class or at the cinema but just for their family or privileged people. They always have a free time for them and they will expect you’ll do the same.


Russians take great pleasure in giving and receiving gifts in business settings. These gifts include wine, high-quality whiskey, cakes, chocolates, candy, exotic fruits, office accessories and high-quality coffee or tea.

In Russian culture, it is not polite to accept quickly a gift, you have to protest several times before taking it.

Never to Do

- Men do not take off their jackets in negotiations;

- Do not put your hands in your pockets. This is considered rude;

- Women have to avoid overly flashy or gaudy outfits;

- Showing the soles of your shoes is considered impolite because they are dirty.

Body Language

- Maintain eye contact;

- Do not sit with the legs apart or with one ankle resting upon the knee.

Final and most important point

Russians are famous for having a hard drinking culture and this has traditionally been true. Many Russians insist on drinking alcohol at business dinners. Favorite drinks are vodka and Russian champagne, although beer and wine are now more common than a few years ago.

Fonte: a cura di Exportiamo, di Morvarid Mahmoodabadi,


  • Digital Export manager
  • Yes Connect
  • CTrade

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