Martin Harris » Minister and Deputy Head of Mission to Russia

The Baltic Convoys

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This week I have been commemorating Remembrance Day in the Russian Arctic port city of Murmansk, destination of the famous Arctic Convoys that ran the gauntlet of German submarines on the northern supply route between Britain and the Soviet Union during the Second World War. I have also been reflecting on a different convoy in a different war. There is a tradition in Russia for families to bring out the … Read more »The Baltic Convoys

Farewell to Romania

Martin Harris has now finished his appointment in Romania. Please visit the blog of Raluca Bragarea, Head of Communications  to follow the Embassy business and welcome the new ambassador Paul Brummell in August.

10 things I like about Romania

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On leaving Romania, here are a few of my favourite things… 1. Shajjad and Katie Rizvi and the Temerari at Little People. You guys rock! 2. Monasteries, especially Putna, Voronets, Horezu, Bistrita and Schitul Darvari in Bucharest 3. The fabulously talented kids of School No 136 in Ferentari 4. And ‘Fiecare copil in grădiniță’ in Podari 5. Timeless landscapes like this one 6. People who hunger and thirst for justice … Read more »10 things I like about Romania

Security depends on Judges, not just Generals

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph recently  William Hague argued that Ukraine’s future security depends crucially on dismantling the oligarchic state that characterised Yanukovych’s rule and taking resolute steps to tackle corruption. And he advocated more determined action in tackling corruption in the Balkans as well, to ensure strong, stable and democratic states in this part of Europe as they become more integrated with the European Union too. Tomorrow, judges and … Read more »Security depends on Judges, not just Generals

New Year Honour for Founder of Hospices of Hope, Romania

People shaking hands

This New Year, HM The Queen has recognised the achievements of one of the most remarkable Great Britons in Romania. Graham Perolls is made a Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the New Year’s Honours List, an order of chivalry reserved for those who render extraordinary service in a foreign country. Graham has been doing just that in Romania for the last 22 years. When … Read more »New Year Honour for Founder of Hospices of Hope, Romania

Supersensory Perception

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The United Nations has made 3 December International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The theme this year is “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”. It’s been a strong theme in the relationship between Britain and Romania, with many organisations working together to improve the services available to people with disabilities and to defend and promote their rights. Last month, I saw the work being … Read more »Supersensory Perception

Guest blog: Romania offers serious business opportunities in the transport sector

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This is the message from Romanian Transport Minister Mrs Ramona Manescu during a speech she delivered for the Mass Transport Conference, an event hosted by the British Embassy in Bucharest and the UK Trade & Investment. I joined the Minister on the occasion together with the director of EBRD Romania, James Hyslop, and the Team Leader for AECOM, Martin Bright. AECOM is the consulting company that advises the Transport Ministry … Read more »Guest blog: Romania offers serious business opportunities in the transport sector

How Europe can COMPETE

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I was in Cluj again last week. It’s one of my favourite cities – a university town, full of ideas, traditions and rich in history. One way or another, Cluj has always found its way to the forefront of innovation and industry in each of the eight centuries since its first mention in the historical records in 1213. That’s particularly true today. Cluj is now one of at least four … Read more »How Europe can COMPETE

Romania’s bright low carbon future

Energy has long been a strategic sector of Romania’s economy. It was the fifth largest oil exporter in the world before the Second World War. Today it is still one of the few countries in Europe that can meet the majority of its energy needs from domestic sources. According to Bloomberg, it is also one of the countries which would benefit most if the EU adopts a target to reduce … Read more »Romania’s bright low carbon future

A Call to Public Service

One of the UK’s most eminent public servants, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, gave an address to students in Bucharest last month, making the case for a career in public service. Sir Suma is now President of EBRD, but before then he had a long and distinguished career in the British civil service. I worked with him ten years ago when he was the Permanent Secretary at the UK’s Department for International … Read more »A Call to Public Service