Russia Business Etiquette Tips  

As an expatriate working abroad, you will be introduced to a number of different business cultures and customs. Most European countries have a lot in common when it comes to business etiquette, however Russia has its own set of customs that are unique to the continent.Here are a few tips and tricks about the business customs in Russia.

Doing Business in Russia

Be Ready Before Eating a Meal

Many business meetings are done over meals, and dining etiquette varies drastically from country-to-country. Your local dining etiquette may be considered offensive in Russia, so make sure you do your research ahead of time.


According to U.K.-based language training company Kwintessential, the first thing you should do if you are invited for a meal is arrive on time. If attending dinner at a family residence, it is appropriate to bring a gift, such as a bottle of wine, dessert, or a bouquet of flowers. You must also make sure to remove your shoes before entering. Also dress well regardless of where you are gathering, as office attire can be seen as a sign of respect. Keep hands out of pockets – a sign of disrespect in many places including Russia. You should offer your services in preparation or clean-up - and insist on helping, even if they deny your request.

Be Ready for Meetings

In other cases, your professional meeting won't take place over food or in someone's home. This brings about a different atmosphere than before. According to language translation firm ForeignTranslations, these gatherings will always be highly formal in Russia.

Like before, you must always be on time, the news source noted. Your Russian counterparts also appreciate patience, so your discussions may be slower than in the U.S., for example. It can also be smart to hold off on applying pressure, as this can come off as rude. You should also expect Russian business people to abruptly walk out of the meeting as a negotiating tactic. No matter what, however, remain professional and courteous to your hosts. While it is important that you are punctual for any business meetings in Russia, it is not uncommon for your Russian counterparts to be late to the meeting (sometimes on purpose). This is viewed as a test of patience, and you should not expect an apology. Do not take it personally and try not to show any type of attitude or frustration when this occurs.

Before traveling to Russia, it is important to be prepared and look into safety and security and other potential dangers. If you are interested in learning more about Russia, make sure to visit Russia's risk assessment country guide

As an expatriate working abroad, you will need to know about the business customs of any country you will be doing business in. Learn more about the business customs of Japan.

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