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Russia Business Practice and Business Etiquette Tips













It is worth paying attention to the following points at business meetings in Russia:

  • A firm handshake with several light shakes is an accepted custom on a meeting between men. When one of the parties to the meeting is a woman, a short handshake is sufficient.
  • Russian dress is very simple, a dark suit for men with a tie and white shirt, and the same for women, that is, a dark suit with a light colored shirt. Women are recommended to wear a skirt of conservative length.
  • Women are recommended to avoid perfumes, lipstick and ostentatious jewelry.
  • It is customary to address a woman by her surname and not by her first name.
  • Most business people have a good command of English.
  • Acceptable gifts for business meetings are items for the office, quality pens (including pens with your company logo) and selected wines.
  • Do not under any circumstances present vodka as a gift as this is interpreted as a reflection on the poor quality of the contents of your host's drinks cabinet.
  • On receiving an invitation to a home, luxury chocolates or a scarf for the hostess would be a welcome gift - or an uneven number of flowers are acceptable on visiting a house of mourning.
  • Do not give red flowers as these are a symbol of love and romance.
  • When visiting a Russian Orthodox Church, women should wear a long - sleeved blouse and long skirt. A head covering such as a hat or scarf should be worn.
  • Do not hang your jacket or coat on the back of a chair in a restaurant as this is considered insulting. Take care to hang your jacket or coat in the cloakroom that is to be found in all restaurants and offices.
  • It is considered impolite to stand with one's hands in one's pockets in a public place.
  • Try to avoid business meetings in the months of July and August or around the times of national holidays.







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