To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many Russian language (a) speakers, (b) interpreters and (c) translators are employed by his Department; and what steps he is taking to increase the number of such experts working in his Department.
Russian is a priority language for the FCO, and since 2010, we have increased the number of Russian-language speaker positions in our Russian and former Soviet Union Posts by 30% and increased the minimum duration for Russian-language training from 10 to 14 months.
The FCO does not deploy UK-based staff overseas as translators or interpreters. British Embassy Moscow has one full time locally recruited translator/interpreter position. Our local staff overseas routinely assist with translation as part of their daily work.