Doing business globally can be made so much easier by knowing a country’s customs, traditions and habits in business. Gun Trade World has partnered with the International Business Center to help you do better business overseas.

This month… Russia


Businessmen in Russia usually wear suits that are dark and well tailored along with good dress shoes. A businessman’s wardrobe demonstrates the individual’s image as a professional.

Men often do not take off their jackets in negotiations.

Do not stand with your hands in your pockets. This is considered rude.

Women dress rather conservatively, avoiding overly flashy or gaudy outfits.

For women, skirts should be worn rather than trousers.

When attending dinner in a citizen’s home, casual dress of trousers and a nice shirt without a tie are appropriate.


As a foreigner, you are expected to be on time to all business appointments. However, your Russian counterpart may be late, as this may be to test your patience. Do not expect an apology from a late Russian.

Social events are more relaxed. It is acceptable for foreigners to be 15 to 30 minutes late.

Russians are known as great ‘sitters’ during negotiations, this demonstrates their tremendous patience.

Some hard-line Russians still view compromise as a sign of weakness, and often refuse to back down. For these individuals, compromising is bad business.

As a foreigner, you should realise that ‘final offers’ are often not actually the end of the negotiations, and that often the outcome will be more beneficial and attractive if you can hold out.

Do not show the soles of your shoes, as this is considered impolite. They are considered dirty, and should never come in contact with any type of seat (like on a subway or bus).

Be alert and open to taking a drink or having a toast, as refusing to do so is a serious breach of etiquette.


Russian is the official language.

Speaking or laughing loudly in public is considered rude, as Russians are generally reserved and sombre.

Many Russians speak English, as it is often taught from the third grade.

Russians are highly literate, and have an almost 100 per cent literacy rate.

Good topics of conversation include peace, the current changes taking place in Russia and its current economic situation.

Fun fact

Negotiations with Russians often involve flared tempers. During negotiations and meetings, temper tantrums and walkouts often occur.

For more helpful advice on doing business internationally visit

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