FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation

Director of the FAO Office with the Russian Federation

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu appointed Oleg Julius Kobiakov the Director of Liaison Office with the Russian Federation on 28 February 2020.

Oleg Kobiakov, a Russian national, served over 35 years at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Russian missions abroad, including at the post of Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to FAO and other international organizations in Rome. He has played a key role in the establishment of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Rome-based UN agencies in 2011 and in the opening of the FAO Liaison Office in Moscow in 2016.

Oleg Kobiakov has devoted over 12 years of his professional career to promoting and supporting relations between FAO and the Russian Federation. 

He was also a delegate for Russia to the 30th session of Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Gyeongju, the Republic of Korea (2010) and served as rapporteur for FAO’s European Regional Conferences in Baku, Azerbaijan (2012) and Voronezh, Russia (2018), as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the FAO European Commission on Agriculture from 2015 till 2017. 

He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) majoring in history, economics and law (1985), and completed the PhD programme in diplomacy and international relations at the Centre d’études diplomatiques et stratégiques in Paris, France (2000). He is fluent in English, Czech, and Russian (mother tongue), and speaks French and Italian.

Oleg Kobiakov holds the diplomatic rank of the 2nd class Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, awarded in 2016. (Read more)

Director's Corner


Aghasi Harutyunyan, Liaison Officer 

A national of Armenia, Aghasi Harutyunyan joined FAO in 2009, and has since worked for FAO Armenia in Yerevan (until 2011) and the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in Budapest (until 2016), where he was part of the Field Programme Team covering FAO operations in several Balkan, Caucasian, and Central Asian countries.

Aghasi moved to Moscow in February 2016, and was one of the first staff of the-then newly opened Liaison Office. Over the past years, he has helped build networks of collaboration with Russian governmental and non-governmental (academia, NGO and private sector) counterparts, promoting its mandate among a wide range of stakeholders; as well as identifying opportunities for FAO’s cooperation with partner organizations, including the UN Common System and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

Aghasi is fluent in Russian, English and Armenian (mother tongue), and has basic knowledge of Farsi and Spanish.


Igor Shpakov, National Private Sector Partnerships Consultant

Igor joined FAO in June 2021 as a private sector engagement consultant to develop and strengthen partnerships with Russian businesses. He separately monitors the national and regional grain markets and the fisheries industry, and is also responsible for data entry and information exchange in the Food And Agriculture Policy Decision Analysis Tool system.

Prior joining FAO, he had worked at the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO (Paris, France) in the science section, after which for over 10 years he has held various managerial positions in Russian commercial organizations. Igor graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute (State Technical University) with a degree in engineering (Master) and enterprise management (Bachelor). He speaks English, French and Russian (mother tongue).



Eduard Porvatov, Specialist on National Partnerships (Academia, NGOs, and Civil Society)

Eduard Porvatov joined FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation in 2021. He is responsible for the cooperation of FAO with the academia and research institutions and partnerships with non-state actors with a focus on GIAHS, environment issues, Indigenous Peoples and Digitalization of rural areas.

Eduard holds a Master’s degree in Multilateral Diplomacy and a Bachelor’s double-major degree in finance and economics. He is fluent in English, Russian (mother tongue), and has some knowledge of Spanish. 


Alena Pochtennaia, Intern for the Global Soil Partnership

Alena Pochtennaia joined the FAO Liaison Office in Moscow in February 2024. Under the overall supervision of the GSP Secretariat, she receives training and supports the effective implementation of FAO's GSP and EASP work plans, with a particular focus on analytical and research work.

Alena is an agrochemist with Bachelor and Master Degrees on Soil science. Currently, she is also pursuing her PhD at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Soil Science. She is working with slow-release fertilizers and researching the effect on plants and soil.

Before joining FAO, Alena worked in a biotechnology company where she helped local farmers to work with biological pesticides. Alena speaks English and Russian (mother tongue).


Vladimir Mikheev, Press Secretary – Communication Specialist

Vladimir Mikheev, а “man of letters” with a Master’s degree in Journalism and an accumulated 40 years of experience in the field, honed his skills in two major dailies, Izvestia and Trud, covering developments in international affairs, interviewing prominent global newsmakers, including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Over ten years, Vladimir was a columnist in an agriculture and farmers-focused weekly Krestyanskie Vedomosti (“Peasant’s Gazette”). He also led seminars on newspaper writing skills at the MGIMO University College of Journalism.

Having joined the Liaison Office in 2017, Vladimir has been responsible for its public advocacy, communications and visibility and, in particular, for excelled at setting up creative content for its bilingual website. A masterly craftsman of both poetry and prose, Vladimir is fluent in English and Russian (mother tongue) and has more than a passing acquaintance with French and Spanish.



Maria Bukhaeva, Communications Intern for Global Soil Partnership

Maria joined FAO in Moscow in December 2023 after attaining her Bachelor's degree in International Economics from the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

She is working on creating and managing Russian-language social media for the Eurasian Soil Partnership. Her main task is to help people understand and support sustainable soil management practices.


Galina Titova, Administrative Assistant

Galina Titova, a Russian national, was born in Moscow. She has a university degree from the Military Academy majoring in foreign languages (1987). She has been working with the UN system in Russia since 1993. Prior to joining the FAO Office with the Russian Federation in 2016, she worked as a National Administrative Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a Procurement Officer at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). She is fluent in English and Russian (mother tongue). 



Pavel Artemiev, Finance Assistant

Pavel joined the FAO Moscow team in May 2018 as a Financial Assistant. Pavel has been working for over 20 years in the UN system. Prior to joining FAO, he worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Russian Federation as a Financial Associate and he was Office Assistant in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA). He started his career at the UN as a Financial Assistant at the UNDP Office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.



Iuliia Starshinova, Executive Assistant

Joined FAO in February 2022, Iuliia in her role of Executive Assistant, provides direct support to the Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Moscow and handles organizational and administrative tasks as well as communication processes linked to the office management.

Holds a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Oriental Studies (Institute of Afro-Asian Studies, Moscow State University – Moscow; Hanoi University – Vietnam); French Pastry Arts Diploma (École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie – France). She speaks English, French, Vietnamese and Russian (mother tongue). 


Marina Slobodianik, Translator / Interpreter

Marina joined FAO Moscow team in February 2021. She performs simultaneous, consecutive, and written translation covering all the domains relevant to FAO activities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Higher School of Economics (HSE University), and a master’s degree in linguistics from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). She also has a Diploma from the training programme for conference interpreters at Moscow State Linguistic University.

In 2019, Marina won the United Nations’ 15th Saint Jerome Contest for translators in the student category. Afterwards, she successfully passed the United Nations competitive exams for conference interpreters. In 2022, she was one of the top 100 young employees and was awarded by FAO Director-General for her outstanding contribution to the work of FAO. She is fluent in English, French, and Russian (mother tongue) and has basic knowledge of Spanish.



Anastasiia Bespalova, Translator / Interpreter

Anastasiia joined the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation in May 2023. She has vast experience as freelance conference interpreter, specializing in business meetings and multilateral events that covered such topics as project management, accounting and business processes, education. As part of FAO Moscow's translation team, Anastasiia provides translation and interpretation at various events, for example, those on wildlife and forest management, beekeeping, fishery, soil health, and AMR.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics (Lomonosov MSU) and a master’s degree in translation and interpretation for international organizations (MGIMO).

Anna Kotsovskaya, Translator / Interpreter

Anna joined FAO in 2021 after successfully completion of the language internship. She obtained her Master’s degree in Linguistics from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Moscow State Linguistic University.

At the Office her main workload consists of translating and editing for  the FAO Office in Moscow and FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. She is fluent in French, English, and Russian (mother tongue).