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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New British Ambassador Lyne Arrives




The newest resident of 14 Sofiiskaya Naberezhnaya was formally welcomed to Russia on Tuesday when Britain's new ambassador in Moscow, Sir Roderic Lyne, was presented to the Russian Foreign Ministry.


A career diplomat who was private secretary to then-Prime Minister John Major in the early 1990s, Lyne, 51, last served as Britain's envoy to the United Nations in Geneva. Married with three children, he will be the first ambassador who won't have to share the handsome 19th-century British Embassy opposite the Kremlin with fellow embassy workers.


Embassy staff will move out of the building in mid-February to take up their posts in the new, pounds 81 million ($1332.6 million) embassy building down the road at Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya - although a number of apartments are expected to built in the compound on Sofiiskaya Naberezhnaya.


It is the third tour for Lyne in Russia. Previously, he served as third secretary from 1972 to 1974 and as political counselor from 1987 to 1990.


Lyne, who speaks fluent Russian, also spent two years as head of the Foreign Office's Soviet department and was director of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Middle East and Africa section.


Lyne's predecessor, Sir Andrew Wood, left Russia on Jan. 3, a day after he turned 60, the mandatory retirement age for British civil servants.


Born in West Kirby in the north west of England, Lyne attended England's prestigious Eton school before studying at Leeds University.


While working in Downing Street for Major, Sir Roderic was closely involved in Northern Ireland matters, including the peace talks that began under Major.


On a more personal note, The London Times has quoted Major as saying Lyne makes a "more than passable scrambled egg on toast."