Come the Russian summer in June-July this year, all eyes will be on Moscow – and ten other far flung cities in the federation – which plays host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
This, therefore, will be a very busy time for members of the Russian foreign service whose task on the diplomatic front is to promote greater people-to-people contact to make Russia 2018 – the 21st FIFA World Cup Football tournament a success.
Ambassador Valery Yermolov outlined the great events currently taking place in 2018. “The Russian Foreign Service will be extremely busy this year as we prepare ourselves to receive millions of soccer lovers from around the globe.
“We have put in place special travel permits to allow foreigners ease of travel. You can start visiting Russia two weeks prior to the start of the World Cup, and can stay on for another further two weeks after the competition ends, making it possible for travellers to enjoy up to two months in total of visa-free travel within Russia” explained Yermolov.
Speaking to AWANI Review on the occasion of Russia’s unique Foreign Service holiday – Diplomat’s Day, Yermolov explains that Russia’s approach to global relations is very much in tune to today’s demands. “Russia always favours diplomacy over confrontation” explains Yermolov who goes by the official title of the Russian Federation Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Malaysia.
Malaysia, as a moderate country, is key for Russia to develop and maintain a very good and stable diplomatic relations
“Malaysia, as a moderate country, is key for Russia to develop and maintain a very good and stable diplomatic relations” continued Yermolov. “It is important to note the Russia-Malaysia ties is celebrating its 50th anniversary last year. This shows that Russia is committed to bringing a unique proposition to Malaysians in general” the ambassador says.
TATARSTAN PRESIDENT VISIT
Among the key highlights of continued Russian diplomacy in Malaysia is the visit by Russia’s Tatarstan President to Kuching in 2017. (Tatarstan which has a majority Muslim population is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation)
“Last year, during the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), the (Tatarstan) President visited Kuching, Sarawak and was greeted by various Malaysian officials to cement further relations between our two nations” added Yermolov.
Tatarstan has a very large Muslim population. Therefore, there exists numerous potential economic and business opportunities that the two countries can enjoy, such as enlarging the Halal industry – where Malaysia is already a global leader in” added Valery.
During the visit, the Tatarstan President also reaffirmed Moscow-Putrajaya bilateral relations. “The Tatarstan President met with various Malaysian leaders, including Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak and others, to see how we can bring our two great nations economically closer to each other” stated the ambassador.
“It goes without saying that the Russian government is continuously looking on how to improve our economies together, in a stable and sustainable manner” Valery explained.
Watch the full episode of the interview with the Russian Ambassador only on AWANI Review
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