Foreign affairs ministry explains Russian visit

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THE Ministry of foreign affairs (MFAET) has explained the ‘Russian visit’ which was reported in yesterday’s Island Sun Newspaper front page.

In a media statement, the MFAET said, “A six-member delegation from the Russian Federation “Bid Committee EXPO 2025” arrived in Honiara on the evening of Monday, February 19, 2018.

The visit is part of the delegation’s Pacific campaign tour to rally support for the bid by the Russian city of Ekaterinburg to host the World Expo in 2025.

Prior to arriving in Honiara the delegation had visited Samoa, Fiji, and Vanuatu. They will be visiting Nauru next.

The delegation is led by the Russian Resident Ambassador in Australia and are in the country to meet with senior Government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

During the visit the delegation showcased their bid under the theme “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”. The Expo is schedule to be held from March to November 2025.

Elections for the hosting of the Expo are due to be held in November this year in Paris, France at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) headquarters. Solomon Islands is a member of the Bureau International des Expositions.

The approval for the visit was granted by the Office of the Prime Minister and was conveyed to the Russian Embassy in Canberra through the Solomon Islands High Commission in Canberra.

Solomon Islands and Russia are yet to establish formal diplomatic relations.

The delegation had departed for Nauru yesterday.