One of the primary goal of his visit to Russia will be to promote tourism, Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday, ahead of the departure of President Nicos Anastasiades` and his delegation.
Anastasiades is being ccompanied by Lakkotrypis, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, and Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides.
Asked about the issues on the agenda of his meetings in Moscow, Lakkotrypis said they would mainly focus on commerce and tourism. He said 2015 was expected to be a difficult year for tourism from Russia, mainly due to the economic situation there.
“Our intention is to meet with the biggest air carrier flying to Cyprus, as well as with the biggest tour operator, with a view to limiting any possible losses from this market,” he said.
On natural gas issue, Lakkotrypis said this would be discussed within the framework of the president’s contacts. “Russian companies, either state owned or not, are most welcome in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone,” he said.
“We have had from time to time interest from various companies, mainly private ones, and of course if there is interest now when we will visit Moscow, we will look into in all seriousness,” he added.
Bilateral relations, the strengthening of bilateral ties, the Ukraine crisis and EU-Russia relations, as well as regional developments in the Middle East will be the chief items on the agenda of Anastasiades; visit.
He will be in Russia from Tuesday Friday. During his stay, he will hold talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and Sergey Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma.
A series of bilateral cooperation agreements is set to be signed by the nations’ two leaders in Moscow, in the sectors of trade, energy, tourism, education, science, commercial shipping, telecommunications, agriculture and stockbreeding.
Also travelling to Russia will be officials from the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, who will sign an agreement with the Russian Investment Agency, and Demetra Kalogirou, head of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) who will be concluding two agreements with the corresponding Russian authority.
Another possible item that Nicosia might raise concerns Putin’s declared ‘de-offshorisation’ policy – bringing back to Russia foreign-based companies with promises of tax amnesty – although the Cyprus Mail could not determine whether this would be on the agenda.
Anastasiades’ itinerary includes an address to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, where he will speak on the Cyprus problem and the latest developments. The president will also meet the Russian press.
On February 26, Anastasiades travels to St. Petersburg to meet the governor there.