Press release

Designated Minister Vincent Meriton affirms Seychelles ties with the Russian Federation following meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mikhail Bogdanov

August 29, 2014

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister conveyed the salutation of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Vladimir Putin, and the Foreign Minister, H.E. Sergei Lavrov, expressing the full support of the Russian Government to further strengthen the bilateral ties and friendly relations that exist between the two nations and peoples.

Both Ministers acknowledged the longstanding and traditional relations that exist between Seychelles and Russia, to be marked by the upcoming 40th anniversary since the establishment of bilateral relations on June 29th 1976. The Ministers further stressed the need to elevate already excellent collaboration to a qualitatively higher level in the future.

As key outcome of the meeting, the Ministers identified particular avenues of cooperation that be could be developed for the mutual benefit of both countries. These include greater potential for investment, trade, tourism, the offer of military and law enforcement training, the blue economy, parliamentary exchanges, maritime security and the fight against piracy, fisheries and exchanges between advanced level educational institutions.

Minister Meriton conveyed Seychelles’ appreciation for the support provided by the Russian Government in its efforts to enhance capacity building, “Our most prized resource is our youth. With a people centred approach, we need to ensure that we identify the right mechanisms to meet the needs of our people; to provide them with the necessary resources required to develop and expand their potential as contributors to the sustainable development of our country”. Minister Meriton expressed his gratitude for the scholarships that have been offered by the Russian Government, and welcomed initiatives to broaden cooperation in the education sector.

Tourism was also identified as a key driver of the strong partnership that exists between the two countries. Seychelles has witnessed a significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals following the introduction of the Transaero Airlines charter flights to Seychelles since January 2012. Both sides have conveyed their interest in concluding a Bilateral Air Services Agreement which will trigger an even greater increase in the flow of tourist arrivals as well as broaden trade between the two countries.

Also contributing to the development of our tourism sector is the growing interest of Russian investment in hotel infrastructures, namely the Savoy Resort and Spa and others, which has had an important impact on the socio-economic development of Seychelles: expanding tourism and providing diverse employment opportunities.

On the subject of Maritime Security, both countries shared their commitment to fighting the scourge of piracy to ensure peace and security in the region for progress and stability.The joint meeting provided a platform for discussions on bilateral, multilateral, regional and international issues.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister was accompanied by Mr. George Todua, Deputy Director of the African Department, and Mr. Andrey Tsybenko, Counsellor and Interpreter. Also present was  H.E Mr. Vladimir Belous, Resident Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Seychelles,  and Mr. Evgeny Shalobanov, Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation in Seychelles.

Also present at the joint meeting chaired by Minister Meriton, representing Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Paul Adam, were the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, Chief of Defence Forces, Brigardier Leopold Payet, Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, and Principal Secretary of Finance, Mr. Patrick Payet.