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Press release on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – 2018

18.06.2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Ceremony at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on June 14, as well as the tournament’s opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. “Wherever we may live, whatever traditions we may follow, love of football unites us into one team. All of us share love of this spectacular, bright and uncompromising game. This explains why all members of this team understand and feel each other so well", he said. The President congratulated the large, multi-ethnic and harmonious world football family upon the beginning of the main global tournament.

Foreign leaders and top officials also participated at the ceremony, including the presidents of Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Panama, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, South Ossetia, Rwanda, the president-elect of Paraguay, the prime ministers of Armenia and Lebanon, the Saudi crown prince and the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.

UK singer Robbie Williams, Russian opera soprano Aida Garifullina and two-times FIFA World Cup champion Ronaldo took part in the opening ceremony of the upcoming World Cup in Russia as well.

The FIFA World Cup, the first-ever hosted by Russia, will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don at twelve newly built and reconstructed stadiums.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay make up Group A, while Group B includes Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco. Group C consists of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark, while Group D is Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Group E is composed of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Group F has Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, while Group G encompasses Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England. Finally, Group H has Poland, Colombia, Senegal and Japan.

Russia is a fascinating and friendly country, and the World Cup proves a welcome window into the one of   the biggest nation on the planet. Preparation work for this

significant event won recognition from the FIFA. Russia is absolutely ready to host the 2018 World Cup in June and July, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said recently as the country completed final preparations to stage the soccer tournament.

More than 1.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Russia during the 2018

FIFA World Cup. The hotels and quality standards comply with FIFA strict requirements.

More than 700 trains with a total capacity of almost 450,000 seats have been put into service. As of today, more than 86 percent of the seats in free of charge trains operating during the group stage in the first two weeks of the World Cup have already been booked, and 64 percent have been booked in trains operating during the knockout stage.

Fans are advised to purchase match tickets and have a valid Fan ID in order to be able to reserve a seat free of charge. The Russian authorities are involved in preventing ticket touting by all means.

As far as security for the World Cup is concerned, FIFA has entire trust in the security arrangements and comprehensive security concept developed by the Russian authorities and the National Organising Committee. As demonstrated during the FIFA Confederations Cup last year, our country has extensive experience to put security measures in place to meet specific needs of such major sporting events.

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana

Press release on the 22th St.Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018

26.05.2018

The 22th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was held on May 24-26, 2018. More than 17,000 participants from 143 countries visited various events of the forum in Saint Petersburg. A total of 550 agreements worth more than 2.3 trillion rubles ($38 billion) have been signed.

The SPIEF, held annually, is a major global platform for communication between business representatives and for the discussion of crucial economic issues. The forum’s theme this year was Creating an Economy of Trust.  

The US delegation was the largest one, it included more than 550 business people. The next three largest delegations came from China, Japan and France. French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were invited as the guests of honour at this year's forum. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan also attended the event.

Russian President Vladimir Putin took part at the main event - plenary session of the SPIEF and spoke on challenges of the world economy, as well as key foreign policy issues. He stressed that the world needed "a full-scale trade peace" rather than trade wars or even temporary trade armistices. The President is convinced that experience shows the role of trust as a factor of development will grow, and Russia stands for trade freedom, economic integration, constructive partner-to-partner dialogue. He called on his partners from Europe, America, Asia, Africa and other regions to advance together towards the sustainable development goals.

Special attention was paid to the African continent due to the celebration of two important dates during the forum - Africa Day and the 55th Anniversary of the African Union.

On May 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin met Central African Republic’s President Faustin-Archange Touadera on the sidelines of the forum. The two leaders considered various ways to intensify bilateral relations, first and foremost in economic and humanitarian spheres.

On the same day, the Russia-Africa Panel Session took place. President Faustin-Archange Touadera, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambiue Jose Pacheco, other ministers and heads of parliaments from a number of African countries, accredited ambassadors to Russia and members of African and African Union delegations participating in the SPIEF attended the session. Officials from various ministries and agencies as well as the academic and business communities represented the Russian Federation.

The session featured an in-depth discussion of the current state and prospects of trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and African counties. The participants noted that the interest of Russian and African businesses in establishing mutually beneficial ties and implementing joint projects both in Russia and Africa has increased. In this case, the need to improve mutual awareness of trade and investment potential and business specifics, including current legislation, was underscored.

On May 28, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique Jose Pacheco, who arrived in Moscow on a visit following his participation in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana

"Last-Minute" Tickets Sales for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

18.04.2018

On April 18 2018, the last phase of tickets sales for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is launched on official website of FIFA. The phase will last up to the end of the championship. Fans can get tickets by turn in the real time mode. Tickets for all matches will be obtainable for purchase. Tickets of the fourth category which are reserved for residents of the Russian Federation will be obtainable for certain matches as well.

Since the beginning of sales on September, 2017 almost 1,7 million tickets have been sold to fans from around the world through FIFA website. Most part of the tickets (796 875) was purchased by the Russian fans. Residents of other top five countries who expressed desire to attend 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia are the USA (over 80 000), Brazil (fast 66 000), Colombia (over 60 000), Germany (over 55 000) and Mexico (fast 52 000). In general 2,7 million tickets will be available for purchase while 2,2 million of them are already distributed.

FIFA tickets sales centres are opened in all hosting cities of the championship. In these centres fans can receive tickets which they earlier bought through FIFA website. Starting from May 1, 2018, tickets for football matches also will be obtainable in the booking offices of tickets sales centres.

For detailed information about tickets sales for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, please, visit the following website:

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/index.html

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

On preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

28.03.2018

FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from June, 14 till July 15, 2018. Football matches are to take place in eleven Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg and Nizhni Novgorod. Every team-participant will be provided with three training grounds at every stadium, places for residence and exercises, located both in cities-organizers and in other regions of the European part of Russia.

In total 64 matches will be played during the Championship. Since the qualifying tournament was completed in November, 2017, all 32 teams-participants of the FIFA World Cup (the Russian national team participates by rights of country-organizer) were designated.

On December 1, 2017 the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow hosted the ceremony of the Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup which was attended by the President of the Russian Federation V.V.Putin and the president of FIFA G.Infantino. The world football stars were also in the picture. Following the results of the Final Draw, national teams were divided into 8 groups (4 teams in every group).

As part of transport infrastructure development, motorways, bridges, traffic intersections, stations and parking zones are being constructed and reconstructed. The organizers actively upgrade public transport and improve airports facilities in the hosting cities.

Everyone who wishes to visit the FIFA World Cup in Russia can receive the "Fan ID". It is a personalised document which affords ground for spectators of all categories to access the stadiums. With Fan ID foreigners will have the right to enter Russia without visas during the time period which starts ten days prior to the first football match and ends in ten days after the last match of tournament. Moreover, Fan ID entitles its owner to use different modes of transport for travel within the cities-organizers and between them free of charge. All necessary information about Fan ID, including the application, its reception and delivery, can be found on the website www.fan-id.ru. Rules and principles of fans free travel system are easy to find on website: https://tickets.transport2018.com/.

All visitors of the FIFA World Cup in Russia have opportunity to choose and book rooms in hotels independently through all accessible sale channels, including:

– FIFA website: http://hotels.FIFA.com;

– official tourist portal of the Organizing Committee http://welcome2018.com;

– authorised FIFA accommodation operator – «MATCH Accommodation» (telephone number in Moscow, Russia +7 499 658 2010);

– other Russian and international systems of online hotels booking, as well as in hotels directly.

The tournament's booking program is implemented by FIFA exclusively. Sales of tickets for the FIFA World Cup in Russia started on September 14, 2017. The detailed information on requests initiation, tickets products and sales stages can be found on FIFA website http://www.fifa.com. Besides, it is possible to consult the support service of the FIFA World Cup Tickets Centre through the hotline: +7(495) 787 20 18 for residents of the Russian Federation or + 4(144) 563 20 18 for foreign nationals.

For the FIFA World Cup fans the Organizing Committee launched the tourist internet portal welcome2018.com with a lot of useful and comprehensive information about the tournament and cities-organizers.

The FIFA World Cup is a global holiday of football which is anticipated by millions fans worldwide. In this respect the provision of high quality services is one of the key objectives of the tournament organisation in Russia.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

Russian Foreign Ministry statement

26.03.2018

We express our strong protest in the wake of the decision taken by a number of EU and NATO member countries to expel Russian diplomats.

We consider this as an unfriendly step that is not consistent with the goals and interests of establishing the underlying reasons and searching for the perpetrators of the incident that occurred in the town of Salisbury on March 4. The provocative gesture of the so-called solidarity of these countries with London, which blindly followed the British authorities in the so-called “Skripal case” and which never got around to sort out the circumstances of the incident, is a continuation of the confrontational policy to escalate the situation.

Presenting unfounded charges against Russia in the absence of explanations of what happened and refusing to engage in meaningful interaction, the British authorities have de facto adopted a prejudiced, biased as well as hypocritical stance.

This is an attempt on the lives of Russian citizens on the territory of Great Britain. Despite our repeated requests for information addressed to London, Russia does not have any information in this regard. British allies don’t have any objective and exhaustive data and blindly follow the principle of Euro-Atlantic unity at the expense of common sense, the rules of civilised state-to-state dialogue and the principles of international law. It goes without saying that this unfriendly move by this group of countries will not go unnoticed, and we will respond to it.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

On social-economic development in Crimea

17.03.2018

The proclamation of independence of the Republic of Crimea on March 17, 2017 and its reunification with the Russian Federation were conducted on the basis of the direct expression of the will of peninsula’s population at the general referendum after the coup d’état in Ukraine on February 2014. The Russian Federation guarantees to the peoples of Crimea the equal rights and freedoms regardless of language, religion, national and social origins and political convictions in accordance with the Russian international obligations and commitments in this area.

The Russian Federation also provides the events for national, cultural and spiritual renaissance of Crimea’s peoples. Since the reunification there were no significant interethnic or inter-confessional conflicts in the Crimea. The Presidential Decree No. 268 of April 21, 2014 "On Measures to Rehabilitate the Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Crimean-Tatar and German Peoples and State Support for their Revival and Development" is the legal framework for the establishment of national cultural autonomies. In 2018 fourteen of them including two Crimean-Tatar ones already exist.

To settle the deported peoples including the Crimean Tatars, 95% of which are in possession of Russian passports, and assist them to set up 10 billion rubles have been allocated. This community is well represented in the authorities of all levels, in accordance with its share in the population (at least 10% of the internal affairs agencies and prosecutor's office staff). State-confessional interaction is developing in an effective way. The construction of the cathedral mosque for 400 thousand people in Simferopol will be finished soon.

As of January 2017, the population of the peninsula is 2.3 million people. In total there are more then 100 nations and nationalities in the Crimea. 85% of Crimeans consider Russian as their native language. In accordance with the Constitution, the state languages of the Republic of Crimea are Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar. The principle of cultural adversity is recognized, their equal development and mutual enrichment are ensured.

In the secondary schools of the peninsula the teaching is provided in 3 state languages. In Crimea there is a school, where pupils during the first nine years are taught entirely in Ukrainian, and there are also 7 schools having Ukrainian classes. The Ukrainian language is taught in 58 schools as an obligatory discipline and in 65 as an optional one. The total number of pupils, who study the Ukrainian language is 11 thousand people. There are 15 schools where the language of teaching is Crimean-Tatar with 5.6 thousand pupils studying there. The Ministry of the Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea is drafting the textbooks in Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar languages. The choice of language for children is made by parents on a voluntary basis.

Today the Republic of Crimea and the city with federal status Sevastopol are integrated in the Russian economic space. Since 2014 the Federal Target Programme “Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol until 2020” has been implemented with the budget of $11 bln. The economy is on the upward trend, which has been achieved due to the development of energy, recreational sectors and the growth of housing construction. The implementation of major infrastructure projects is expected to give a fresh impetus to the social economic development.

In the current year, two heating and power grids with a capacity of 470 MW are going to be launched in Simferopol and Sevastopol. A similar facility is being built in the city of Saki (120 MW). 100 km of new pipelines have been built for stable water supply, which allowed to collect a record harvest wheat (1.7 million tons) in 2017. 520 km of roads were repaired for 2015-2016 and another 700 km are scheduled for modernization by 2021. In 2018, the motorway of the Kerch Bridge, the total cost of which is 228 billion rubles, is planned for putting into operation. The launch of railway traffic is scheduled for 2018. By September 2020, the construction of the 250-km federal highway "Tavrida" with a budget of 566 billion rubles will be completed.

Nowadays, the delivery of goods (food, medicines, etc.) is mainly provided by Kerch ferry with passengers transported by air. During the busy periods the international airport of Simferopol receives up to 240 flights per day (according to the results of 2017 it is on the 7th place in Russia with 500 thousand tourists). This year a new terminal will be opened after the reconstruction which costs 6.5 billion rubles, the scheduled flow of passengers will reach 6.5 million people per year.

The situation in the social sphere of the peninsula is improving. For 4 years, the nominal salaries have increased by 60%, pensions - more than 2 times. Moreover, all social security and protection programs guaranteed by the federal laws were extended to the Crimeans.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

On the case of Sergey Skripal

14.03.2018

The March 14 statement made by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament on measures to “punish” Russia, under the false pretext of its alleged involvement in so-called “highly likely” style in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter, constitutes an unprecedented, flagrant provocation that undermines the foundations of normal dialogue between our countries.

Instead of completing its own investigation and using established international formats and instruments, the British Government opted for confrontation with Russia. Obviously, by investigating this incident in a unilateral, non-transparent way, the British Government is again seeking to launch a groundless anti-Russian campaign.

During the briefing of March 15, 2018, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson M.Zakharova said that Russia accepts the entire incoming information on the use of chemical weapons in the UK with much concern. In Russia’s opinion, such inadequate accusations could be settled within the framework of Paragraph 2 of Article IX “Consultations, Cooperation and Fact-Finding” of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction (CWC) of 1993, what envisages filing the official request of the UK government to the Russian Federation or the Executive Council to receive the explanations about any doubtful issues. After Great Britain files its request, the Russian side would have 10 days under the CWC to respond. Moreover, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the convention, should Britain be unsatisfied with the reply, the same convention gives it the right to convene an extraordinary session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to take the relevant decision. The CWC, which the UK has signed and ratified, stipulates a series of such steps. If the British side does not want to use these mechanisms, the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters would be another option.

On March 15 the OPCW Director General A. Uzumcu received a letter from the UK Prime minister Teresa May where she proposed to “conduct independent examination of the British investigation results”. A. Uzumcu informed Great Britain that his organisation was ready to send the expert group to provide assistance if the UK conducted “some internal procedures”. We hope that it implies the declassification of the Scotland Yard records.

At the meeting in New York on March 18, 2018, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya put forth our position, replying politely and in a well-argued manner to totally impolite and unsubstantiated allegations. He proposed adopting a document on the investigation of this accident based on the above mentioned Convention. The British representative blocked the adoption of this proposal.

The actions of the UK authorities are a clear provocation. The Russian Federation was not involved in the incident that took place in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. Moscow will expect to receive samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring and until the UK demonstrates compliance with the CWC that stipulates a joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready. Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia on the eve of the Presidential election and 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

On the recent developments in Syria

12.02.2018

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies, and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies.

Russia has repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities. This is the goal of the agreements by guarantor countries under the Astana process – Russia, Turkey and Iran. Efforts are underway to implement these agreements. However, such work is not going smoothly because of active resistance by terrorists and extremists who are doing their best to disrupt the processes of establishing peaceful life and who do not want to see Syria a united, sovereign and independent state.

Clearly, the situation in each of the above problem areas has its own specifics. The attempts to put the entire burden of responsibility solely on the official Syrian authorities are groundless. It is clear from past experience that many of our Western colleagues tend to avoid thoughtful analysis of developments in Syria. They already know in advance who is to blame for everything.

Raqqa has turned into a ghost city in the wake of massive bombardment by the US-led “anti-ISIS” coalition in the autumn of 2017. More than 80 per cent of the buildings in this city have been destroyed. The mine clearance effort is moving very slowly. In fact, no one is doing it.

Rukban camp located next to the border with Jordan cannot be accessed, because it is located inside a “security area” which was illegally and without prior arrangement created by the United States. In fact, the US troops have this area under their control.

The escalation of tension outside Afrin, where no Syrian government troops are present at the moment, was caused by the United States supporting its “clients” despite Washington's assurances of supporting Syria’s territorial integrity.

On the night of 9 to 10 February, and on the morning of 10 February, Israeli aircraft dealt several missile strikes on targets in Syria, including those on the border of the de-escalation zone in the south-west of the Republic. The loss among the Syrians and the material damage resulting from these attacks are yet to be confirmed. In Moscow these developments caused serious apprehension. Of particular concern is the danger of escalating tension within and around de-escalation zones in Syria, the creation of which has become an important factor in reducing violence.

In this regard, the Russian Federation urges all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. It is necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana

On the XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

10.01.2018

The next XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will take place on May 24–26, 2018.

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is a leading international economic and business forum held annually in Russia. It was established in 1997. Since 2006 SPIEF has been held under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. Over its twenty years of history SPIEF has built a reputation of the most important international political and economic event in Russia. The Forum affirmed its relevance as a universally recognized venue for open and frank exchange of opinions between heads of state and government, international organizations and instiutions, representatives of business elite, academia, civil society and the media, establishing trustworthy business contacts.

There is growing international attention to SPIEF from various parts of the world, including Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa. Representatives of numerous foreign countries and companies traditionally choose the St. Petersburg Forum as an effective tool for promoting their investment projects.

Last year the Forum brought together a record number of participants – over 14,000 business representatives, heads of international organizations, officials, experts, scientists, and media from more than 143 countries. Among them were heads of 700 Russian and 400 foreign companies. Over 900 speakers and moderators took part in the Forum covering a wide range of topics including socio-economic development, energy, transportation, the environment, healthcare, culture, tourism, education, and science. 475 investment agreements and memorandums were concluded for a total amount of $ 30 bln. American business had the largest representation at the SPIEF-2017. In total, 560 people from 140 companies came from the US.

The programme of the Forum included a business roundtable under the theme “Russia–Africa: a Structural Approach To Cooperation In The New Economic Reality”. It got together representatives of African political circles and private sector, including such prominent figures as the then Vice-President of Zimbabwe Phelekezela Mphoko and the Second Vice-President of Burundi Joseph Butore.

Updated information about SPIEF-2018 is available at the official website http://www.forumspb.com/en.

Embassy of Russia in Botswana


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