Russia praises our reform success


Ambassador Kalinin addressing guests at yesterday’s reception

Mr Kalinin was speaking at a reception held at Coral Strand Hotel to mark the National Day of the Russian Federation.
The ceremony was attended by government ministers, judges, members of the diplomatic corps, top senior servants and prominent businessmen, among others.

He said just like Russia, Seychelles under the leadership of President James Michel has embarked on a path of bold economic reforms with the purpose of ensuring a better living standard for its people.

“A lot has been done. Much more is still to be done. However, the first results are encouraging. As sincere friends of Seychelles, we are watching the development of the reform with sympathy and wish the government and people of Seychelles every success,” said Ambassador Kalinin.

He said he is glad the two countries have always enjoyed friendly and warm relations, adding that Russia and Seychelles share a common or similar approach to the main issues on the international agenda.

“Our records on economic cooperation are very stimulating. Seychelles’ resorts have become a popular destination for more and more Russian tourists with annual arrivals standing at 6,000-7,000,” he said.

“And the number is growing despite the (global economic) crisis. Russian businessmen are also rather active in the tourist industry of Seychelles. Preservation of the national and cultural values of the country is one of their investments in Seychelles, which recently exceeded US $200 million.

“This sphere of activity should be explored further, and as ambassador I see one of my missions as raising awareness of the Russian business community on existing opportunities.”

Mr Kalinin said his country is supporting the arrival in Victoria of a Russian delegation of economic experts and businessmen “to look into various projects on the spot”.

He said the adoption of the declaration of state sovereignty of the Russian Federation was a starting point in the new history of Russia.

“In the year 1991, after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation made an unprecedented step, in scale and depth, from a one-party political system to a multi-party democracy, from a state-run economy to a free market,” he said.

“We went through the crisis and turmoil of the transition period, overcame threats to our territorial integrity, suffered defeats but were victorious as well. And despite all the hardships, the Russian people proved to be strong enough to maintain its unity, good faith and hopes for a better future.

“The success of the reforms was not immediate. It has taken a lot of time, adjustments, trials and errors to find the right road. Eventually, major economic and political changes began to bring fruits.

“Today Russia is an open, democratic society and a modern economy, functioning mainly on the basis of market regulations. Russia is one of the major players in international affairs. Russian warships are today patrolling international waters not far from Seychelles in the framework of the anti-piracy operation.”

He proposed a toast to the good health of President Michel and the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, and to the prosperity of the people of our two countries and a further strengthening of the Russian-Seychellois friendship.

Ambassador Kalinin and Minister Pillay toast to the further strengthening of the Russian-Seychellois friendship

Addressing the gathering, Foreign Affairs Minister Patrick Pillay said our ties with Russia have been cultivated over a period of years and continue to go from strength to strength.

He said the ties are shown by commonly shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“These same values fortify our bilateral cooperation and our commitment to a better world,” he said.

“Since the formalisation of diplomatic relations between our two countries, our ties of friendship have been underpinned not only by the people-to-people links, particularly through the training provided to a large number of Seychellois from all walks of life in various fields, but also by the increasing number of Russian visitors and growing business connections.”

Mr Pillay thanked the Russian authorities for all forms of help provided to Seychelles. “Your support in the implementation of the ongoing economic reform programme and the fight against piracy is also well appreciated,” he said.

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