Russians here to lobby, says gov’t - Solomon Star News

Russians here to lobby, says gov’t

21 February 2018
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A DELEGATION from Russia that arrived in Honiara late Monday evening and left yesterday was from the Russian Federation “Bid Committee EXPO 2025”.

That’s according to a statement the Government issued on Tuesday.

Island Sun newspaper reported on its front page, Tuesday,  the visit was organised by a faction within the ruling government with the intent to overthrow Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela.

The newspaper also claimed the Russians are businessmen interested in reviving the defunct Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).

But the government said:

“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 government statement said the delegation was led by the Russian Resident ambassador in Australia.

“They are here 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 left for Nauru yesterday.