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Cyprus to Open a Consulate General

Published: December 16, 2003 (Issue # 928)



  • Consul General Demetris Samuel says Cyprus wants tourism and business ties to stay strong after accession to the EU. A boy exhilirating in a special room for relaxing. The room is dark,
    Photo: ALEXANDER BELENKY/SPT / The St. Petersburg Times

A St. Petersburg Cyprus Consulate General was officially accredited on Wednesday in preparation for the Jan. 1 introduction of visas for Russians wanting to visit the republic, the Greek part of a divided Mediterranean island.

"Cyprus will now require a visa from Russian travelers because Cyprus is to join the European Union on May 1," Consul General Demetris Samuel said Monday.

"We ourselves didn't want to introduce visa requirements for Russia, but such is the rule of the EU," Samuel said.

Cyprus, which is a very popular destination for Russian tourists and businessmen, has given Russians visa-free entry to date. About 140,000 Russians make the trip to the balmy and investment-friendly island each year.

Samuel said Russians make up a large part of tourist flow to the republic, and bring significant profit to the country.

Samuel said it plans to keep the cost of visas under $20, and to issue them in less than 24 hours. "We want to have people applying for a visa in the morning, and getting it in the afternoon," he said.

Samuel said Cyprus had been worried that introducing visas would cost Cyprus a few Russian tourists at the start, but it is expected that any losses will be compensated for through a short and convenient visa procedure.

Yekaterina Kudryavtseva, head of the overseas department of St. Petersburg's Fremad Russia travel company, which organizes trips to Cyprus, said her firm doesn't expect any significant decrease in Russian tourists traveling to Cyprus.

"It will, of course, depend on how well visa arrangements work at the new consulate," Kudryavtseva said. "If it's quick and not very expensive then it won't influence the tourist flow."

Samuel said the Russian government had been "very understanding" about the new visa requirements.

Russia will also introduce visa requirements for Cypriots, who until now had not needed visas.

Samuel said the consulate general will operate from temporary rented premises until a permanent office opens in the spring.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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