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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. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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