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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, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



To have your event included in All About Town, email tot@sptimes.ru



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