Guyana strengthening relations with Russia; investment and education on radar

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Guyana’s President, David Granger (R), and Russian Ambassador to Guyana, Alexander Kurmaz, toast at a reception hosted at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Georgetown, in honour of Russia Day 2019, on June 11. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Guyana’s President David Granger on Wednesday said the South American country looks forward to strengthening its relations with Russia and will pursue the successful conclusion of agreements relating to investments and the mutual recognition of educational qualifications.

“Guyana will continue to collaborate at the multilateral level with Russia in pursuing our common interests, including action to combat the threats of transnational crime, the adverse effects of climate change and the securing of global peace and security,” President Granger said, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Guyanese Head of State was at the time speaking at a reception hosted at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Georgetown, in honour of Russia Day 2019.

He noted that Guyana is pleased to be part of the celebration of this anniversary, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) on June 12, 1990. It also marks the adoption of the new Russian Constitution, a new national flag, a new national anthem, a new emblem and a new name for the country – the Russian Federation, President Granger said.

“Russia’s role within the international community remains an important one. Russia’s contributions to science and its economic and social achievements – straddling all spheres of human endeavour – have benefited developing countries, including Guyana and of course the world at large. Guyana and Russia have enjoyed excellent formal and informal relations for over fifty years. Our relations are predicated on respect for treaties and international law and the maintenance of regional peace and security,” he said.

The Head of State noted that Guyana and Russia have collaborated in the fields of culture, education, the economy, security and science and the training of Guyanese in Russia has provided the country with a corps of skilled professionals who have and continue to contribute to national development. Russia’s support for debt relief and disaster relief is also welcomed and appreciate the President said.

“Our relations have been enhanced through the Treaty on Basic Relations between the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Government of the Russian Federation; the Agreement between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Russian Federation for the Waiver of Visa Requirements; the Agreement on Combating Illicit Trade of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors; and through the work of the Joint Working Group in the Field of Geology and Subsoil Management,” President Granger said.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Alexander Kurmaz, in his remarks said that Russia and Guyana have endured cordial relations since 1970. He noted that these relations are based on mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s affairs.

“We share common approaches to a number of issues on global agenda and looking forward to expand on our relation, not only on a bilateral level but also within international mechanisms. One area of collaboration has been education and approximately 200 Guyanese have graduated from Russian institutions and work in Guyana today. We will put our heart to cooperate and build a more cooperative world,” the Ambassador said.

The event was attended by former President Donald Ramotar, Ministers of the Government and other members of the diplomatic corps.

The petroleum industry in Russia is one of the largest in the world. Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and it has the second largest coal reserves, the eighth largest oil reserves, and is one of the largest producers of oil and the third largest energy user.

Guyana will join the league of oil producing nations within months as production is set to get underway at the giant Liza field by 2020. Multiple developments offshore will see production approaching 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2025.