Tuesday, 9 May 2017

RUSSIA: Prime Minister Dmitry Medcedev Announces Visa Free Countries

On April 17, Russia Beyond the Headlines and some other websites quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying that tourists and businessmen from 18 nations including Iran can visit the Russian Far East without visas.

I have recently approved the list of countries, whose nationals can take advantage of the preferential regime. Businessmen and tourists will not need to undergo the traditional procedure of Russian visas receipt, Medvedev said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inked a visa-free agreement for tourist groups on March 28, 2017. Based on the agreement tour groups of 5 to 50 people heading to Russia from Iran or vice versa will be granted a visa-free stay of up to 15 days.

According to the official site of the Russian Cabinet, the list of 18 countries comprises Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, India, Iran, Qatar, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and Japan.

The Russian Far East is situated between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean in the extreme east parts of the country.

Iran’s national flag-carrier airline Iran Air signed a contract for purchasing 20 turboprop passenger planes from the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR on April 15 and the first of the kind will be delivered to the country in a week, Mehr news agency reported on Monday quoting Iran Air Managing Director Farhad Parvaresh.

As Parvaresh announced previously, according to the contract, four of the accorded 70-seat ATRs were supposed to be delivered to Iran within a month from the date of the signing agreement and five ones of them were to be received by 2017 yearend. The rest will arrive by the end of 2018.

ATR has reportedly vowed to assist Iran with training pilots and providing technical services, too.

The agreement was signed in Tehran between the Managing Director of Iran Air Farhad Parvaresh and the CEO of ATR Christian Scherer.

Four of the accorded 70-seat ATRs will be delivered to Iran within a month and five ones of them will be received by 2017 yearend, Parvaresh said, the rest will arrive by the end of 2018.

Iran Air plans to purchase 20 other airplanes in future, he added.

As Parvaresh informed, ATR has vowed to assist Iran with training pilots and providing technical services, too.

Jointly owned by Airbus and Italian company Leonardo, ATR said the deal is worth $536 million at list prices.

The contract with ATR follows deals between Iran Air and plane giants Airbus and Boeing for 180 passenger jets.

It is signed after months of talks that required navigating a way through separate U.S. sanctions and regulations still in place.
Few days ago, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued Boeing and Airbus the required permit for selling their accorded 180 airplanes to Iran.

Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi announced in mid-January that renovation of the fleet of Iran Air has begun, adding that according to the contracts with world major plane makers, Iran Air is to receive 200 new planes, of which 100 will be purchased from Airbus and 80 from Boeing.

The first, second and third planes that Iran has purchased from the European aviation giant Airbus landed in Tehran on January 12, March 11, and March 25, 2017, respectively.

Parvaresh announced in late March that the country will receive four new Airbus planes in 2017 and five other Airbus jets in 2018.

As recently reported, Boeing will deliver the first 777 airplane to Iran within a month.

Iran’s tourism chief and Colombia’s accredited ambassador to Tehran have welcomed further cooperation in the arenas of tourism, cultural heritage, and handicrafts.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization Director Zahra Ahmadipour hailed active presence of Colombian travelers, experts, and investors in Iran during a meeting with Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra at the CHTHO headquarters on Tuesday.

She touched upon Iran’s rich history and civilization as well as unique tourist attractions, saying that very good relations between Iran and Colombia can help broaden ties between the two countries in tourism and hospitality industries.

Saavedra, for his part, described relations of the two courtiers as constructive and developing, adding that Colombian officials are willing to broaden all-out cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Prospects of Iran’s relations with the world are very promising and Iran is against the unreal image depicted by some Western media, Saavedra said.

The official added that Colombia has suffered a lot from such unfounded allegations.

The Iranian government has put in a great deal of effort to revive tourism industry since the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in August 2013.