The Russian Federation and Grenada are Working on the Direction of Cooperation

July 13, 2017 – Yuri Nemtsev, columnist of the magazine “International Affairs”

During his stay in Russia, the Ambassador of Grenada, Oleg Firer, achieved what some do not achieve in a year. This gives huge hopes for a new breath in bilateral relations. This opinion was expressed by Deputy Director of the Latin American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, Nikolay Sofinsky on July 12, 2017 in Moscow within the framework of the round table “Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Grenada in the Humanitarian, Cultural, Scientific and Tourist Fields” organized by the Commission for the Development of Public Diplomacy, Humanitarian Cooperation and the Preservation of Traditional Values Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

The first ambassador of Grenada in Russia, Oleg Firer, was appointed to his post by the order of Queen Elizabeth II two months ago. In June, in an interview with our magazine, the Grenadian representative has already stated that he is committed to developing active cooperation with Russia. Today we managed to make sure that the Russian-Grenada dialogue acquires a concrete content and has good prospects.

During the event, the main directions of cooperation between our countries were determined, projects were developed through the institutions of civil society of Russia and Grenada, prospects for cooperation between our countries in the field of culture, education, science and tourism were discussed. From the side of the Civic Chamber and the Russian project “Russian Worldwide” issues of promotion of the Russian language and culture in Grenada, exchanges of students, cross cultural days and thematic cultural exhibitions were raised. In addition, in the central lobby of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation photo exhibition “Nature and attractions of Grenada” was opened for viewing.

As noted by the deputy head of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Nikolay Sofinsky, the embassy of Grenada is the only diplomatic mission of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Russia, since July this country presides in this organization. He stressed that now Grenada has seized the initiative in promoting a single CARICOM embassy in Russia, and given the semi-annual chairmanship in this organization, it may well advance in this matter. In addition, Nikolai Sofinsky recalled that now the draft agreement on CARICOM’s cooperation with the EAEC has been elaborated.

At the same time, Nikolay Sofinsky called trade between our countries, which amounted to only 14 thousand dollars for the past year, was not serious. And it consists exclusively of exports from Grenada (70 percent are spices, 30 machinery and equipment). The Russian diplomat called for assistance in the development of trade between Russia and Grenada. As a practical step, Nikolay Sofinsky proposed to draw the attention of the Grenadian side to the National Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation with the Countries of Latin America (NC SESLA). “The structure is very effective and active,” the Russian diplomat said. “It allows us to accumulate interests of the business community.” He reported on the establishment of a separate project based on the SC SESLA, focused on the Caribbean region, stressing that “NK SESLA is waiting for you”.

In turn, the Ambassador of Grenada in Russia, Oleg Firer, said that his country would like to develop relations with Russia from the position of a regional player, from the point of view of interaction through CARICOM. In the commercial sphere, Grenada, like other countries of the Community, is interested in importing various goods from Russia, as well as in cooperation with the EAEC. “In the field of tourism, Grenada wants not only to attract Russian tourists to the country, but also to invite our citizens to get acquainted with Russia – this is a big country, there is something to see,” continued Ambassador of Grenada. Responding to the proposal from the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, he also noted that Grenada “is ready to hold (cross-cultural) cultural days in 2018”.

In her speech, Elena Sutormina, Chairperson of the Commission for the Development of Public Diplomacy, Humanitarian Cooperation and the Preservation of Traditional Values ​​of the Russian Federation, spoke about an important program actively promoted jointly with Russian Worldwide, on the study of the Russian language and literature through multimedia books – “The Russian Corner”. As the public figure noted, taking into account the fact that “the relationship (between Russia and Grenada) will grow stronger, interest in the Russian language will grow.” A corresponding letter on cooperation will be sent on behalf of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation to the Ambassador of Grenada in the near future.

The head of the project “Russian Worldwide” Artur Mogutov described in detail the program “Russian Corner”, noting that “for the preparation of students planning education in Russia, we are developing this project. We propose to Grenada to allocate on the basis of one of the universities a class with a computer where all the necessary software will be installed. The goal of this program is not only to acquire basic skills of the Russian language, but also to acquire knowledge about the culture and history of Russia. This is absolutely free humanitarian project, which has been working in 34 countries for more than 5 years,” said Arthur Mogutov.

In addition, the head of “Russian Worldwide” stressed the need and expressed his willingness to help organize roundtables, humanitarian and cultural events linking Russia with the CARICOM countries. Among them was a joint photo contest on the themes of the countries of the Caribbean Community, with the assistance of the Embassy of Grenada and the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. The last proposal has received immediate support and approval from both the Russian and the Grenadian sides, preparations will begin this fall.

Representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nikolay Sofinsky also stressed that the diplomatic mission is interested in more dense interaction with the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on international issues. At the same time, he stressed the supervisory role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the development of relations with foreign partners, including the regions of Russia. He gave an example of the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already received notifications of interest in developing relations with the Grenadian regions from the Yaroslavl, Krasnodar and Smolensk regions. He is confident that, in cooperation with the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the “Russian Worldwide” project, it will be possible to increase the number of interacting regions with foreign partners.

At the same time, Artur Mogutov noted that on the basis of the “Russian Worldwide” project an informal business and cultural club of interaction with Grenada has already been formed, 23 regions of the Russian Federation expressed interest in participating.

In a conversation with the correspondent of the magazine “International Affairs” Nikolay Sofinsky, Deputy Director of the Latin American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke about the role of Grenada and CARICOM in Russia’s foreign policy. “The CARICOM countries are important for Russia politically. These are 15 countries, each of which has a full-fledged voice in international organizations, primarily in the UN, “Nikolay Sofinsky stressed. “Political dialogue is worth it.” As for economic, trade and investment relations, we are open and interested in cooperation. Unfortunately, while the volume of these ties is not the greatest, we are for raising the level of cooperation with CARICOM in all areas, including, we are ready to move in those areas that are most beneficial for our partners from the Caribbean Community. We have something to offer. We will also be happy to accept their culture and national traditions. ”

“Today, concrete directions for the development of the dialogue (with Grenada) were discussed,” Nikolay Sofinsky summed up. “We already render and are ready to render further diplomatic assistance in this matter.”

Source: International Affairs

Russia and Grenada: a new breath of bilateral relations

Round table discussion with the Ambassador of Grenada to the Russian Federation was held in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – July 12, 2017 – Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation (, hosted a round table “Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Grenada in the Humanitarian, Cultural, Scientific and Tourism Fields,” organized by the Commission of the Russian Federation on the Development of Public Diplomacy, Humanitarian Cooperation and the Preservation of Traditional Values.

The event began with the opening of the photo exhibition “Nature and Attractions of Grenada” in the lobby of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, at which the Commission Chairperson, Elena Sutormina noted that Grenada, as an island state with magnificent nature, is of interest in terms of tourism, but there are other possible cooperation’s to be explored between the countries.

She recalled that in May of this year, Queen Elizabeth II (as Queen of Grenada) sent a letter to Vladimir Putin, in which she spoke of the desire to establish friendly and mutually beneficial ties with Russia.

During the round table discussion, Elena Sutormina, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada to the Russian Federation Oleg Firer, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Sofinsky and project manager of Russian Worldwide Artur Mogutov discussed prospects for cooperation between the Russian Federation and Grenada in the sphere of culture, education and science, discussed opportunities of promoting Russian language and culture in Grenada (in particular with the help of the project “Russian Corner”), the exchange of students and teachers, the holding of cross-cultural days and thematic cultural exhibitions.

Ambassador Firer noted that Grenada is the head of the Caribbean Community (trade and economic union of the countries of Central and North-East of South America, which includes 15 countries of the Caribbean), and therefore represents a kind of a “Gateway to Russia” for the Caribbean states that do not have their embassies in Russia.

Nikolai Sofinsky said that the relationship between Russia and Grenada was not built easily, breaking off impetuously and resuming, but at the moment we can state the “new breath of bilateral relations.”

Source: Press Service of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Cooperation between Russia and Grenada

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – July 6, 2017 – On July 12, 2017 at 12:00, The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation will host a round table “Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Grenada in the humanitarian, cultural, scientific and tourist areas” and the opening of the photo exhibition “Nature and Attractions of Grenada.”

The organizer of the event is Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation for the development of public diplomacy, humanitarian cooperation and preservation of traditional values.

Moderator – the chairman of the Commission Elena Sutormina.

The purpose of the event is the elaboration of cooperation projects on the basis of civil society institutions in the Russia Federation and Grenada, discussion of the prospects for cooperation between the Russian Federation and Grenada in the sphere of culture, education, science and tourism; discussion of the promotion of the Russian language and culture in Grenada, exchanges of students and teachers, cross-cultural days and thematic cultural exhibitions.

Participants: members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Cooperation organization, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Russian Tourism, tour agencies, public and youth organizations, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Participants from Grenada: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada to the Russian Federation, Oleg Firer; Assistant to the Ambassador of Grenada in the Russian Federation, Kemal Nicholson; representatives from the project “Russian Worldwide,” Arthur Mogutov and Arbi Ibragimov.

Source: Press Service of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Upper House passes Hydrocarbon Incentives Bill

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, JULY 3, 2017: The Upper House has now passed the Hydrocarbon Exploration Incentives Bill 2017, weeks after it was passed in the Lower House of Parliament.

The Bill provides incentives to attract investors, who have an interest in exploring oil and natural gas in Grenada’s waters.

During a meeting on June 27, 2017, Leader of Government Business, Senator Simon Stiell said, with Grenada still being considered virgin territory, it is at the stage where testing is necessary, to better understand what lies beneath the seabed.

He said this is being done is in the country’s interest.

“This is not about one company. It’s going to be about many different companies and those companies will sub-contract.

The oil and gas industry is a very complex thing. We are new to this, so we have to find a way of being able to attract those persons, with those skills, with deep pockets, to be able to carry out that work, but unless we create an environment, for those investors to explore, to determine the potential that we have, we’ll continue for another 20 years — this discussion about what we have and what it could do for us; what it may do for us; what it may not do for us.

So, Mr. President, the bill that is before us — there is no cloud of secrecy — it’s actually very, very transparent,” Stiell remarked.

Lending his support to the Hydrocarbon Exploration Incentives Bill 2017, Senator Winston Garraway, Minister of State with responsibility for Information, in the Prime Minister’s Ministry, said, as a forward-thinking government, they are creating a package of incentives, which can lead to employment generation and development of the Grenada’s resources.

Garraway said, “As we’ve been seeing in the last four years, of this administration, investors come in left, right and centre. Why?  Because something good is happening in this country!  This government — a government that respects law and institution, respects its people and will continue to do what it knows is best to do.”

38th Regular Meeting Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM

The Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will take place in Grenada 4 – 6 July 2017, under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell.

Following an Opening Ceremony on 4 July at the Grenada Trade Centre, the Heads of Government will move to the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort for the business sessions on 5 -6 July. The Conference will welcome its two newest Members; the President of Haiti H.E. Jovenel Moise who was sworn into office on 7 February, and the Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis who took his oath of office on 11 May.

This meeting is expected to include the presentation for approval by the Heads of a Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy and Implementation Plan to address the development of skills for the 21st century Caribbean economy and society.

The Heads of Government are also expected to deliberate on outstanding matters related to the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) following the comprehensive review of the CSME’s performance presented to them at the last Inter-Sessional Meeting in February.

There is also expected to be an update on the preparations for CARIFESTA XIII to be staged in Barbados 17 – 27 August under the theme “Asserting our Culture, celebrating ourselves. The work on the Commissions on Reparations and Marijuana is also expected to come under the spotlight. So too, the progress made with implementing the specified actions, agreed a decade ago, under the 2007 Port of Spain declaration to stop the epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs)”. Regional Security issues are also expected to receive attention.

A highlight of the Opening Ceremony would be the presentation of the Triennial Award for Women to the latest recipient. The Ceremony will be addressed by the two new Members of the Conference, the outgoing Chairman, President of Guyana H.E. David Granger, the incoming Chairman, and the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.


Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell will chair the Thirty-Eighth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, 4 – 6 July 2017 (with an Opening Ceremony at the Grenada Trade Centre).

Prime Minister Mitchell assumes the role of Chairman of CARICOM from 1 July 2017 and his six month term ends on 31 December 2017. He takes over from the out-going Chairman, HE David Granger, President of Guyana whose six-month term ran from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

Prime Minister Mitchell has responsibility for Science and Technology (including Information and Communications) in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.

See CARICOM Bureau

Novgorod higher education called to look up to Grenada

A strategy for the development of higher education will be developed in the Novgorod region

GREAT NOVGOROD, June 27, 2017, 15:55 – REGNUM Priority directions for development of the education system of the Novgorod region were discussed by the participants of the strategic session that took place on June 26 in Great Novgorod. As REGNUM was told in the press center of the regional government, the acting governor of the Novgorod region, Andrei Nikitin, stated that it is necessary “to connect the strengths of higher education with the industry priorities that Novgorod enterprises have.”

The strengths of higher education in the region, according to Nikitin, are radio electronics, IT specialties, as well as “everything connected with history and archeology.”

The medical faculty of the Novgorod State University, which graduates from other regions receive, he called a possible point of development.

As an example, Andrei Nikitin mentioned a small country in the Caribbean, Grenada: according to him, every tenth doctor in the neighboring US was educated there, and on the whole for the island state the creation of a competitive system of medical education was the very point of growth that allowed them to develop.

It was noted that the educational cluster of the Novgorod region should be created taking into account the development strategy of the region itself.

Recall that the largest university in the Novgorod region is the Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise, which this year is recognized as a supporting university. Also in the region there are branches of the Russian University of Cooperation and the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Service under the President of the Russian Federation.


Grenada’s Ambassador-Designate to Russia delivered copies of his credentials to Deputy Foreign Minister


MOSCOW, RUSSIA – April 6, 2017 – Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Ryabkov met with Grenada’s Ambassador-Designate to the Russian Federation, Oleg Firer, who delivered copies of his credentials.

Prospects for cooperation between the two countries, including trade, economy and humanitarian areas were discussed during the meeting, which also saw an exchange of views on a number of current issues on the regional agenda.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Official Press Release

PM Says Hard Work is Paying Dividends

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, MARCH 1, 2017- GIS: Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says the hard work of his administration over the last four years is paying dividends, which he credits to the collective support of nationals.

Grenadians, he says, have been integral to the economic growth and development underway.
Speaking last week Friday at the re-commissioning of the Hubble Bridge in Gouyave, St. John, Prime Minister Mitchell expressed elation with the high commendation Grenada is receiving from across the region and beyond.

“Our country is admired regionally and internationally because of the progress we have made in the last four years,” Dr. Mitchell said.
“The Caribbean Development only last week at a media conference, said that Grenada is a model for what’s taking place economically in the region”.
He indicated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other institutions have also been speaking highly about Grenada’s success.

Prime Minister Mitchell is delighted with the present situation, saying that a Construction Boom is on, with cement and other building materials going like hot bread and butter.

“Anytime, you want to know how a country is going check the construction sector brothers and sisters. When you see construction moving in a country you know that it is moving in the right direction”, he said.

Dr Mitchell promised to do his utmost to improve the quality of lives of Grenadians. He said that government will continue to build and enhance roads and bridges, improve electricity, water supply, the housing stock and the general infrastructure.

“We were selected to serve the people, not to talk, talk, talk; but work, work, work and this is precisely what we are doing”.

Russia Pledges Scholarships, Visa Waiver and Debt Relief for Grenada

Prime Minister Dr the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, on Wednesday, 4 January, welcomed the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Grenada, His Excellency Nikolay Smirnov.

From the onset of the meeting, the new Ambassador indicated that the main purpose of his visit is to discuss bilateral issues, such as scholarships, training opportunities, debt relief, the establishment of a Diplomatic Mission of Grenada in the Russian Federation, and the signing of a new visa waiver agreement in the not too distant future between both countries.

Hereunder is an overview of the cooperation meeting between Grenada and Russia and some of the topics discussed with the Ambassador.

I. Training and Scholarships
Ambassador Smirnov indicated that it is an opportune moment for the Government of Grenada to have a permanent diplomatic presence in Russia. He mentioned that this will enhance the relationship and position Grenada to maximise on a number of opportunities in the areas of Education, Tourism, Health and Energy.

According to His Excellency, the Russian Federation has been offering scholarships to Grenada throughout the years, and continues to do so every year. For the academic year 2016/2017 — 9 state scholarships were offered to Grenada. For the academic year 2017/2018, the Russian Federation has also made several State scholarships available to Grenada.

Ambassador Smirnov also mentioned that the Russian Government has also provided training to the Royal Grenada Police Force, in areas including incident site inspection fingerprinting identification; modern forms and methods of counteraction against terrorism and extremism; management of police units; counteraction against Illicit narcotic, psychotropic substance and their precursors; traffic and the organization of International cooperation of efficient units to combat economic crimes. Currently, there are two Grenadian police officers pursuing studies in the Russian Federation, and that number is expected to increase this year, including for short-term courses.

II. Visa Waiver agreement with Grenada
The Ambassador highlighted that Grenada and the Russian Federation are now in discussions that are geared towards setting a date for the signing of a new Visa Waiver between the 2 countries in the not too distant future. Both countries have agreed on an MOU that would eliminate the need for a visa for holders of all passports — ordinary, official and diplomatic, up to a 90-day stay.

III. Debt Settlement Agreement with the Russian Federation
An agreement on the settlement of Grenada’s debt to the Russian Federation amounting to US$266,000 was signed on 19 November 2015, during the Paris Club meeting. The Ambassador indicated that there may be even further or total relief of the debt owed by Grenada. This issue will be followed-up by both accredited Missions for clarification and possible final settlement.

For his part, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell welcomed the new Ambassador to Grenada. The Prime Minister spoke of the possible benefits that opening a Diplomatic Mission of Grenada in the Russian Federation would bring to Grenada in meeting its developmental objectives through representation. It would also facilitate communication with potential investors wishing to come to Grenada.

Prime Minister thanked the Ambassador for the available scholarships and indicated that he will like to see even more being made available in different disciplines that are consistent with the needs of our Grenadian people. He also indicated that the Government, through the Ministry of Education, will enhance the marketing of these scholarships to raise more awareness and accessibility.

Prime Minister went on to mention of the training opportunities especially in the area of security. He said that training for members of the Royal Grenada Police Force is crucial in assisting the combating of various types of illegal activity. He indicated that there is a special need for assistance in forensic science training.

Dr Mitchell expressed his overall pleasure at the potential Signing of the Visa Waiver Agreement, which, he said, will help create so many further opportunities and enhance the bilateral relations between the 2 countries. According to the Prime Minister, some of the critical benefits of the Visa Waiver will be the enhancement of the Tourism industry, and associated activities such as linkages in air travel; hassle-free travel for Grenadian nationals travelling to Russia to participate in short term courses and training; the facilitation of potential Russian investors traveling to Grenada, which will be an added boost to the CBI programme, among other visa-free travel opportunities for Grenadian nationals to the Russian Federation.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister asked the Ambassador to convey greetings to the Government and People of the Russian Federation and expressed his hope that the relations between both countries would continue to strengthen for the New Year, and beyond. The Prime Minister indicated that the world will be a better place if all the countries worked together in peace while maintaining respect for each other’s system of Governance.