2 Feb 2012

Fiji and Russia aim at visa-free travel deal

5:18 am on 2 February 2012

Fiji and Russia have agreed to begin work on drawing up a visa-free travel agreement.

Speaking in Nadi on the first visit by a Russian foreign minister to Fiji, Sergei Lavrov said currently, only about 500 to 700 Russians visit Fiji a year.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the visit aimed to establish a regular political dialogue and expand interaction in international affairs.

Mr Lavrov met Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, and was due for talks with the foreign ministers from six other Pacific Island countries.

Mr Lavrov says Russia is also ready to provide more scholarships for Fiji students to study at Russian universities.

Fiji's interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says cooperation with Russia will help Fiji ensure its independence and self-sufficiency.