Russia offers free e-visa to PH passport holders visiting St. Petersburg

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019   •   1115

General view of the Krestovsky Stadium, also known as Gazprom Arena, in St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 September 2019. EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV

MANILA, Philippines – Starting October 1, 2019, Philippine passport holders may be granted free electronic visa (e-visa) to two key cities in Russia – Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad.

“Any other documents that confirm the purpose of your visit to Russia are not required,” Natalia Linovitskaya, press secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines, said in an interview.

According to the official, Filipinos who wish to visit the said cities only need to fill out an e-visa application form which can be accessed through the Embassy’s website.

Applicants may wait for their e-visa within 4 calendar days, including holidays and weekends.

Invitations or confirmations are also not needed when lodging an application.

Once approved, visitors may enjoy their stay in the said Russian territories for eight days.

It is noted in the website, however, that the free e-visa only applies to travels “through air, naval, automobile, and pedestrian checkpoints located in the territory of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region,” and its not available for rail transport.

Aside from the Philippines, the Russian government is also offering the free e-visa privilege to citizens of 52 other countries.

Russia’s Putin arrives in UAE following visit to Saudi Arabia

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) attend an official welcome ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 15 October 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a state visit to UAE.
EPA-EFE/ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday (October 15) for talks that are expected to focus on economic ties and security in the Middle East region.

Upon arrival, Putin was greeted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the airport.

Putin’s trip to the region signals Moscow’s growing Middle East clout.

On Monday (October 14) he visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh’s regional rivals and energy cooperation. (Reuters)

(Production: Roberto Esparza)

Gatchalian on nuke energy deals: Take extra precautionary measures

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2019

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has advised taking extra precautionary measures in entering into nuclear power deals, in relation to the signed nuclear power agreement between the Philippines and Russia.

On Monday (October 7), Gatchalian expressed concern over the said deal since the Constitution does not have enough laws that promote nuclear power in the country.

“Kailangan ng maraming batas, for example nuclear safety. Kailangan din ng batas paano i-transport itong mga nuclear waste, saan itatago iyong nuclear waste. So, we have to be very cautious in moving forward, kulang pa tayo sa framework,” he said.

(We need a lot of laws, for example, on nuclear safety. A law is also needed in transporting nuclear waste and where will the nuclear waste be kept. So, we have to be very cautious in moving forward, we still lack framework.)

The senator also said there is a huge risk in investing in nuclear power plants especially during disasters.

However, Gatchalian said he is still open to studying the use of nuclear power plants in the country.

“Iyong technology for power nagiging mas mura, magiging mas advanced, so pwede natin pag-aralan. But for now ang importante mayroon tayong mga safeguards, batas, nag mag-reregulate nitong nuclear power,” he said.

(The technology for power will be cheaper and affordable. It will also be more advanced, so we should study it. But for now, what’s important is having safeguards, and laws that will regulate nuclear power.)

He also clarified that nuclear energy is allowed in the Constitution but not nuclear weapons.—AAC

Duterte returns from Russia with P620M worth of business deals

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with some members of his delegation during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum at the House of the Unions in Moscow, Russian Federation on October 4, 2019. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is back in the Philippines after his five-day visit to Russia, bringing P620 million worth of business deals.

Duterte, who arrived in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, said his second visit to Russia generated “greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.”

“[This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said in a speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.

“The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that — towards that end,” he added.

The President said the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen its ties in all areas of cooperation, including security and defense as well as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and socio-cultural exchanges.

He said the Philippines and Russia also signed bilateral deals on the uses of scientific research, health, energy, culture and foreign policy consultations, which, according to Duterte, are important in securing the country’s strategic interests.

The Chief Executive also cited that Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.

“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” he said.

Duterte also signed a memorandum of intent with Russia on the exploration of possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.

However, he clarified that the deal is not yet final as it still requires consultations with the Cabinet. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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