Time to learn how to say thank you in Russian?

South Africa and Russia have abolished visas for trips of up to 90 days‚ effective from next month.

Alexander Yakovenko‚ Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom‚ announced this via Twitter.

South Africa enjoys strong bilateral relations with Russia. The two countries are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations‚ apart from Moscow’s support of the ANC during the anti-apartheid struggle.

 According to the Pretoria government‚ South Africa is the biggest trading partner of Russia on the African continent‚ enjoying strong trade relations in the area of mining‚ energy‚ agriculture‚ communications‚ science and technology.

The Russian embassy‚ in a statement marking the quarter century‚ said bilateral trade amounted to $750 million in 2016 — Russian exports to South Africa totalled $207 million and imports from South Africa $543 million.

Russian companies working in South Africa include Renova (manganese ore mining‚ manganese and iron alloy production and solar energy projects)‚ Severstal (hot briquetted iron production) and Renaissance Capital (financial services).

Russia’s Rosgeologia and the South African oil and gas corporation Petro SA have signed an agreement on cooperation in offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production in South Africa. Several companies “with South African capital” active in Russia‚ it said‚ include SABMiller‚ Mondi‚ Naspers‚ Bateman‚ Bell and Standard Bank.

The embassy also said that on February 27‚ 2017‚ Roscosmos State Corporation activated a Russian quantum optical system at a tracking station at Hartebeesthoek‚ west of Pretoria.

The Russian Vice Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications‚ Alexey Volin‚ is in South Africa at present‚ hosted by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

The South African Government News Agency (SAnews) and Russia’s Sputnik News Agency on Tuesday 7 March 2017 signed a co-operation agreement.

The SA government said the agreement will see the two news agencies “developing a bilateral professional relationship in information sharing as they strengthen cooperation between South Africa and Russia as part of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC)“.

“The agreement signed today will also provide exchange programmes for the two countries’ journalists. Such a partnership‚ which denotes a professional cooperation in the media environment‚ also holds the purpose of strengthening collaboration between the two countries.

“This agreement is key as both countries fall under association of the five major emerging economies — Brazil‚ Russia‚ India‚ China and South Africa (BRICS). It will benefit not only the two countries but the BRICS network as they try to fit into the patterns of information flow in the global media.”


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