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City news
Indonesian president to begin visit to Russia in Petersburg
11.29.2006 11:54

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will begin an official visit to Russia in St.Petersburg on Wednesday. He is expected to arrive in Russia's second largest city on a flight from Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indonesian leader will spend two days in St.Petersburg, the City Hall's press office told Itar-Tass. On Thursday, the high-ranking guest together with his wife, will visit the Cathedral Mosque, one of the largest and Europe and northernmost in the world, built in 1907-1913 along the design lines of Islamic monuments of Samarkand.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will see the Admiralteiskiye Verfi company, one of Russia’s largest shipyards dating back to the epoch of Peter the Great.

The Indonesia president will visit the State Hermitage museum. Three years ago, Indonesia presented to the museum a wooden sculpture of Garuda, one of the principle animal deities, believed to be the precursor of all birds and embodiment of the sunny nature.

The mahogany sculpture, wrought by Bali craftsmen, is on display at the Hermitage department of the Orient.

On Thursday, the Indonesian president will wrap up the Petersburg part of his visit and go to Moscow. Indonesian Ambassador to Russia Susanto Pudjomartono told Itar-Tass the official part of the trip will begin on December 1 with laying a wreath to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono then will take part in the opening of a business forum, to be held under the aegis of the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries.

The Indonesian leader will meet with the Russian president. The meeting will be held one-on-one initially, and then representative of the two countries will join them, the ambassador noted.

"In the course of the official visit by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the two countries will sign bilateral agreements on the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and on cooperation in the military-technical sphere, economy, tourism and fight against terrorism," the envoy said.

A declaration on crises settlement will become an important document on cooperation in overcoming the crises caused by natural cataclysms. The two countries will also sign an agreement on the construction of a cosmodrome on the island of Biak.

Susanto Pudjomartono stressed the active cooperation of the two countries in the military sphere.

“Indonesia has already purchased big amounts of Russian-made military equipment, for example, Sukhoi jets. We are mulling future purchases of one submarine, and helicopters and tanks,” Pudjomartono said.

As for tourism, “the amount of Russian holiday-makers visiting Indonesia has gone up by 20 percent over the past three years to an annual 35,000 vacationers,” he noted.

The ambassador recalled that Indonesia had eased visa rules for Russians. Starting from August, 2005 they no longer have to go the embassy for visas, as they can get them on arriving at Indonesian airports.

News source: www.tass.ru
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