Samoa thanks Russia for US$7.5m disaster funding for Pacific

Ambassador Georgii Zuev, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Her Highness Faamausili Leinafo.

APIA, 26 OCTOBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The Samoa Government has thanked Russia for contributing US$7.5 million for the Disaster Resilient Project for Pacific, which was disbursed through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, conveyed the gratitude of Samoa, when he received the credentials of the new Russian Ambassador to Samoa, Georgii Zuev.

The presentation of credentials ceremony was held at the Office of the Head of State in Vailele.

Tuimalealiifano, while accepting the diplomat’s accreditation and passing on his best wishes and good health to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, also used the occasion to thank Russia.

“Excellency, Samoa and Russia relations is characterized by mutual respect and a shared interest to address the many challenges our global community faces such as the threat to world peace and security, climate change, disaster resilience, terrorism and many others.

As a small island developing state, we are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and thus appreciate the Russian Federation’s US$7.5 million for the Disaster Resilient Project for Pacific SIDS implemented through UNDP; to improve capacity of disaster relief officials and enhance Samoa’s development and preparedness relief programme,” he said.

Zuev assured Tuimalealiifano of the respect and friendship of the people of Russia and his work as Ambassador will be driven by his desire to boost ties between the two countries.

“I would like to emphasise that my work as ambassador will be driven by the desire to enhance contacts between the Russian Federation and Samoa for the sake of both our nations and regardless of any external factors,” he said.

Zuev is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1981, which was part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

A career diplomat, he spent six years in Kuwait (1981-1986) and another six years in Libya (1988-1993) before getting elevated to the position of deputy director at the Ministers Secretariat Department from 1997-1999.

He was later promoted to Deputy Secretary General from 1999-2000 and in 2000 was was assigned at the Russian Embassy in Libya as the Minister-Counsellor until 2004.

He later returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and worked as the Human Resources Department’s deputy director before getting appointed as Russian Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in August this year.

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