27 Apr 2022 13:29

Russia set to withdraw from UNWTO

MOSCOW. April 27 (Interfax) - Russia has announced plans to withdraw from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, Russia has decided to quit the UNWTO, which will require certain procedures and will take a year, yet the membership will be suspended instantaneously.

The UNWTO also said that a special session of its General Assembly, planned for Wednesday, was due to discuss the suspension of Russia's membership in connection with the special operation in Ukraine. The session was scheduled in early March, after Columbia, Guatemala, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine asked the UNWTO to suspend Russia's membership.

For its part, Russia sent a letter to the UNWTO, requesting that the call for a special session be turned down, as the Ukraine situation had nothing to do with tourism.

In his turn, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia's withdrawal from the UNWTO will not affect the development of this sector in the country, and tourism both inside Russia and to external destinations will continue to develop.

"No, it will not affect this in any case. The tourism sector of Russia, especially domestic tourism, will continue to develop. External tourist destinations are open as well. Next, it is already a matter of competition between these two spheres in terms of quality and in terms of price," Peskov told reporters in reply to the relevant question.