A special envoy dispatched to Banjul by the Russian Federation has disclosed that he came to seek The Gambia’s support in his country’s bid to host the World EXPO 2020 in the city of Ekaterinburg, report the Daily Observer – government’s controlled newspaper.
DV. Shubman, director of the staff of the Deputy Prime Minister, of the Russian Federation, said the event would open up a unique opportunity for the world to rediscover this city, designated in 1723 by Peter the Great, as the industrial centre of Russia. “We are here to promote the Russian bid to host the World Expo 2020. We made a presentation of our project to the Gambia government and we are very hopeful of a positive response from The Gambia,” DV. Shubman told journalists at State House in an interview Thursday, shortly after having a brief meeting with The Gambia’s Presidential Affairs minister, Dr Njogu Bah.
“We have a team of our exposition which is a global mind and we are planning to receive up to 150 delegates from all over the world. They will be able to promote their countries in Russia in 2020, especially if Russia wins the bidding competition, of which five countries are battling for a win as to which country will host the event in 2020. Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have all officially bid to host the World Expo 2020. A decision will be made at the BIE General Assembly this year to determine the winner of the bids,” he explained.
Asked about the reaction of The Gambia government, Shubman said they are hopeful of a positive response. “We have not had any response yet from the Gambia government but we are hopeful of a positive one. We just came to make a presentation to the Gambian authorities about the bid which voting will take place in November this year in Paris. There is no response yet from the government but our presentation was received at the high level and we are hopeful that we will receive a positive one from The Gambia,” the Russian diplomat told reporters.
According to him, his Banjul visit also accorded him and delegation to talk about Gambia-Russia relations. “We hope that we will be able to cooperate with The Gambia to support this project of Expo 2020 bid,” he added.
The Expo 2020 would be the larger of the two kinds of world fairs, analogous to the Summer Olympics. It is considered “sanctioned” by the BIE, held every five years. Germany hosted Expo 2000; Japan hosted Expo 2005 China hosted Expo 2010; and Italy is preparing to host Expo 2015.
DV. Shubman was accompanied to the Presidency by the Russian ambassador to Senegal and accredited to The Gambia, His Excellency Valery Nesterushkin Shubman.