| Hakim Hayat |
SPEAKER of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko is scheduled to arrive in Brunei Darussalam today for a three-day official visit.
The visit is aimed to further boost bilateral cooperation, parti-cularly between both countries’ parliamentary institutions.
The Federation Council is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly, the Russian parliament.
In a recent media briefing at the Russian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam at Kampong Manggis II, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Brunei Darussalam Vladlen Semivolos said the visit strongly signifies the deepening of bilateral ties and reaffirms the intention to further develop the scope of cooperation.
The Russian Ambassador said that Matviyenko and her delegation of seven Russian senators are here to reciprocate a similar visit from the Speaker of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib to Russia in 2016.
During her stay in Brunei Darussalam, Matviyenko is sche-duled to have an audience with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
She is also scheduled to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to holding bilateral talks with the Speaker and members of the LegCo, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Brunei’s LegCo is expected to be signed between both sides.
A former diplomat and governor of Saint Petersburg, Matviyenko became chairwoman of the Federation Council on September 21, 2011, being the first woman in Russian history to hold the post.
Her position and close political ties to Saint Petersburg native, Russian President Vladimir Putin, has made Matviyenko one of Russia’s most powerful women.
The Russian Ambassador described her impending visit as another highlight in the bilateral relations between both countries, which has witnessed extensive cooperation in various fields in the past few years.
“We see this as a greater continuation of the fruitful cooperation we have achieved for many years, and I am hopeful that it will bring about new outcomes and bring our bilateral relations to new heights,” he added.
Brunei Darussalam and Russia have forged cooperation in various fields, including economic, education, cultural and defence, apart from a visa-free travel accord.