The Seychelles do not plan to join the sanctions against Russia and remain open to Russian tourists – they will be welcomed with open arms. At the same time, the country fears a serious crisis due to Western fuel sanctions against Russia. This was announced at an official press conference by President Vavel Ramkalavan
“Seychelles remains a non-aligned sovereign country and will not follow the example of individual countries when imposing sanctions,” Seychelles New Sagency, the country's official news agency, quoted him as saying. He stressed that the accession of the country to the sanctions is possible only “by order” of the UN, but nothing more. And most importantly – that the paradise islands are still waiting for tourists from Russia “with open arms.”
“Russia remains the leading tourism market for the Seychelles,” said Mr. Ramkalavan, lamenting that Russian citizens “cannot use their bank's Visa cards in the Seychelles.” “The Seychelles have no problem with people arriving with cash, but they must be declared or they could be confiscated,” he warned tourists.
Note that the share of tourism in the GDP of the Seychelles was 26.4% in pre-Covid times – and “non-poor” Russians were one of the “inexhaustible sources”. No wonder the country does not want to lose such a source of income. Moreover, the president assessed the economic situation at the same press conference as follows. “Seychelles should expect some economic effects as fuel prices hit $110 a barrel. In addition, Ukraine is the world leader in the production of wheat and the producer of sunflower oil, which will affect imports and food prices,” said the President of the Seychelles.
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