Russia leaves Tourism Organization before possible expulsion | News


Russia announced on Wednesday its withdrawal from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), according to the organization itself, which is meeting in a General Assembly in Madrid, Spain and which had initiated a procedure for its expulsion.


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The Russian ambassador to the UNWTO, Yuri Korchagin, at the Madrid meeting, said that Moscow is unaware of the results of the UNWTO Executive Committee meeting on March 8 and the legitimacy of this Wednesday’s extraordinary session that should address the membership From Russia.

According to Korchagin, the decision to suspend membership was pushed through with the help of what he called “massive anti-Russian propaganda through blackmail and pressure on the state.”

According to the diplomat, such actions are what he called “illegal and politically motivated steps” with the aim of “demonstratively punishing” Russia.

Korchagin elaborated on this: “We do not understand how the immediate suspension (if a decision is made) of Russia’s membership in the organization can contribute to the real fulfillment of the UNWTO mandate to achieve the fundamental objective of the organization: the development of tourism. ”.

In this sense, he considered that the Russian side does not consider it convenient to continue working in the organization and concluded: “The Russian Federation has decided to withdraw from the World Tourism Organization.”

Russia’s decision came after Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine submitted a request to suspend Russia’s membership in the UNWTO following the start of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The organization’s executive council supported the holding of an extraordinary General Assembly of the organization, where this issue is resolved.

However, the UN Secretary-General’s representative, Stéphane Dujarric, said the suspension could set a damaging precedent.

UNWTO is responsible for the general accessibility of tourism and the development of the tourism industry. It brings together 158 participating countries, six associated territories, two observer territories and more than 500 affiliated organizations.

The organization’s website states that its main objectives are the sustainable development of tourism, taking into account economic, social and environmental factors; support for the competitiveness of certain tourist destinations; support for the digitization of tourism and innovation in this field; cooperation with companies, scientific and public organizations for the development of tourism.

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