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Record-strong entrepreneurs’ mission to accompany Zeman in Russia

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Prague, Nov 7 (CTK) – A record-strong group of representatives of over 120 firms will join President Milos Zeman and the Czech delegation on their forthcoming trip to Russia, which is the strongest mission of businesspeople in 25 years, Confederation of Industry spokeswoman Eva Velickova told CTK on Tuesday.

Two Czech military transport planes and one hired plane will fly the delegation eastwards, she said.

In Russia, Zeman is to visit Sochi, Moscow and probably also Yekaterinburg.

The businesspeople are going to Moscow and Yekaterinburg only.

“The interest in the Russian mission is huge and the number of the firms applying for participation can be still expected to slightly rise. We have registered 124 participants for now,” Velickova said.

This is the biggest foreign mission in the past 25 years for which the Czech Confederation of Industry has been organising them, she said.

The businesspeople’s mission is scheduled for November 21-24.

On their arrival in Moscow, the firms’ representatives will meet Zeman, who will probably arrive in Russia earlier.

Afterwards, a business forum will take place in Moscow, also attended by Zeman.

The Czech Confederation of Industry’s delegation will be headed by the Confederation President Jaroslav Hanak.

The Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber for trade and industry for the CIS countries have assisted in organising the business mission.

Velickova said the participating companies represent a number of branches such as energy, engineering, agriculture, food processing, agricultural vehicles and also services including lawyer’s offices and banks.

Entrepreneurs have to cover the costs of their trips along with politicians by themselves. In this case, the advance payment was set at 70,000 crowns, according to CTK’s information.

The trade with Russia has been limited by the sanctions the EU and the USA imposed on Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and its approach to the conflict in the east of Ukraine.

Zeman has repeatedly spoken against the sanctions, calling them pointless.

Originally, Zeman was to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, but Putin eventually invited him for a meeting in Sochi, a sea resort with a residence used by the Russian president. Zeman called the invitation an honour addressed to him.

Zeman’s programme in Moscow is to include the opening of an exhibition presenting Prague Castle’s treasures.

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