“England football fans will be safe at Football World Cup in Russia“. The Moscow ambassador claimed this yesterday amid growing tension with the UK. Alexander Yakovenko, Moscow’s ambassador to London, says England football fans heading to Russia for the event will be safe. And, they will be able to enjoy visa-free travel as guests of the country.
He said Russia expects between 20,000 and 30,000 people from the UK to travel there for the World Cup this summer. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has expressed concerns about the treatment travelling England fans may receive amid worsening relations between the UK and Russia as the Salisbury spy poisoning probe continues.
However, Mr Yakovenko gave reassurances about fan safety during a press conference in the capital on Thursday.
He said, “I will be happy to invite all the fans. They will be safe in Russia. All the necessary measures are being taken and the British special authorities are in contact with Russia’s special authorities to provide the security”.
Mr Yakovenko added that there would be a ‘visa-free regime for those who are going to come to Moscow’ and said those with tickets will be ‘guests of Russia’.
Fans will be treated to ‘new facilities’ and ‘fascinating hotels’ during their stay, he said. Also, he added that the event will advertise the ‘Russian standards of living’ in what he described as a fast-growing country.
On whether Russia deserves to host the World Cup, Mr Yakovenko said it had been the decision of the ‘world community’ to award it to his country. He added: ‘So this is the way the world community thinks about Russia, not just Britain but the world community, which is much bigger than one country.’
In a lengthy press conference, Mr Yakovenko slammed Boris Johnson’s comments and laid into the UK for pointing the finger of blame for the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal at the Kremlin.
‘History shows that British statements must be verified. We demand full transparency of the investigation and full cooperation with Russia,’ he said.
Teams Qualified for Football World Cup 2018:
For further updates and match schedule please visit: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html