Despite being a small Caribbean state, the island-nation of Dominica is a key regional player and a forger of international relations. At the XXI St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), held from 1-3 June, Dominica once again made a decisive step towards establishing robust rapports with foreign nations, as Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit invited Russia to consider a mutual visa-free travel regime with the Caribbean.
“For us to see the real benefits of […] integration and cooperation, we must advance visa-free access. […] It should not have to take a Russian investor six months to get a visa to come to our countries, and vice versa. We must have the ease of movement in order for us to advance our economic cooperation,” noted the Prime Minister.
Dominica would continue to pursue its path to sustainability
Dr Skerrit’s words came in the context of President Donald Trump announcing it will leave the Paris Agreement on climate change. He indicated, however, that Dominica would continue to pursue its path to sustainability, and that it would do so irrespective of failing support from the United States: “No longer can we rely on certain other regions to assure us of a better way of life for our citizens… I believe that with the advancement of the Eurasia, Russia, Caribbean, and Latin American partnership, we can overcome those challenges.”
Importantly, the Dominican Prime Minister sought to speak for the Caribbean as a whole – a move that offers Russia, and other countries attending the SPIEF, broader integration and collaboration. “I am here to extend a hand of cooperation and solidarity with the relationship and I am speaking very firmly on behalf of the entire Caribbean community – not just my country,” he highlighted.