MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and Russia’s Council for the Hajj have signed an agreement assuring a quota of 20,500 positions for Russian citizens for this year’s hajj but the actual number of hajjis may increase, Rushan Abbyasov, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Russian Muftis told TASS on Monday.
"Our delegation is in Saudi Arabia at present and the information I received just yesterday suggests that the agreement specifies 20,500 places for us at this moment," he said. "Our colleagues are discussing the technicalities right now and are meeting with officials from the agencies engaged in preparations for the hajj."
The possibility of increasing the quota by 4,500 places will be considered closer to the beginning of the hajj that is to be performed from Sunday, August 19 through Friday, August 24 this year.
"Our delegation asked for a quota of 25,000 places and we’ll discuss the issue of an extra quota once again closer to the beginning of the annual pilgrimage," Abbyasov said.
He recalled that the situation in 2017 was much the same. At first, Russia received a quota for 20,500 places last year, but it increased by another 3,000 places later on.
"Considering the steps that Saudi Arabia is taking to expand all the major sites related to the Hajj, I hope they will satisfy our request for an additional quota," Abbyasov said.