GUATEMALA, March 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to discuss with Guatemala's President Otto Perez and Foreign Minister Carlos Morales the prospects of boosting bilateral trade and cooperation in disaster relief during his visit to Guatemala on Thursday.
Lavrov is expected to attend the meeting of heads of diplomatic agencies of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which brings together Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador.
An informed source told TASS that Russia could be honored with a non-region observer status in the economic and political organization of the Central American states.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says that Lavrov’s visit will focus on expanding trade with Guatemala as figures "are still below potential." Last year, the bilateral trade reached $73.5 million. Both Moscow and Guatemala hope to increase this figure.
A director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin American department, Alexander Schetinin, told TASS that as part of the ministerial meeting in Guatemala Russia and the SICA countries will coordinate "their common vision and the areas of multilateral cooperation."
The diplomat said there are areas in the region where "great results" can be achieved if the efforts are united. These areas include trade and economic, investment cooperation and innovation technologies.
The Russian delegation is also expected to hold another "brief but very emotional meeting," he said.
In Guatemala, there is an Orthodox Monastery of the Holy and Life-Giving Trinity, Lavra of Mambre. The abbess of the monastery is Mother Ines Ayau is carrying out an active effort on promoting the Russian language. Lavrov will give the monastery an icon of Saint George, who is very much honored in Guatemala.