The Federal government has postponed the planned Nigeria-Russia Business Forum following an attack on the country's embassy office in Moscow by some ex-Niger Delta militants.
This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Nigeria’s ambassador to Russia, Mr Assam Ekanem Assam.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the business forum was being organised to mark the 50 years of Nigeria-Russia relations.
The ex-militants are on a study programme in Russia under the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.
Assam, however, said that the ''unwarranted and deliberately planned acts by the students’’ had received very negative publicity in the Russian Federation.
He said that in the aftermath of the attack, ''any meaningful forum organised by the Nigeria mission in the country, would lack the required credibility.
''The embassy has in the circumstance decided to postpone the business investments forum to between Nov. 6 and Nov. 7, in order to enable us repair the damage done to the embassy.’’
The envoy regretted the inconveniences caused by the postponement and appealed for the understanding of those scheduled to attend the conference.
NAN recalls that on Sept. 30, 21 students protesting the alleged non-payment of their allowances invaded the Nigerian embassy at 5 Mamonovsky Pereulok in Moscow.
According to the ambassador, the students destroyed furniture items and communication equipment at the embassy.
Assam said that the ex-militants also damaged a 17th-century artefact donated to the embassy by the Federal Ministry of Culture.
The ambassador had told NAN on Wednesday that the affected students, who were initially detained by the Russian police, were subsequently released.
The ambassador said he had recommended the repatriation of the ex-militants who were involved in the attack.
Meanwhile, the Amnesty Office had on Wednesday in Abuja ordered the withdrawal of six students involved in the attack. (NAN)
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