The Russian Information Centre here on Sunday dismissed media reports which claimed that India and Goa have been 'struck off' from the list of 'safe' travel destinations recommended for Russian citizens, saying its earlier statement was "misconstrued".
Issuing a clarification this evening, the Russian Information Centre (RIC) head Ekaterina Belyakova stated that "First Deputy Speaker of Parliament of the Russian Federation, Ivan Melnikov offered to convene a 'roundtable' to make proposals to improve the availability of new, safe tourist destinations for Russians such as Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China.
"Our statement did not have any information regarding removal of India from the list of 'safe' countries or including India in the list of 'unsafe' countries as was mentioned in several reports and headlines published in Indian media".
"The name of India and Goa may have not come up often during the discussion but that does not mean that Goa or India has been declared unsafe. The focus was to show that prospective avenues will open if Goa becomes an alternative destination instead of Egypt and Turkey," Belyakova told PTI.
The reports had quoted Belyakova as saying that "both India and Goa were not considered as good destinations for Russian travellers".
According to reports, which quoted the RIC's statement, a revised travel advisory has been formulated after the black-listing of Turkey and Egypt.
The reports quoted a Russian news agency to claim that "Unfortunately, both India and Goa, were not discussed as a promising direction for Russian travellers".
They claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had cancelled all flights heading towards Egypt after the explosion of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai peninsula.
The purported decision of Russia was considered as a major blow to Goa as most of its foreign tourists comprise Russians.