International and inter-regional cooperation
International relations and development of the customs and border infrastructure
In the Annual President's Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation the task was set to make Russia's border regions a supporting basis for development of Russia's cooperation with the neighbouring countries. Successful solution of these tasks will increase the role and value of Karelia in cross-border cooperation between Russia and Finland and in the North of Europe as a whole, will allow to take advantage from close to the border location of the region to the full. Priority tasks of the Government of the Republic of Karelia in the sphere of international relations are involvement of additional resources for further social and economic development, perfection of the boder and customs infrastructure, promotion of transit corridor projects, support of the image and investment prospects of the republic.
In 2010 cooperation between Karelia and its traditional partners in the North of Europe - administrative districts of North and East Finland, within the scope of Karelia euroregion - with Finnish regional unions of Oulu, Kajnuu and North Carelia, and also with provinces of Västerbotten (Sweden), Troms (Norway), within the framework of the Barents Regional Council and in the line of the Nordic Council of Ministers continued to develop successfully. Cooperation was conducted in the line of almost all executive bodies of the Republic of Karelia, especially active it was in spheres of economy, agriculture, employment, ecology, tourism, road construction, in the field of culture, education, public health and social protection. In 2010 implementation of 108 international noncommercial projects was conducted in territory of the republic with €3,5 million of total volume of external financing.
It has been started implementation of the new regional program of cross-border cooperation of Russia and ЕС1 Karelia with €23,2 of financing from the EU, and €11,6 million from budgets of Russia and Finland apiece. A Russian-Finnish working group for infrastructural projects at participation of representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia, Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland, as well as the governmental working group on initiation and implementation of large infrastructural projects within the program have been formed, their list has been approved.
Within the scope of Russian-Finnish cross-border cooperation in 2010 it has been implemented 21 projects with €1,62 million of co-financing from the budget of Finland, as well as 8 projects jointly with other regions of the Northwest Federal District with involvement of €1,78 million and 7 projects in the line of federal executive bodies authorities.
Together with the Administration of the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Northwest Federal District in Petrozavodsk it has been organized and held a Cross-Border Cooperation: Russian Federation, European Union and Norway. Focus on the Republic of Kareli international conference involving 170 representatives of Russian and foreign executive bodies, diplomatic representations, nongovernmental organizations. Visit of the Finnish delegation led by Minister of Foreign Trade and Development of Finland of P.Väayrynen to the Republic of Karelia took place on September 7-8, 2010. Negotiations of the Government of the Republic of Karelia with the Agency of the Government of Northern Finland were held, the Memorandum of cooperation for 2010-2011 continuing long-term cooperation with the Provincial Government of Oulu was signed.
In 2010 in territory of the Republic of Karelia it has been implementated 8 Barents projects with €187,000 of total volume of external co-financing, 11 projects in the line of the Nordic Council of Ministers amounting to €220,000, 5 cooperation projects with the USA amounting to €33,500 was conducted, 17 NEFCO projects amounting to €717,500 (grants) and €592,500 (lax credits), Swedish-Karelian Informational Business Center project (Sweden) amounting to €65,000 continued, as well as 25 projects in the line of other directions amounting to €452,500.
The Protocol of cooperation with the province of Troms (Norway) in 2010-2012 was signed, cooperation with the province of Västerbotten (Sweden) in 2008-2009 was summed up.
In 2010 international cooperation continued in economy and social sphere. The Ministry of Construction of the Republic of Karelia and the Savo-Karjala Road District (Finland) have held a number of meetings concerning preparation of substantiation reports on investment into development of Ihala-Raivo-state border highway. Exchange of experience on various aspects of organization and technologies of construction and maintenance of rads was carried out within the framework of the Program of cooperation with Tennessee Department of Transportation (USA).
Cooperation in the sphere of tourism which included development of systems of vocational training and regulation of tourist activity, scientific and personnel support, development of new Karelian tourist products and their advertising and promotion, formation of a uniform information tourist space and creation of a network of information tourist centers in cities and rural settlements of the republic was carried out.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Republic of Karelia together with Finnish partners trained unemployed citizens, including in the sphere of tourism and national arts and crafts, promoted summer seasonal employment for youth, exchanged experience of small business development. Opening A consulting center that will promote mobility of labour power and students within the frontier territories opened in Petrozavodsk.
Geography of cooperation in the sphere of culture is not bounded by Nordic countries, though Finland remains on the top place. In the accounting year there have been held such events as the International workshop conference Wooden Architecture as a Phenomenon of National Culture, tours of ballet of the Musical theatre of the Republic of Karelia to Mo-i-Rana (Norway), tours of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Karelian State Philarmonic Society and the Puppet Theatre of the Republic of Karelia to Finland, The Cavalcade of Arts international project, the Ist Russian-Norwegian cultural forum Russia-Norway - Uniform Cultural Space, the XIth Russian-Finnish cultural forum, International conference Museum in the Modern World. Art Heritage of Karelia and Innovative Processes in Development of Culture and Art, The Cultural Tourism Corridor project.
Cooperation in the field of education and science also developed successfully. Educational institutions of the republic together with University of Oulu carried out Karelian-Finnish project Safe School. Joint expert seminars and a conference of 12 'pilot' schools of the republic concerning design of models and complex researches were held.
Cooperation with UNICEF's global Child Friendly Cities initiative (Karelia for a Child project) concerning creation of model of childhood protection in Karelia proceeded. A system of Child Rights Ombudmen in 109 educational institutions of the republic was established. Children's public legal chamber continued its operations. A joint Russian-Finnish project Development of Entrepreneurial Culture in Education for 2010-2012 has been launched.
Ministry of Education of the RK together with the department of education of East Finland and the department of social security and public health of North Finland has held joint seminars and conferences on network cooperation of educational institutions, including children's homes.
Petrozavodsk State University which participates in many international programs, in Bologna process, in export of educational services has attained a great success. Joint programs are created, scientific research agreements are fulfilled, students and experts are trained, software is developed jointly with famous Finnish companies.
In 2010 institutes of Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences participated in implementation of 32 international projects with scientists from 17 countries. Subjects of joint researches include studying of social and economic processes and their monitoring in Karelia, strategic planning, silvics and forestry, mineral resources and geology, regional marketing and business consulting development, electronic resources, development of conservation areas, preservation of biodiversity and ecology, archeology. The share of applied international research, including related to scientific maintenance and support of projects and programs focused on solution of tasks of long-term development of the republic keeps growing.
As well as in previous years, cooperation with partners from Finland, Sweden and Norway in the field of agriculture, public health and social protection, social work with children, national cultures, sports and youth policy, in the sphere of crime-fighting and execution developed fruitfully.
The importance of development of the order and customs infrastructure and transit corridors in the Republic of Karelia is provided by its location close to the border, export orientation of economy, a great potential of development of transit, international and cross-border cooperation.
As a result of the work conducted by the Government of the Republic of Karelia with the Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border of the Russian Federation, the draft Federal Target Program Border of the Russian Federation (2012-2017) includes reconstruction of international railway customs stations Wärtsilä and Lyttä, international aerial customs station Petrozavodsk (Besovets airport), arrangement of international automobile customs stations Wärtsilä and Lyttä, establishment and construction of international automobile customs station Syväoro.
Coordination councils of international customs stations in territory of the republic with participation of official representatives of the Government of the Republic of Karelia have been formed and worked according to the schedule.
Three international automobile customs stations were transferred under the authority of the Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border of the Russian Federation. Information was received from the Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border of the Russian Federation and the State Border Commission concerning transfer of the property of simplified customs stations Syväoro and Inari to the federal state possession.
Participation of the republic in the project of development of the adjacent highway system within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument program Southeast Finland - Russia was provided.
In 2010 through simplified customs stations at the support of the Government of the Republic of Karelia implementation of 123 foreign trade contracts of 34 Karelian participants of foreign trade activities was conducted.