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International conference devoted to cooperation between Russian Federation, European Union and Norway takes place in Petrozavodsk

90th annversary of the Republic of Karelia

International Conference Cross-Border Cooperation: Russian Federation, European Union and Norway. Focus - the Republic of Karelia timed to coincide with celebratuion of the 90th anniversary of Karelia opened in Petrozavodsk on June 4.

Ilya Klebanov and Pavel Chernov on the panel of the conference

Ilya Klebanov and Pavel Chernov on the panel of the conference

The Conference is organized by the Government of the RK and the Non-for-profit partnership Cooperation center on Generation and Implementation and realization of interregional, cross-border and international programs. The Conference is arranged with the support of the Administration of the Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-West Federal District.

In the plenary session on Current state and future development of cross-border cooperation in the north of Europe held on June 4 in the conference hall of Karelia tourist complex participated Ilya Klebanov, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation to the North-West Federal District, Galina Izotova, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on Federal Affairs and Regional Policies, Chairman of the non-for-profit organization "Institute of Regions", Pavel Chernov, Prime Minister of the Government of Karelia, Caj Söderlund, representative of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Anneli Puura - Märkälä, Ambassador, Chief of Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Co-chairman of Karelian-Finnish Group on contiguous regions cooperation and others.

Mikhail Yurinov deliveres his speech

Mikhail Yurinov deliveres his speech

The Conference has caused great interest among representatives of political and business public in Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Latvia. Over 150 delegates have confirmed their participation. Among them there are leading Russian and international experts, representatives of bodies of the government and regional administrations of Russia and neighbouring states, institutes of the European Union, international and non-profit organizations, scientific community and business.

In the beginning of conference First Assistant to the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Karelia Alexander Kolesov has read a message of greetings from the Head of Karelia Sergey Katanandov. A message of greetings was also sent by Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia. In his welcoming address Head of Karelia has pointed out that cross-border cooperation in the North of Europe is geting more and more important in recent years. The reason for that is growing needs for development of foreign economic relations, as well as new realities in the sphere of everyday people's contacts. It is important that in such cooperation the basic part is assigned to regional and local authorities on both sides of the border. The decision to hold this conference in Petrozavodsk testifies to recognition of the contribution of our republic to development of such cooperation. There is no coincidence, that in the title of the conference has an addition Focus - the Republic of Karelia.

Plenary session of the international conference

Plenary session of the international conference

One of the central issues of the plenary session was discussion of the project of the federal law concerning the bases of cross-border cooperation in the Russian Federation currently considered in the State Duma. The State Duma deputy Galina Izotova who was taking part in development of the bill has told that it will allow to define tasks, principles and limits of cross-border cooperation, to adjust it, to confirm the mechanism of conclusion of agreements of cross-border cooperation legislatively so that international activity of regions and municipalities would correspond to the foreign policy pursued in Russia. Galina Izotova has called all participants of the conference to offer their suggestions to the bill.

Ilya Klebanov in his statement has also supported necessity to pass the law on the fundamentals of cross-border cooperation at the level of Russia: "For many frontier regions and municipalities there are no other chances, except for support of development of their opportunities concerning cross-border cooperation on the regional and federal level. People will simply have nothing to do if we do not help them to develop mutual cross-border relations. Today there remain many restrictions on behalf of federal structures and law enforcement bodies which this law should remove." Ilya Klebanov has also congratulated all the citizens of Karelia on the 90th anniversary of republic.

Minister of Economic Development of Karelia Mikhail Yurinov in his speech has told about priorities of cross-border cooperation of Karelia. Since the cross-border cooperation between Russia and Finland was launched, in territory of Karelia it has been implemented about 440 projects amounting to about €35 million of Finnish budgetary financing. The most significant investment projects were construction of sewage disposal plants in Lahdenpohja and Sortavala, creation and service support of engine centers in enterprises of Karelia, development and reform of medical and social service in the Republic of Karelia. In view of financing in the line of the European Union there have been constructed the Suoperä international customs station, the visit-center of Paanajärvi national park, there has been equipped the visit-center of Vodlozersky park and five information tourist centers, the e-Karelia project was implemented. At participation of the Finnish capital there have been built such large enterprises of Karelia as Setles saw-mill in Impilahti and Karhakos, enterprise producing electronic products in Kostomuksha, the high-speed fiber-optical communication line across the border near Kostomuksha has been laid.

Within the two days of work of the conference a number of round-table meetings will take place. Subjects for discussion there will be the role of the international financial institutions in realization of cross-border cooperation projects, potential of international investment participation in projects of creation transport and logisti infrastructure of cross-border territories, a role of small and medium enterprises in realization of cross-border programs, etc.

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Created: June 4, 2010. Last updated: June 4, 2010.
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