Three new co-operation programmes were presented to interested potential partners at the conference in St Petersburg: an environmental co-operation programme, a health co-operation programme, and a public programme for partners from any area of mutual Nordic-Russian interest. These new programmes are a continuation of earlier co-operation with Northwest Russia.
In summing up the day, Chief of Staff at the Nordic Council of Ministers Kenneth Broman said: “I’m very pleased with the discussions and meetings that took place at the conference, and I eagerly anticipate their outcomes.”
“Co-operation benefits all parties”
This year’s chair of the Nordic Committee for Co-operation, Kari Kahiluoto, said that the Nordic Council of Ministers recognises the value in and the importance of maintaining such exchanges and networking.
“Despite a challenging political situation and practical challenges in terms of implementing the programmes, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation are convinced that cross-border networking and co-operation benefit all parties and contribute to prosperity by working for closer relations.”
The projects we were part of inspired us to proceed with further measures and activities. These have given rise to new relationships here in the corner of northern Europe that we share, and contributed to sustainable development and establishing new partnerships.
Representatives from a number of co-operation projects were also in attendance at the conference, including representatives from the Leontief Centre in St Petersburg – an institute for research on social and economic issues. Institute Director Irina Karelina praised the Nordic Council of Ministers as a long-standing and reliable partner for organisations in Northwest Russia.
“Looking back at past results, they were all tangible, and they all contributed to strengthening regional co-operation. The projects we were part of inspired us to proceed with further measures and activities. These have given rise to new relationships here in the corner of northern Europe that we share, and contributed to sustainable development and establishing new partnerships,” Irina said.
Co-operation is gaining momentum
The Nordic Council of Ministers has budgeted DKK 6 million in 2016 for each of the three new co-operation programmes.
Thanks to these new programmes, co-operation with Northwest Russia is entering a new phase. Co-operation has been on the backburner since the Russian Ministry of Justice decided to change the status of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in Russia to “foreign agents” in January 2015.