The Kremlin notes that Russian-German relations are on the rise.
The intensive contacts of Russian president Vladimir Putin and FRG Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder have "a stimulating effect on interaction with the FRG at all levels," a source in the Kremlin administration noted on the threshold of the Russian-German interstate consultations which are beginning in Yekaterinburg, a large industrial and administrative center of the Ural region, today.
The leaders of the two countries have already met six times in different formats this year.
The interstate consultations have been held every year from 1998 alternately in Russia and Germany with the participation of the sides' key Ministers. The Ministers of the economic bloc, of Foreign Affairs, of the Interior, and of Education, and the heads of the secret services are participating in the consultations this year, the agency's interlocutor noted.
"Russian-German many-sided relations are on the rise, progress is characteristic of most of directions of bilateral cooperation," he noted.
Cooperation of profile departments is of a stable and, on the whole, productive character, the Kremlin officials believe. Furthermore, "the high rhythm of Russian-German inter-parliamentary links is preserved, and interregional relations have been intensively developing," the agency's interlocutor said.
In his estimate, cooperation with the FRG in the cultural-humanitarian sphere has been developing positively. The Year of Russia's Culture - the first stage of the action Russian-German Cultural Meetings in the Years of 2003-2004 which is unprecedented in its scale and range of regions - is being held with great success in 2003.
The large historical-art exhibition Moscow-Berlin. Berlin-Moscow. The Years of 1950-2000, which opened in Berlin on September 27, and the participation of Russia as the main partner country in the international Frankfurt book fair figure among the significant current and upcoming events of "the cultural meetings." The program of presentation of German culture in Russia in 2004 is being discussed and agreed upon, the Kremlin administration staffer said.
Besides that, according to him, "preparation of an intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Study of the Russian Language in the FRG and of the German Language in Russia is under way." As the agency's interlocutor said, in the course of the Yekaterinburg talks it is planned to pay serious attention to intensifying the Russian-German young people's exchanges. The Kremlin holds the view that the Russian-German conference which will take place in Yekaterinburg during the summit and which will be held for the first time under the aegis of the Petersburg Dialogue public summit is called upon to play an important role here.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18