Grenoble and Nizhni Novgorod are to become twin towns. Gennady Balandin and Jean-Jacques Gleizal, the deputy mayors of the respective cities, took this decision at a Friday meeting. According to M. Gleizal, the French side believes this to be an important move in developing partnership ties with this major Russian industrial centre, which is also one of the oldest cities in central Russia. Moreover, the deputy mayor said that Grenoble and Nizhni Novgorod were also both twinned with the German city of Essen, so it would be interesting to organise triangular relations. According to him, Nizhni Novgorod and Grenoble are already cooperating in the tourism and education spheres and plan to establish ties in the economic field. The agreement confirming Nizhni Novgorod and Grenoble as twin towns is scheduled to be signed in September.