In a contest of European countries' provinces, which was held in Barcelona this year, Karelia in North-Western Russia became the 2003 winner, Valeri Shlyamin, Karelia's Minister for External Relations, said on Tuesday.
The right to be called the 2003 European Region was vied for by representatives of virtually every country in Europe. The contest is held annually but a Russian republic has won it for the first time. The decisive factors were the socio-political and economic setup, cultural life and an outlook for development.
Shlyamin said the government of Karelia and the international jury would sign a treaty envisaging propaganda of Karelia's experience in all spheres of life in European countries.
Victory in this prestigious contest will help Karelia find new trade and economic partners, attract investments within the framework of international projects, said the minister.