Russia’s national infatuation for the EXPO-2010 international exhibition, which might be held in Moscow
Those who haven’t seen the capital of Russia, Moscow, for a rather long period already, are extremely surprised to see it today. Moscow has swiftly and radically changed its exterior and internal image for the past five tosix years. Modern banks, business-centers, oil companies, and representative offices of foreign companies are springing up like mushrooms here and there in Moscow. In fact, Moscow today is a rare pearl among the slightly changed European and Asian capitals. Witnesses say that similar changes can be currently observed in Berlin as well, but they are certainly on a narrower scale. Not without reason do foreign businessmen say that it’s not only possible, but also very pleasant, to conduct business in Moscow, and when business is over, it’s even possible to relax in a European manner here. These are probably the reasons why Russia so strongly desires to host the International Universal Exhibition EXPO-2010. It’s high time to tell the whole of the world that the times of “the iron curtain” and the sullen isolationism are over; Russia is ready to open up to the world.
The other day, Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Avdeyev was persuading the European community of these facts. He spoke at a press-conference in Paris and assured European journalists that Russia is ready to provide high-class hosting to the International Universal Exhibition EXPO-2010. There are many factors in Russia’s favor, especially the topic declared by Russia: “Resources, technologies, and ideas as a way to a united world." As far as the subject is universal, it allows any country participating in the exhibition to demonstrate its view of the pressing problem of mankind’s steady development. Russia’s geopolitical location, as it is connected with a “Euro-Asiatic bridge” with other countries, and a new place of a democratic Russia in the modern world, achieved by its own efforts as well, are among the country’s advantages.
The Russian diplomat says that over the whole 150-year-long history of the world exhibition (and Russia has always been an active participant), exhibition has have never held in Russia, which can be considered a historical injustice. At the same time, the diplomat admits that the organization of the international exhibition in Moscow would at the same time become “an international showcase of Russia’s achievements in all spheres of economy, science, and culture over the twenty years of its independent development, democratic reforms on the basis of observation of human rights, and the recognition of the priority of private property and values of the free market.”
Russian Vice-Premier Valentina Matvienko almost completely shares the opinion of Alexander Avdeyev concerning the organization of the international exhibition in Moscow. She adds that the very idea of the exhibition’s in Moscow is welcomed on a nation-wide scale in Russia. “If Russia hosts the international exhibition, the country could become a new instrument of global dialogue. It’s a wonderful opportunity to break the 20th century stereotypes and opinions about Russia.”
At that, the Russian government is paying special attention to the prospective participants of the international exhibition; a large program of privileges and preferences was developed especially for them. The government is going to appropriate 130 million dollars for this purpose, which would certainly allow more countries to participate in EXPO-2010.
Valentina Matvienko says that the organization of the international exhibition in Moscow, the most beautiful city of the world, and work of the exhibition for six months will become a world-scale event, especially since Russians plan to organize the exhibition from the highest level.
Besides Moscow, China’s Shanghai, Poland’s Wroclaw, Mexico’s Queretaro, and South Korea’s Yosu also seek to host the international exhibition. Delegates from the 89 member countries of the International Exhibition Bureau are to decide where the EXPO-2010 will be held at their 132nd session in Monaco.
Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2002/7/21/64/3619_.html