The Bashkir government /the Volga federal district/ and "Open Society. Assistance Foundation" signed Wednesday a cooperation agreement in Ufa. The signatories to the document were President of the Russian branch of the Foundation Yekaterina Geniyeva and Bashkir prime minister Rafael Baidavletov. As was noted at the signing ceremony, the agreement opens a wide scope for further cooperation between the Foundation and the Bashkir republic in the areas of culture, education, and healthcare. The institute "Open Society" of the Soros Foundation has been operating in Russia for 15 years and has provided over 650 million dollars in support for humanitarian projects, Yekaterina Geniyeva said. Since 1997, the Foundation has been actively working in Bashkiria. Within the first project, the Foundation opened an Internet centre in the Bashkir State University. Further, it took off the ground the mega-project "Pushkin's Library". Bashkir libraries are among the participants in the special program "Rural Library". One hundred rural libraries of the republic have already received free sets of 60 books, 300 libraries-sets of 113 books for three times less than their original price. Their participation in the mega-project will bring them some 800,000 magazines, books, video films, and CDs to the value of over 55 million roubles.