The regular, sixth Petersburg Economic Forum will be held in St. Petersburg from June 18 to 22. The Forum is organised by the Federation Council of the Russian Federation and by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States member states. The main purpose of the Forum is to strengthen economic relations in postSoviet space. The problems of development of the integration processes inside the CIS at the interstate and regional levels are discussed in the course of its work. The questions of ensuring an inflow of foreign investments into the economy of the CIS countries and of interaction with international financial organisations are also raised, and concrete projects in different fields of economic cooperation are considered.
For the first time the Forum was held in June 1997. The second Forum (June 1998) received the status of an annual event. More than 1,500 investment projects were discussed and about 2,000 contracts were concluded in the course of the work of the third economic Forum (June 1999).
The questions of Russia's military-technical cooperation with the CIS and non-CIS countries were included in the agenda for the first ever time at the fourth Forum (June 2000). Such large projects as construction of ports in the Gulf of Finland and of the Baltic Pipeline System (BTS) were also considered.
The fifth Forum (June 2001), held under the motto 21st Century: Innovation Development for the Benefit of Mankind, focused on such problems as the priorities and mechanisms of the innovation policy, improvement of the quality of life in the CIS countries and development of the human potential, use of new information technologies in financial business, and possibilities to create single information space on the CIS territory. The questions of interregional and border cooperation, improvement of the state policy in the field of utilization of the mineral wealth, and implementation of the Strategy of the Development of the Russian Federation up-till 2010 were also touched upon.
All in all, more than 3,500 investment projects were submitted at the five past forums, and different exhibitions, subject Round Table meetings, etc. were held. The representatives of more than fifty states and thirty international organisations, among them the UN, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, participated in their work.
At the sixth Petersburg Economic Forum it is supposed to discuss the problems of reforming the economies of the CIS countries, entry of Russia into the WTO, and development of the fuel-energy and mineral-raw-material complexes and other sectors of the economy.
In recent years, genetics has become a cutting-edge science, not only in the professional field of biology, but also because of the enormous social reach of its discoveries and approaches. Not in vain, practically every day the press offers us the discovery of a new gene, a new hereditary determinant directly involved in the manifestation of diseases or physical characteristics.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign