'Russia's presidency of the Baltic States Council was very successful', said Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen at a press conference yesterday. According to him, Finland, which will hold presidency of the Baltic States Council next year, will take into consideration Russia's experience and pay special attention to the expansion of the EU. 'We consider this a great possibility, despite the various problems, including those affecting Kaliningrad', remarked Lipponen. He also said that all the participants of today's summit in the context of the Baltic States Council declared their commitment to resolving these problems. The Prime Minister of Finland underlined the importance of carrying out the Northern Dimension programme, and remarked that in the future this programme will become 'even more relevant and important'.
Lipponen expressed his hope that the existing successful relationship and cooperation in ecological work can be put to use in other directions. In particular, it's essential to pay special attention to power circuits, border crossing points and collaboration in information technology. He went on to say that it's with pleasure that he takes the baton passed on by Russia.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre