A Northern Dimension international forum devoted to information technology opened on Monday, November 11, in the Finnish town of Pori. The main thopic of the two-day forum is the development of an information-oriented society, including that of Russia. More than 300 people from 13 countries are taking part in the forum.
The leader of the Russian delegation, Deputy Minister for Communication and Information Boris Antoniuk, said that there is currently rapid growth in the development of information technology in Russia. This growth is particularly noticeable in the telecommunications sphere. Today Russia is one of only a few countries which allows documents to be certified by electronic signature. In this way, Mr Antoniuk pointed out, President Vladimir Putin is able to certify documents by electronic signature. The head of the Russian delegation said that the growth of infrastructure, the creation of information portals and internet education were the priorities for ensuring the development of an information-oriented society.
Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen said that the EU should try to cooperate more with Russian universities and research centres, especially after its expansion. 'We must increase the number of exchange students and researchers,' emphasised Mr Lipponen. He also said that international cooperation to create an information-oriented society was one of the fundamental issues for the Northern Dimension in Finland. This forum is already the third to be held in Finland this year. The previous forums were held in Kayani in June and in Ioensu in September and were devoted to cooperation in the arctic region and to cooperation in the social and health sphere respectively. Next year Finland intends to hold at least two more international forums devoted to the Northern Dimension programme.
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