Humanitarian cooperation in culture, education and youth exchanges is an important aspect of Russian-German relations.
The near-term plans include organizing the Year of Russian culture in Germany in 2003 and the Year of German culture in Russia in 2004, the Russian foreign ministry's spokesman Boris Malakhov reported.
Apart from this, the plans include Russia's participation in the largest international book fair in Frankfurt-am-Main, the joint exhibition "Moscow-Berlin: 1945-1999", and Germany's participation in celebrations of St.Petersburg's 300th anniversary.
In May this year Moscow and Berlin hosted the final stage of the first joint Olympiad of the Russian and German languages and the youth forum "Together into the 21st century" that coincided with the Olympiad. The event is expected to become regular, according to Malakhov.
Contacts between public organizations of the two countries are also expanding, first of all, within the framework of the Russian-German public forum "The Petersburg Dialog", he pointed out.
The official visit of German president Johannes Rau to Moscow, scheduled for September 2-5, will coincide with the traditional "Potsdam meetings" of Russian and German cultural workers under his patronage, Malakhov added.