'We are as interested in 'Peter's creation' as we were two hundred years ago,' announced US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow at a meeting with US Consul in St. Petersburg Morris Hughes yesterday. As Mr Hughes told journalists at the international press centre 300 Years of Saint Petersburg afterwards, the US ambassador believes that the 300th anniversary is an event that will be celebrated not only in Russia but the whole world over. 'This is because of the outstanding role that this unique city has played in history. The USA are proud of their close relations with Russia and with St. Petersburg and the American people will celebrate the city's anniversary in various ways,' Mr Vershbow said.
The US ambassador said that the US government will sponsor various events and some events will be sponsored by US and Russian companies. For example, the US Department of State has taken part in organising an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Joseph Brodsky. It will open on April 11 in the Anna Akhmatova museum. There will also be a premiere of a joint US-Russian musical based on The Captain's Daughter as well as other events.
Mr Vershbow mentioned that significant celebratory events would take place in the US: in Florida, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Michigan, Atlanta and other places. 'This demonstrates the prestige of St. Petersburg in America and underlines the city's contribution to world culture,' said Mr Vershbow.
Mr Vershbow believes that Americans and residents of St. Petersburg have a lot in common. 'Our countries are joined by common interests and friendship,' he said. A visit by the US president during the celebrations and a meeting with the Russian president is a 'symbol of this closeness.' Finally he said that 'from coast to coast, from continent to continent, the American people wish St. Petersburg a successful anniversary.'
In 2011, Russia signed a 1.2 billion-euro contract with France for the construction of two Mistral-type vessels