On Monday, Lyudmila Putin and Doris Schroeder-Kopf, respective spouses of the Russian president and German federal chancellor, met children and young people taking part in the Russo-German youth forum, Together In the 21st Century, underway in Moscow. The meeting took place in Moscow's posh hotel Radisson-Slavyanskaya. Prior to the meeting, Mrs Putin visited a photo exhibition telling about milestone events in the history of the two countries' relations. The ladies met the children who had won national Russian and German language Olympiads. School and university students aged from 15 to 26 were busy, Monday, writing stories, making drawings and collages for the contests - the 21st Century Is Our Century and The Garden of Hopes and Wishes. The children were describing a futuristic Europe they see and what they wish their nations. Mrs Putin took a careful study of a saturated programme of the forum, which included numerous contests and cultural events, particularly a Moskva-River voyage and a discotheque. Mrs Schroeder-Kopf told reporters that the Putins' command of German was so good that they might well win a German language Olympiad. At the end of the meeting, Russian and German children performed a fragment of Bethoveen's 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy, which was their present to the first ladies. In farewell remarks Lyudmila Putin expressed hope that the Moscow forum would promote youth exchanges between Russia and Europe. Together In the XXI Century forum will last into May 15. It was arranged by the Centre for Promotion of the Russian Language and Germany's German-Russian Forum fund.
The difference between the West and the two mighty allies in the East - Russia and China - is enormous. In fact, it is not a difference, but an outright contrast