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WOLFSBURG, July 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The main goal of the St. Petersburg Dialog is to maintain permanent contact between civil societies of Russia and German and to discuss topical problems, which concern both countries and the world at large, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said on Sunday before the opening ceremony of the 11th plenary meeting of the public forum.
Zubkov is the Russian cochair of the St. Petersburg Dialog and the head of the Russian delegation to the meeting in Wolfsburg.
“We want to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding, which will lay down a solid basis for bilateral relations of the next decades or, even better, the next centuries,” he said.
“The sides have made impressive progress in the strengthening of trust and mutual understanding. It is unnecessary to mention the constantly growing trade between Russia and Germany, which has topped $50 billion. We have learned to hear each other much better and to hold a detailed dialog. Now we need to spread this atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding of the St. Petersburg Dialog to the entire range of the relations between the two countries, peoples and cultures,” he said.
The St. Petersburg Dialog coordinates modernization partnership projects, Zubkov said. “This is a very important initiative, because all countries need modernization and it is much easier to achieve these goals with joint efforts,” he said. “The St. Petersburg Dialog assumed the mission because the modernization partnership embraces various spheres, from law to logistics, from high technologies to civil society institutes. The coordinating body must have the necessary expertise,” he said.
“Our forum, which provides constant contact between political elites, business, mass media, non-profit organizations, educational and cultural establishments, can perform this role the best. We can already boast of the first results,” Zubkov said.
“The forum program includes the item of partnership modernization. Apart from holding meetings at eight working groups, there will be three panel discussions dedicated to modernization, from nature conservancy to integration of migrants. The latter is particularly topical for Russia,” Zubkov said.