The second Congress of sister cities of Russia and Finland will be held on August 13th-16th, 2003, in Pskov (the administrative centre of a North-Western Russian region bordering on Estonia and Latvia).
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry Department of Information and Press, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov discussed issues related to the congress with Heikki Talvitie, Chairman of Finland-Russia Friendship Society and Merja Hannus, the society's Secretary General.
They also discussed preparation of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum to be held in Turku (Finland) on May 5th-8th. The Finland-Russia Society is actively involved in the organisation of these events.
Among other issues discussed at the meeting were the Society's contribution to arranging the events related to St. Petersburg 300th jubilee, popularisation of the Russian language and culture in Finland, fostering national and cultural identity of Russia's Finno-Ugric peoples, their participation in the international Finno-Ugric interaction.
Chizhov pointed to "an important contribution of the Finland-Russia Society and other NGO's to deepening the neighbourly relations of Russia and Finland and to the role of everyday contacts of the two countries' citizens."