Iceland's president to visit Novgorod on April 24

Iceland's president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson who has arrived in Russia with the first official visit in the history of Russian-Icelandic relations, will visit Veliky Novgorod, an ancient Russian city in the north-west, on April 24, said the press service of the Novgorod region administration to RIA Novosti. The Icelandic president will meet the Novgorod region governor Mikhail Prusak and deliver a speech on "The Inheritance of Vikings" for teachers of the Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise, a Russian prince. Then an agreement on cooperation between the Novgorod University and the University of Akureyri will be signed. Mr. Grimsson will visit an archeological exhibition of the Novgorod State museum, the Sophia cathedral, built in 1045-1050, and the monument devoted to Russia's 1000th anniversary. During this visit the president will be accompanied by his wife, Dorrit Moussaieff, who will also have a special program. In particular, she will visit the Novgorod museum of fine arts. This visit is connected with a session of the non-governmental organization Nordic Research Forum that will be held in Novgorod on September 18-22, as Mr. Grimsson is one of the Forum's founders, said a spokesman at the region administration. The Forum will be devoted to demographic, ecological and other problems of North-European countries. Special attention will be paid to the problems of the native peoples of these countries and to the research of Vikings' history. Diplomats, state officials and scientists from Russia, Finland, USA, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden and Latvia will take part in its session.

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