May 23 is the opening day of a ten-day celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, a city that was the capital of the Russian Empire for two centuries before becoming the unofficial "second capital" of the Russian Federation.
The first event on the program is a conference of partner cities of the Northern Capital, another metaphorical name of St. Petersburg's, entitled "Preservation of Cultural and Historical Heritage of Cities." The forum has gathered delegations from more than 50 cities, including Helsinki, Manchester, Hamburg, Gdansk, Tallinn, Riga, Klaipeda, Sevastopol, and Tashkent. Results of the conference will be summed up in a document called the St. Petersburg Declaration on Preservation of Cultural and Historical Heritage of Cities.
Simultaneously, about 300 scientists, cultural workers and artists gather at the Russian Ethnographic Museum launches for a World Congress under the motto: "St. Petersburg Is the World's Capital of Culture".
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE