Great Britain participates in celebration of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary

Great Britain will take an active part in the celebration of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary, Russian Ambassador to London Grigori Karasin stated in an interview with Britain and Russian journalists.

He pointed out that "the British liked St. Petersburg and considered it one of the most popular and attractive places in the world". As early as in 2001 the Russian and British Embassies set up an interdepartmental committee to develop a big and saturated programme of Britain's participation in the celebration.

Russia has already hosted a Week of British Science and Festival of New British Cinema within the framework of the anniversary and is yet to host concerts of the Royal Ballet Troupe. In summer St. Petersburg will also see a Week of Manchester, St. Petersburg's sister city, and Days of Scotland.

Different events related to St. Petersburg are also being held in Great Britain. They include concerts of the Mariinsky Theatre ballet stars, a conference on the Russian contemporary art in the London Tate Gallery. The festival of Russian culture, "Russian nights", was recently opened in London and the middle of June will see the opening of an exhibition of old photos of St. Petersburg.

The BBC TV Channel also devoted a series of programmes on Russian history and culture to St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary.

According to the Russian Ambassador, members of the Royal Family will also take an active part in the celebrations. In July Crown Prince Charles intends to visit St. Petersburg. Prince Michael of Kent is currently participating in the charity rally Yekaterinburg - St. Petersburg.

"St. Petersburg's anniversary fell on the year of special significance for our bilateral relations," the Ambassador stated. In June Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to Great Britain, which will be the first Russian visit to Great Britain of such level since 1844.

Moreover, this year Russia and Britain celebrate 450th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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