Forum of Public Organisations of Baltic Sea Countries to Open in St. Petersburg Today

Today, in St. Petersburg, a three-day-long forum of non-governmental organisations of the Baltic Sea countries will begin. Expected to attend are about 300 from 8 Baltic countries. According to Markku Kiarkkiainen, the Organising Secretary of the Finland-Russia Society, the Finnish delegation of 50 will be the most numerous. Mr. Kiarkkiainen said it was very pleasing that along with the delegations from Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, there would be those from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Discussed will be environmental protection problems faced by the Baltic region, relations between non-governmental organisations and governments and between entrepreneurs and mass media, human rights, and cooperation in the areas of social security and health maintenance. The forum traditionally convenes in the country, which, for the moment, presides in the Council of the Baltic Sea Countries. Russian Chairman will be replaced by a Finnish one in June this year. According to the tradition, the next such forum will be held in Turku, a sister city of St. Petersburg's, the former capital city of Finland.

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