MOSCOW, December 03, 3:22 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday is expected to chair a session of the Council of Governors of Russia’s Constituent Territories at the Foreign Ministry. It will be devoted to the current status of and prospects for cooperation between Russia and the European Union.
A spokesman for the ministry said the session with bring together the heads of a number of regions, senior officials from the Kremlin Administration, and federal agencies of executive power.
Russia and the EU have several programs of cross-border cooperation at present. Experts say they help the regions and territories on both sides of the border to tighten collaboration in the spheres of mutual interest.
The programs concern, for instance, a consolidation of social and economic cooperation, environmental protection, and the maintenance of border security. Also, they provide for direct contacts between and joint actions by professionals in education and culture and civic society activists.
Engagement in the joint programs helps the regions adjoining the border between Russia and EU member-states overcome common obstacles.
The council had the previous session at the end of April when it discussed the prospects for development of international trade relations between the regions located in Siberia and the Far-East of Russia and the countries of the Asia Pacific area.
The Foreign Ministry set up the Council in 2003. Its objective is to assist various regions of the country in the promotion of external ties and to give them a say in the drafting of foreign policy initiatives.