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AMSTERDAM, December 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The bilateral year of Russia and the Netherlands was very successful. However, the most important result is that it has made an important base for the future, it has offered many ideas how to develop further bilateral relations, Russia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Roman Kolodkin said in an interview with Itar-Tass.
“I would say most events were in the cultural sphere, and in that direction great work has been done,” he said commenting on results of the bilateral year. “The year had wonderful exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and we are happy that the Russian children’s arts were presented, too.” “Besides, we had many economic and political events, there were many top-level visits, new formats of cooperation, and the Russian regions have been very active. Thus, we may say despite the well-known negative moments, which happened from time to time, the year was very successful.”
The ambassador continued saying the sides “will try to continue the positive results of the year, to make them an on-going practice.” “For example, we have simplified the visa procedures this year, and about five thousand Holland citizens, which is every tenth applicant for a Russian visa, used the opportunity. Now we shall try to keep this simplified regime.”
“It was evident that the Netherlands has a wide space for presentation of the Russian culture,” he continued. “This year, together with Rossotrudnichestvo (authority involved in affairs of the CIS, compatriots living abroad and international humanitarian cooperation) we consider opening a House of Russian Culture in the Netherlands next year.” “We also have an idea of organizing a bilateral year on some specific direction, for example, on modern architecture, say.”
“It would be incorrect to avoid another project, which we organised jointly with the ministry of agriculture — the fair of Russian agricultural products,” the diplomat said. “It was the first ever experience of an event of the kind organised abroad, and the Netherlands has demonstrated great interest to it.”
“Based on the successful experience of this year, the ministry of agriculture has decided to organize a similar event in the United Kingdom next year,” the ambassador said. “We, in our turn, would like to organize a week of Russian regions, where the Netherlands will be able to see not only agricultural, but also industrial products.”
“Thus, the bilateral year has given to us lots of ideas on how to develop the cooperation, and now is the time to make them true,” Kolodkin said in conclusion.