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Putin’s cultural envoy opposes ban on Hollywood movies in Russia

May 21, 2018, 16:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This past March, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said that the Russian cinema industry needs more state-backed protection

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© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Prohibiting American movies in Russian cinemas will not help the domestic cinema industry, said Russian Special Presidential Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi at the opening ceremony for the Fort Ross Dialogue forum in Veliky Novgorod on Monday.

This past March, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said that the Russian cinema industry needs more state-backed protection. In his view, Russian moviegoers have shelled out about $400-500 million in support of the foreign film industry.

Shvydkoi reiterated how difficult Russian-American relations are now. "There is so much mistrust, so much criticism and senseless sanctions, in my opinion. Strange as it may seem, it is culture, not the economy, that plays a great role during these moments," he asserted.

The presidential representative for international cultural cooperation noted that the Russian and American sides show unconditional loyalty in this regard. "Because, no matter how many people say that American movies should be banned and removed from cinemas, common sense prevails. If we don’t screen American movies, then we won’t screen Russian movies either, because they are all a global product," Shvydkoi added.

The forum

The Fort Ross Dialogue forum in Veliky Novgorod will run for two days until May 22. The conferenc’se participants include Russian Deputy Minister for Digital Development Alexei Volin, President of Fort Ross Conservancy Sarah Sweedler, Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin, heads of Transneft, Chevron Neftegaz Inc. and Sovcomflot, as well as high-profile international experts and media representatives.

The Fort Ross Dialogue is a Russian-American forum that has been annually assembling cultural, political and business figures and experts since 2012. The first meeting in Russia was held in May 2017 in Pskov and Izborsk.

The international conference was named after Fort Ross, a Russian settlement during the 19th century in California. Fort Ross is currently a historical museum in Sonoma County, California. This US National Historical Landmark on America’s west coast became a symbol of cultural and business cooperation between the two countries.

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