BERLIN, September 15. /TASS/. The Russian-German Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships turned out to be a success and contributed to strengthening ties between the two countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in his greetings to the participants in the project’s closing ceremony. The message was read out by Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechayev.
"I am pleased to announce that this joint project has been a success and has strengthened the good tradition of thematic years and contributed to the expansion of our long-term humanitarian and scientific ties," Lavrov said, adding: "I am pleased to announce that this joint project has been a success and has strengthened the good tradition of thematic years and contributed to the expansion of our long-term humanitarian and scientific ties."
The Russian foreign minister expressed his "sincere gratitude to the project operators: the National University of Science and Technology MISIS, the German House for Research and Innovation in Moscow and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD." "Due to their efforts, numerous events were held at a high level despite the difficult epidemiological conditions," he noted. "I would specifically like to note their initiative to hold a competition for best scientific and educational cooperation projects, Russia and Germany: Scientific and Educational Bridges," Lavrov added.
According to him, "each new cross-year project makes a useful contribution to the expansion and deepening of Russian-German cooperation in a specific area." "I hope that the next joint initiative, Economy and Sustainable Development, planned for 2020-2022, will also contribute to this," Lavrov emphasized.
Russian Ambassador to Berlin Sergei Nechayev pointed out that the Russian-German year "became an important positive element on the bilateral agenda." Head of the German Foreign Ministry’s Culture and Communications Department Andreas Goergen, in turn, emphasized that it was "right to maintain cultural and scientific ties in hard times as well."
The Russian top diplomat was initially expected to attend today’s ceremony but his visit to Berlin was cancelled due to changes in the working schedule of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Relations between Russia and Germany deteriorated following an incident involving Russian blogger Alexey Navalny who was hospitalized in the Russian city of Omsk on August 20. He was later flown to Germany for treatment at Berlin’s Charite hospital. The German government said on September 2, citing the results of a toxicological analysis carried out by Bundeswehr experts, that Navalny had been poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Moscow was ready to fully cooperate with Berlin. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in turn, noted that Germany had failed to provide any evidence of poisoning.