Following a successful German‑Russian Youth Exchange Year in 2016 to 2017, exchange, understanding and mutual trust are to be deepened in German‑Russian relations through further intensification of cooperation at municipal and regional level. The large number of partnerships between states, regions, districts, cities and municipalities, as well as between civic associations, universities and schools, will play a particularly important role in this process. These links form the backbone of active German‑Russian relations. Many of these partnerships are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2017 or 2018. We want to raise public awareness of these partnerships and use the momentum they generate to promote further partnerships between Germans and Russians, thus fostering greater trust. We firmly believe that municipal and regional partnerships are an indispensable and fundamental component of Russia and Germany’s bilateral cooperation.
We, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, will therefore serve as patrons of the German‑Russian Year of Municipal and Regional Partnerships in 2017 to 2018, which will continue the tradition of successful crossover years in our countries.
The Year of Municipal and Regional Partnerships will be launched during the town‑twinning conference in Krasnodar from 28 to 30 June 2017. The aim is to ensure positive momentum in the collaboration and the contacts between the civil societies of the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany. We are united by a common desire to increase the number and intensity of direct contacts between Russians and Germans through numerous municipal and regional partnerships, thereby strengthening dialogue and understanding between our societies. Visible signs of cooperation are important especially in politically difficult times.
For this reason, we have great expectations of the German‑Russian Year of Municipal and Regional Partnerships The contacts and links between people from different fields of civic engagement established through municipal and regional partnerships provide invaluable opportunities for good neighbourly relations between Germans and Russians in the future.