On 3 November 2020 the Russian Foreign Ministry chaired the regular 31st meeting of the Northern Dimension Steering Group, held via videoconference. The Northern Dimension is a unique platform for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia, the European Union, Iceland and Norway. Representatives from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Sweden, as well as a number of international bodies took part in the meeting.
The participants discussed current matters and cooperation prospects within the Northern Dimension, including the four specialised partnerships: on environment protection, transport, healthcare and culture, as well as the Parliamentary Forum, Business Council and the Northern Dimension Institute, a university network that includes 33 Northern European universities. Experts from the Russian Transport Ministry and Culture Ministry, as well as the Northern (Arctic) Federal University and the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics made presentations reflecting Russia’s position on the agenda.
The participants noted that COVID-19 did not prevent the Northern Dimension from steadily expanding practical cooperation. They emphasised the need for maintaining political contacts at all levels, including at the ministerial level, as well as within partnerships to support useful projects, and drawing young people in carrying them out. The speakers talked about the importance of regional and cross-border cooperation and the need for better connectivity among various multilateral mechanisms in Northern Europe for promoting socioeconomic development, maintaining trust and ensuring stability. They reaffirmed their shared commitment to further facilitating constructive dialogue between governments, businesses, the academia and NGOs within the region.
Russia intends to host the next meetings of the Northern Dimension Business Council, the Northern Dimension Cultural Forum and the Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum in 2020–2021.
Source: Russian MFA