Days of Moscow in the Baltic States
Business and cultural Days of Moscow events in Baltic countries took place in Tallinn, Riga, and Daugavpils on September 17-10. The cities were visited by a delegation from the Russian capital, headed by Minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the Moscow Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin.
A series of meetings in the Tallinn City Hall kicked off the official program of the Days of Moscow in Baltic countries. Sergey Cheremin first talked to Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, and then Deputy Mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev.
The two sides agreed that both cities are interested in re-establishing cultural and business ties, and exchange of experience in city management, cooperation in the sphere of cultural heritage preservation, and the establishment and maintenance of favorable environmental conditions. The last time Days of Moscow were held in Tallinn was in 2010.
Sergey Cheremin noted that the two cities play a key role in the establishment of their respective countries’ socio-economic potential. He said that Moscow is ready to move quickly and effectively in terms of cooperation with Tallinn, supporting all of the city’s initiatives. In turn, Vadim Belobrovtsev pointed out that tourist flows between the two cities have been constant, and expressed interest in holding a festival of Estonian culture in the Russian capital, as well as in bilateral exchange of information and technologies. “We have things to learn from Moscow, and Moscow has a lot to offer,” Mr. Belobrovtsev said.
The business program continued with the round table “Moscow in the Global Digital Space. Priorities, Prospects, Key Projects.” Participants discussed the nuances of implementing modern IT solutions in the social sphere, the legal aspects of ensuring cybersecurity, and innovative solutions in the sphere of transport accessibility. Special attention was paid to the digitalization of the education process.
During the business forum in Riga, which also took place within the scope of the Days of Moscow in Baltic countries, head of the Moscow Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin said that, in spite of the sanctions, EU countries have remained the Russian capital’s main economic partners. The list of key countries that invest in Moscow’s projects includes Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and other European states. According to Mr. Cheremin, the volume of direct foreign investments into Moscow’s economy has reached $250 billion, while trade turnover between organizations in Moscow and their foreign partners has exceeded $300 billion. When it comes to Baltic countries, the figures are less optimistic.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a negative trend lately: trade turnover volumes with Baltic states have dropped. We would like to turn this around,” Sergey Cheremin said, “For example, the numbers from Tallinn are disappointing – trade turnover there has declined by 15-18% annually. This also worries our partners in Estonia.”
Business forum participants also talked about trade and economic cooperation between the capitals of Russia and Estonia, Moscow’s investment potential, and problems that prevent people in both countries from developing their business.