Joint statement by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on holding the Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges in 2016-2017, Moscow, March 23, 2016
The further deepening of mutual understanding and mutual trust between Russian and German youth representatives as well as developing and strengthening bilateral youth collaboration as a solid foundation of Russian-German ties are a shared Russian-German priority. The younger generation plays a special role in forging the present and building the future Russian-German relations. Therefore, we are committed, through our joint efforts, to promote a direct dialogue between the young people of our countries. After all, stereotypes can be overcome and trust and partnership can be strengthened only when people know and understand each other. We are confident that youth exchanges are an important and inalienable part of Russian-German cooperation.
In this context, we – the foreign minister of the Russian Federation and the federal minister of foreign affairs of the German Federal Republic – will take under our patronage the Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges 2016-2017, continuing the tradition of successfully holding bilateral exchange years in our countries.
The Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges is due to open in June 2016 with a conference timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the German-Russian Youth Exchange Foundation and the Russian National Coordination Bureau on Youth Exchanges with the German Federal Republic.
The Year of Youth Exchanges should help ensure positive trends in interaction and contact between civil societies in Russia and Germany. We are guided by our shared desire to promote more direct communication between young people in our countries and to strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding between our nations. In the complex political situation, it is especially important to show our commitment to cooperation.
In the foreseeable future, young people will assume the responsibility for building relations between our countries. The events as part of the Year of Youth Exchanges are aimed, among other things, at preparing for the successful achievement of this goal. They make it possible to expand the scope of cooperation and outline ways towards mutual understanding, dialogue and further rapprochement. At the same time, they will make various projects and forms of communication within the framework of Russian-German youth exchanges more tangible and recognisable and help intensify these exchanges.
Proceeding from this aspiration, we pin high hopes on the Russian-German Year of Youth Exchanges 2016-2017. Contacts and ties that emerge as part of this programme open a priceless prospect in the context of building good neighbourly relations between Russian and German citizens.