20 October 202016:26

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s greetings to participants in the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum, Moscow, October 20, 2020

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Friends,

Let me welcome the participants in the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum. The initiative to hold meetings in this format originated, in fact, simultaneously with the establishment of BRICS itself. The Forum has become established as a useful and much-needed venue for contacts between representatives of local governments of the five countries and for an exchange of views on the pressing issues related to the development of urban environment.

Symbolically, the present meeting is taking place in one of the oldest Russian cities whose history goes back one thousand years.  Members of different ethnic and religious groups live here peacefully side by side. Kazan’s rich centuries-old traditions combine organically with its image of a modern and dynamically developing city.  The hospitality and cultural diversity of the capital of Tatarstan will help the Forum to become a success. There is no doubt about that.

Today’s meeting will add to the treasure trove of BRICS events in 2020 and will promote contacts between people, which are reliable bonds of the strategic partnership between the five states. The Forum’s central theme – Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Modern Cities – is particularly relevant against the background of the current difficult situation in global politics and the world economy. It fully reflects the main objective of the Russian BRICS chairmanship, as set by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, which is to strengthen BRICS cooperation in order to ensure wellbeing and better quality of life for the citizens in our countries.

I wish all Forum participants every success, fruitful work, and good health!

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