Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, September 6, 2021
Thank you for the kind words. This is a two-way street: the more active our regions are in the world arena, the stronger and more effective our foreign policy is.
St Petersburg is one of the leaders in foreign ties and cross-border cooperation. You are making a priceless contribution to bringing up the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism and teaching them to preserve historical memory. We will always support such events and initiatives in various countries.
You mentioned one example of foreign economic ties but you have an enormous amount of investment with Finland, Germany and other states. Information and business councils are operating in Italy, Germany, Greece and China. St Petersburg has an outstanding “track record” in Europe as well as in Asia and in part, Central Asia, for instance in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The tourist potential and appeal of St Petersburg are well known. We are trying in every possible way to promote this industry of the city and the Leningrad Region. Your city pioneered the introduction of e-visas several years ago. It continues to ease visa requirements. Applicants can receive multiple visas valid for up to a year. The city continues to lift other restrictions.
It is very important for us to promote the historical and cultural value of St Petersburg. I would like to thank you personally and the Committee for External Relations of St Petersburg – our good long-standing partner – for doing much to allow people to see what Russia is in reality, not from hearsay. They become acquainted with our people and learn about our culture and history directly.
Thank you for your invariable support for the work of the Foreign Ministry representative office in St Petersburg. This is our biggest representative office in the Russian regions.
I think our cooperation is productive and we have good plans for the future.