Russia's northwestern region Vologda held an economic and cultural promotion conference in Beijing Monday, starting a series of regional promotion conferences for the "Year of Russia" in China.
Addressing the conference, Vjacheslav Pozgalov, the governor of Vologda, said he and his party not only bring to China New Year's greetings and traditional arts, but also economic projects covering areas like metallurgy, forestry, finance and others.
He said Vologda has conducted cooperation in metallurgy, chemical industry and agriculture in China. He hoped the cooperation would be enhanced.
At the conference, representatives from northeast China's Jilin Province and Vologda signed an agreement on developing regional cooperation ties.
Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov said the celebration of the "Year of Russia" in China in 2006 and the "Year of China" in Russia in 2007 is highly conducive to improving mutual understanding between the two nations.
A formal opening ceremony of the "Year of Russia" will be held during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China in March, he added.
Regional and local exchanges, as the pivotal parts of the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination, are the important forces to push forward the partnership, said Razov, adding that some 60 pairs of cities or provinces in Russia and China have forged friendly ties.
Located in the northwest part of Russia, Vologda is one of the largest regions in Russia's European part, covering an area of 145,700 square kilometers. It has a population of 1.25 million.
According to statistics provided by the Russian Embassy in Beijing, the export of Vologda to China in 2005 jumped by 14 times from that in 2000, while the import was doubled.
(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2006)