Promoting international collaboration is not easy when political tensions and sanctions affect the situation and limit the possibilities of extending cooperation. However, two countries can keep developing their relations not only at the federal level but also by adopting the form of regional partnership.
Specialised international conferences are an efficient cooperation platform as they enable real-time communication among representatives of a particular industry. This kind of event was hosted this year by St. Petersburg Mining University. A hot topic for discussion at the XII Russian-German Raw Materials Dialogue was unsurprisingly the horizontal communication between the Russian and German regions, which is now only one of the few ways left to develop economic relations between the countries and strengthen cooperation in education and research.
Some agreements have been already signed with the help of the forum over the last few years – for example, cooperation agreements between the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and Omsk Oblast, and also between St. Petersburg Mining University and Bavarian chemical cluster.
Mr Woidke, Minister President of Brandenburg, shares his opinion on the importance of the Dialogue: ”Horizontal communication between our countries is beneficial in such areas as economics, science and research, sports, culture and arts. There is a great interest on our side in this cooperation, as well as in further development of Russian-German relations, and we are planning to continue collaboration within the framework of the Russian-German Raw Materials Dialogue.”
Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of the Mining University, notes: ”Russian-German Raw Materials Dialogue is an event that shows that we have achieved reasonably good progress in developing relations between our countries. Numerous proposals and approaches were discussed during plenary discussions and closed meetings. Some of the solutions mentioned here will most certainly be reflected in the joint interregional business initiatives”.
One of the promising areas of cooperation between Russia and Germany is the training of high-skilled workers, which may include elaborating joint multidisciplinary educational programmes and establishing the system of international training aimed at developing new competencies for industry specialists.
Natalya Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, points out: “The popularity of engineering education in Russia is on the rise. We have a lot to offer to our partners. The International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO was established here, in St. Petersburg. I believe that cooperation of Russian companies and universities with German research institutions will help build a global dialogue in such areas as natural sciences, engineering education, and contribute to the creation of new scientific ideas and innovations”.