Cooperation as a Leitmotif for a Peaceful Europe

From 18th till 20th of July, took place the annual Petersburg Dialogue Forum in Bonn

July 29th, 2019
Margareta Calugher, News from Berlin
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On Thursday, 18 of July, took place the opening ceremony of the XVIII th Petersburg Dialogue Forum with the main theme “Cooperation as a leitmotif for a peaceful Europe: contributions from civil societies of Russia and Germany”.

The co-chairs of the event, Ronald Pofalla, retired Federal Minister, board member for Deutsche Bahn’s infrastructure and Viktor Zubkov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Relations with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Gazprom, opened the event with a welcoming speech.

The opening ceremony was followed by talks between the ministers of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany, who were honorary guests of the XVIIIth Petersburg Dialogue Forum and made presentations on the main theme “Cooperation as a leitmotif for a peaceful Europe: contributions from civil societies of Russia and Germany”.

  According to Minister Heiko Maas, dialogue with Russia can be beneficial for solving global political issues despite fundamentally different views.

In his speech, Foreign Minister Maas addressed three urgent global issues, where Russia has an important role, namely the situation in Ukraine, in the middle East and the prevention of new arms race.

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Maas encourages the peace-making process  in Ukraine and urged the release of illegally detained Ukrainian sailors by Russians and the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.

As Russia plays an important role in the situation with Iran, Germany and European countries ask Russia to intervene and convince Tehran to return to full compliance with the JCPOA obligations.

Also, Foreign Minister Maas has suggested a new initiative for arms control and disarmament since Russia has no longer adhered to the INF Treaty, the Treaty that maintains the security in Europe.

After the opening ceremony, members of the Russian and German delegations were invited by the Prime Minister of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Lashet to a reception at Drachenburg Castle.

On July 19, parallel meetings of ten working groups of the Forum were held, during which speeches and discussions on the most relevant agendas took place. For the first time, within the framework of the annual Petersburg Dialogue Forum, joint sessions were held by the Economics and Environmental Modernization, Civil Society, and Future Workshop groups.

The event traditionally ended with a closing ceremony, where the co-chairs of the Petersburg Dialogue Forum summed up the meeting and outlined the prospects for the future activities of the Forum.


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