Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig visits Russia

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig visits Russia

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig had to ask herself before her Russia trip whether or not her ‘school-Russian’ would suffice. Well she is finding out this week leading, along with her ministers Christian Pegel,Till Backhaus, a large economic delegation to Russia, more precisely to the partner region to St. Petersburg.

The day before yesterday she visited a ship-building fair in St Petersburg and while there is an interpreter by her side, she seems to understand without him.

Shipyard suppliers are hoping for orders

For the economy, the trip will draw attention to the Russian partners on “Made in MV” – namely the industry of shipyard suppliers relies on the modernization of Russian shipyards. A total of 17 are at the Shipbuilding Fair Neva in St. Petersburg, 14 of them under the umbrella of a community stand Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. These contacts go back over a long period and the commitment from both the Russian as from the German side is for the long-term.

Not to Poland, but to Russia

It is Manuela Schwesig’s first trip abroad as Prime Minister – and her trip bypasses neighboring Poland and goes even further east. Because her trip along with her official delegation comes at a time of US- imposed “sanctions” against Russia and to avoid obvious misunderstandings, she obtained the blessing from the federal government in the form of foreign minister and SPD party colleague Sigmar Gabriel.

Schwesig  has made it perfectly clear that in “difficult times” regional contacts will and should be maintained and people in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern want it that way. This in-spite of the undiplomatic and even vulgar rantings from some far-off ogre – read how the leading German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung described US president Trump’s monologue to the United Nations.

Not only about Business………. cultural and student exchanges

While the trip was coordinated with the Federal Ministry of Economics, Schwesig wants to weaken the impression that the trip is ‘only about business’.

It will also focuses on more cooperation between the universities and more cultural and student exchanges, which is why the director of the Kunsthalle Rostock is also involved. The goal here will be to make the regional partnership ‘more lively’.


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