On July 13-14, St. Petersburg hosted an official delegation from India. The request was made by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India to the head of the Project of international municipal BRICS cooperation Mikhail Cherepanov.

Politicians, heads of large public organizations, experts in various fields and youth leaders came to St. Petersburg. The purpose of the delegation's visit was to get acquainted with the Russian Federation to exchange international experience and build a strategic partnership.

In line with the formulated objectives, an extensive program was designed specifically for the delegation, including interaction with representatives of EMERCOM of Russia in St. Petersburg, a visit to the St. Petersburg Research Institute Of Emergency Medicine n.a. I.I. Dzhanelidze, meeting with the representatives of the Rugby Union of St. Petersburg, reference visit to the Imperial Porcelain Factory, as well as a conference with the organising committee of the Project of international municipal BRICS cooperation.

The delegation was received by Alexey Shupenko, deputy head of the chief directorate of the EMERCOM of Russia in St. Petersburg. He accompanied the Indian guests to the public exhibition complex - the only museum in the world which highlights the history of fire defence of St. Petersburg from the times of Peter the Great to 1950s. Such way of getting to know the operations of EMERCOM aroused a keen interest among the members of the delegation, and at the end of the tour, within a round table, Indian guests asked a series of questions in regards to Russian experience in preventing and eliminating forest and urban fires.

Next item on the program was a visit to the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Emergency Medicine n.a. I.I. Dzhanelidze. The delegation was met by Anton Povzun, CMO, Candidate of Medicine, and Vyacheslav Afonchikov, Deputy CMO for anaesthesiology and resuscitation. They told the guests about the institute's operations, its achievements, internal structure, and led the delegation on a tour through a number of the hospital departments. An important takeout from this visit for the foreign guests was the building's logistics which is design to minimize the time from admission of patients in critical condition to diagnosis and medical care since in some cases, to save lives not even every hour or minute - every second counts. In addition, delegates were impressed by the research institute's mortality rates: due to the high professionalism of the institute's doctors, in 2018 this figure was only 10 per cent.

A visit to the training base of one of St. Petersburg rugby clubs was a wonderful conclusion to the first day of the delegation's business program. Russian experience in team preparation and rugby playing was especially interesting to Indian partners, facing the international rugby-7 tournament among municipal youth teams from the BRICS countries that will be held within the framework of the Project of international municipal BRICS cooperation on September 22 in St. Petersburg. After a short orientation, the delegates expressed their desire to go out on the field and take part in a friendly game against the club's team.


At the day program's finish, the foreign guests, accompanied by representatives of the host party, went for a walk throughout the historical centre of St. Petersburg. Due to time constraints, the Indian partners were not able to fully enjoy the views of our city, but the sightseeing attractions they saw - St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman, Palace Square and the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island - made a strong impression. Some representatives expressed their intention to purchase real estate in St. Petersburg.

The next day began with a visit to the Imperial Porcelain Factory, a company founded in St. Petersburg in 1744. After the welcoming speech, the representatives of the factory invited the delegates to visit the factory museum, where the guests were introduced to a unique historical collection of products' samples worthy of study and copying. The museum has the world's only unique collection, reflecting the 270-year history of the first porcelain factory in Russia. It has more than 30 thousand exhibits. These are porcelain and glass of Imperial factories, items of the Soviet period, products of famous European manufactories and Russian private factories, samples of Japanese and Chinese porcelain. The delegates were able to see historical and cultural artefacts, unrivalled throughout the world. At the end of the tour, everyone took part in a master class on porcelain painting.

One of the most interesting items of the program was the conference on the Project of international municipal BRICS cooperation and options for practical cooperation within its framework. The project was presented by its initiator – Mikhail Cherepanov. The conference was attended by a number of speakers who spoke about the directions of the Project and prospects for cooperation on it. The idea of the Project received considerable support from the members of the delegation, the partners expressed a deep interest in integrating the structures and organizations represented by the delegates into the Project and its activities. After the conference ended, a closed meeting was held, during which the parties discussed potential joint projects and concluded cooperation agreements.


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