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"I see the Cross Border Cooperation as a positive example of how much can be achieved by joint efforts in a constructive and positive environment. We have already many times plainly demonstrated that we can develop solutions in the interest of both EU Member States and Russian border areas, above all for the good of the people. I sincerely hope that we will see further examples of such mutually beneficial projects in EU-Russia relations," said Markus Ederer, EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Head of Department for Development and Regulation of External Economic Activities of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Vitaliy Gudin has commented that the Programmes for the period 2014 – 2020 refer to the so-called new-generation Programmes. According to him, the new approach foresees joint development instruments with the European Union and allows the participating Parties to implement the Programmes based on the principles of partnership, equality and mutual benefit.
The Programmes will focus inter alia on preservation of historical and cultural heritage, promotion of social inclusion, cooperation for clean natural environment and efficient management of natural resources, joint actions for effective border management and security, cooperation for increasing accessibility of regions, promotion of innovation capacities, sustainable transport and communication models. Thematic objectives of all these Programmes were jointly approved by the Parties in accordance with national programmes and strategies.
This brings the total number of Cross Border Cooperation Programmes between the European Union and Russia to seven (five Cross Border Cooperation Programmes — "Kolarctic", "Karelia", "South East Finland-Russia", "Estonia-Russia", and "Latvia-Russia" — were signed at the end of 2016). The total EU institutional financing contribution to all EU–Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programmes for the period until 2020 amounts to €173.7 million. The contribution of the Russian Federation amounts to €86.9 million and the contribution of the EU Member States to €51.2 million.
Previous EU-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programmes proved to be very successful, bringing real benefits to citizens of cross border areas such as modernization of heating systems in schools and hospitals; modernization of border crossing points; promoting healthy lifestyle by building recreational centres or implementing ecological education. Building on this success and following extensive negotiations these seven land-border Programmes between the EU and Russia were adopted for the implementation period until 2024.