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Estonia and Russia sign agreement on cross-border cooperation

TALLINN - An agreement on cross-border and interregional cooperation between Estonia and Russia was signed within the framework of an international forum of border regions in the northwestern Russian regional capital Pskov on Thursday.

The agreement that will allow to solve issues regarding cross-border cooperation between the two countries, including organizing travel and trading and responding to emergencies, was signed on Estonia's behalf by Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb, the Estonian Ministry of Finance said.

The Estonian government at its meeting on Thursday authorized Korb to sign the agreement.

"Interest in and demand for Estonia-Russia cross-border cooperation programs co-funded by the European Union has been big and this is why we wish to continue funding cross-border projects. The agreement will support the preparation and implementation of such local level cooperation programs and projects," Korb said.

He said that so far, projects that have been funded by European Union programs include construction and development works at border crossing points in Narva and Ivangorod. Funded projects also include reconstruction and building of sewage disposal systems in Pskov, Gdov and Pechory and in the Pskov and Palkinsky districts.

Estonia-Russia cross-border cooperation is one of the areas of activity where cooperation has continued also after the Russia-Ukraine conflict which started in 2014. Cooperation is carried out between municipalities, organizations and NGOs. The cooperation is supported by the European Neighborhood Policy, under the framework of which a total of 16.8 million euros will be disbursed to projects between 2014 and 2020.

The Estonian Ministry of Finance in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been preparing the agreement on cross-border cooperation between Estonia and Russia since 2006. The government approved the draft agreement in 2013.

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