India,Russia sign MoU on holding year-long cultural festival

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Moscow, Oct 10 (UNI) India and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on holding the year-long Indian festival in Russia in 2009.

The MoU was signed by Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Pawan Varma and head of the Russian Federal Agency on Cultural and Cinematography, Mikhail Shvedkoi.

The ICCR President, Dr Karan Singh and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov were also present at the signing ceremony.

Dr Singh and Mr Zhukov are the co-chairmen of the organising committee for the ''Year of Russia'' in India, in 2008 and the ''Year of India'' in Russia, in 2009.

Dr Singh is on a four-day visit to Moscow, to finalise the yearlong festival of Russia in India, in 2008 and the yearlong festival of India, in Russia, in 2009.

During his stay, he discussed with Mr Zhukov, Mr Shvedkoi and the Russian Minister of Culture and Mass Communication Alexander Sokolov the programmes of reciprocal yearlong India-Russia festivals in each other's country.

''Both sides emphasised that Years will, in a major way, reestablish and reaffirm the traditionally close ties between the two countries, including at the people-to-people level, taking them to a new plane,'' an Indian embassy press release said.

''Younger generations from both countries will be actively involved in the events,'' it added.

Dr Karan Singh also delivered a lecture on ''Vedanta in the Global Society'' at a gathering of Russian Indologists, in the Indian Embassy's DP Dhar Hall. He also visited the Roerich Museum and addressed a conference on ''Ethics and Science''.

It will be the first such key bilateral cultural events in about two decades. Similar reciprocal yearlong festivals were held in Russia and India, in 1987 and 1988, under the then Soviet Union.

UNI

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