Aleksey Teksler spoke at Council of the Heads of Regions, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Council of the Heads of Regions met under chairmanship of Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was attended by governors (members of the Council), senior officials of the Presidential Administration and federal executive authorities. The Council discussed how Russian regions could make more effective use of international formats of regional cooperation. Governor of Chelyabinsk Oblast Aleksey Teksler reported on chairmanship of the SCO Member States' Heads of Regions Forum; he proposed holding a second forum the coming fall in Chelyabinsk and establishing an annual National Panel for Russia.
Opening the meeting, Mr. Lavrov announced its topic: Russian regions’ cooperation with international organizations.
”Work within the framework of multilateral associations in Eurasia remains an unconditional priority,” Mr. Lavrov emphasized. “We already have results. Russia spearheads the consistent buildup of interregional cooperation as part of SCO activities; Program for the Developed of Interregional Cooperation and Regulations on the Member States’ Heads of Regions Forum have been adopted. The Forum first assembled in October 2020, chaired by Chelyabinsk Oblast, and was a success. Preparations for the second forum are in progress. As you know, President Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a Greater Eurasian Partnership that will bring together the capabilities of all states and integrative associations of this vast continent. We expect Russian regions to embrace this initiative.”
Mr. Teksler proposed holding a second SCO Member States’ Heads of Regions Forum in Chelyabinsk Oblast this coming fall.
“We hope Chelyabinsk Oblast will be able to host the event in presentia. Upon Chelyabinsk Oblast’s initiative, preparations are underway for the SCO Members States’ Heads of Regions Forum 2021-2022. The events and activities on the agenda must be interregional and address migration,” Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Volvach noted.
Mr. Teksler also proposed to organize an annual National Panel for Russia as part of the Forum.
“Starting next year, other member states will routinely take over the Forum. The Republic of Uzbekistan is to host it in 2022. Only seven years later will the Forum be back in Russia. We believe it would not be appropriate to have no Forum in Russia for such a long time. With this in mind, we propose establishing a National Panel for Russia as part of this Forum. The National Panel, comprising Russian regions, will help further the Heads of Regions Forum. We are ready to take up all things organizational”, Mr. Teksler underlined.
The Governor: Russian regions are certainly interested in this novel format of international interregional cooperation, as Astrakhan, Samara, Omsk, and other Oblasts have declared their willingness to be part of it.
The idea behind the National Panel is to have yearly national assemblies with invitees from SCO partner states.
“We are ready to organize multiple subpanels to discuss what the regions are interested in, to highlight what is relevant, to organize business forums, and to tackle practical issues such as creating chains of cooperation and advancing interregional logistics”, the Governor added.
Mr. Lavrov supported the initiative and requested further analysis and elaboration of Chelyabinsk Oblast’s proposal.