The 9th Conference of Russian-German Raw Materials Forum
The delegation of Mining University led by Rector Vladimir Litvinenko took part in the 9th Conference of Russian-German Raw Materials Forum held in Dusseldorf. Its key topic was the partnership of the two nations in raw materials sector. In the course of the plenary meeting the need for enhancing Russian-German cooperation was stressed by Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and other speakers.
Centering around the use of natural resources, the standing Russian-German Forum was founded on October 10th 2006 by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. In its 10 years of existence it has developed into a high-profile professional venue where the strategic issues of natural resources efficiency and development of the two countries in the areas of innovation, education and science are discussed in open dialogue. The previous conference was held in Mining University in October 2015.
In the course of panel discussions and breakout sessions the participants of the current conference held in Dusseldorf Congress Centre (North Rhine-Westphalia) with the general topic announced as "Industrial production and mineral raw materials: climatic and environmental impact" discussed such subjects as "The climatic targets of Germany: opportunities or risks for Russian natural gas", "Circular economy as growth driver" and "Energy dialogue: Russia-Germany_Europe".
Both hosts and visitors emphasized the necessity of maintaining trust relations between the countries in spite of the complicated political situation. In their opinion, "this is a first-order condition for enhancing the energy security of European consumers and saving the prospects of developing partnership relations between the two nations in the long run".
The Conference brought together over 500 participants, including German scientists, professors, social and political leaders, and heads of major companies who follow the policy of friendship and good neighbor relations with our country. Russia was represented with a no less substantial delegation which included the elite of business and science and representatives of executive and legislative bodies. Among its members were Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of Mining University and Co-chair of Russian-German Raw Materials Forum, Marina Kovtun and Natalia Komarova, Governors oft he Murmansk Region and the Khanty-Mansijsk Autonomous District (Yugra), Andrei Guryev, General Director of OAO PhosAgro, Valery Golubev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of PAO Gazprom, Mikhail Sutyaginsky, Board Chairman of ZAO GK Titan, and many others. Saint-Petersburg Mining University was represented by 150 professors and students.
According to Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation:
"The strength oft he delegation shows the eagerness of both Russia and Germany to cooperate in the area of science and innovation. This is not only about development of natural resources, but also about development of new materials and process chains. Our countries need each other, and we cannot afford to refuse the mutually profitable partnership. It is particularly true considering the fact that in the last four years Russia has risen 80 points up the scale of world countries most favourable for business."
Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of Mining University and Co-chair of Russian-German Raw Materials Forum:
"Russia has already delivered to Germany over one billion cubic metres of gas. This is a substantial figure which is sure to keep growing. For example, this year’s exports to Germany have risen by seven per cent. At the same time, the total turnover between the two countries has substantially decreased. We are sure this is is a temporary tendency that does not reflect the actual degree of interest in cooperation between representatives of business and science on both sides. There is a wide range of promising directions for collaborative work, that arouse interest in Russia as well as in Germany. For example, these days we are establishing the International Competence Centre for Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO aimed at professional certification of staff employed in mineral raw materials sector. In the future we are prepared to develop projects in the area of coal synthesis. There is no doubt that our countries are bound to cooperate."
Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Energy of Germany:
"We have projects, such as Nord Stream 2, which are being implemented to our mutual benefit. They are vital for economic development of Russia, Germany and the whole Europe. The relations between Russia and Germany can and should improve once again. We are interested in relationship with Russia as a credible partner, and besides that we need to cooperate with Russia in order to deal with a number of conflicts."
Garrelt Duin, State Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia:
"Thirty per cent of 4500 German companies operating in Russia represent North Rhine-Westphalia. So the decrease in volume of trade between our countries is an extremely negative sign. This means that today politics prevails over economy. There is no doubt that we are interested in our future relations to be built in the economic frame. It is important both for our country and for Russia."
Andrei Guryev, General Director of OAO PhosAgro:
"Every year sees the growing interest in the activities of Russian-German Raw Materials Forum. This speaks to the fact that both sides are concerned to keep good-neighbour relations and develop economic and scientific cooperation. For our part, we are hopeful that the partner relations between the two countries will rebound to levels seen before and develop continuously."
The conference also included a Russian-German round table for business operators. One of its results was signing the agreement on building a facility for high-level processing of polypropylene at a unit of ZAO GK Titan in Omsk in cooperation with Germany. Importantly, the development strategy for GK Titan was worked out with participation of scientific community of Mining University.