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Vologda City is hosting Fort Ross Dialogue forum on June 2-4

Fort Ross Dialogue is an independent forum where Americans and Russians meet in a constructive atmosphere to encourage conversation and collaboration. This event is sponsored by Chevron, Transneft, and Sovcomflot.

Since 2012 the venue of the annual international forum has always been the Fort Ross California Historic Park. In May 2017 the Fort-Ross Dialogue conference was first held in Russia (Pskov and Izborsk).

On June 2 over 200 politicians, entrepreneurs, cultural figures from Russia and the United States, representatives of the Russian Geographical Society arrived in Vologda to discuss prospects for strengthening relations between the two countries.

The participants of the forum are Special Presidential Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi, President and CEO of the Fort Ross Conservancy Sarah Sweedler, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Yury Vorobyov, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy, authorities of Russian regions, and prominent international experts. Vologda Region Governor welcomed the participants of the forum.

The first part of the international forum will be devoted to the discussion of promising areas of humanitarian cooperation, the second - to political and economic issues.

Fort Ross Dialogue in Vologda includes discussions and seminars on major issues of the bilateral agenda, economic issues and interaction in various fields. The venue is chosen not by chance. Ivan Kuskov, Commerce Counsellor of the Russian-American Company and founder of Fort Ross was born in Totma, Vologda Region.

In 1812 Ivan Kuskov built a fortress in an area to the North of San Francisco, California (now the National Park of Fort Ross). Fort Ross served as a trading post and a source of agricultural products for Russian America in Alaska. Ivan Kuskov headed the colony till 1821. Alongside with the trade activity he was also engaged in research work.

Fort Ross, a former Russian settlement and fortress, is now a national historic landmark in the U.S. state of California.

“For the residents of the Vologda Region Fort Ross is not only a symbol of the Russian contribution to the development of America, it is also an opportunity to develop scientific, cultural and social ties between the Vologda Oblast Government, the state of California and in general between Russia and the United States”, emphasized Vologda Region Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov.

Every year on July 26, the small town of Totma in Russia’s Vologda Region celebrates Russian America Day at the same time as Fort Ross in northern California, once the southernmost outpost of the Russian empire in the Americas and founded by Totma native Ivan Kuskov. Over 200 years ago a colony 80 km off north of San Francisco was used as a fur and agricultural supply post.

“This year our agenda is devoted to a difficult topic - cooperation in the field of science and entrepreneurship. The ambiguity lies in the fact that science and economics are those areas in which progress requires constant cooperation and synchronization of efforts at the international level, and at the same time this is the main issue of rivalry between countries and scientific schools”, said Mikhail Margelov, Vice President of Transneft. "We are glad that our joint project "Fort Ross Dialogue" continues to develop successfully, serves as an effective platform for informal people's diplomacy."

Last year Sarah Sweedler, president and CEO of the Fort Ross Conservancy, received Russia's Order of Friendship from the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a ceremony to award foreign nationals for their contribution to strengthening international peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding, and preserving and promoting the Russian language and culture outside Russia.

At the Forum in Vologda Sarah Sweedler underlined that the mission is unchanged - it is to preserve the historical heritage and to make a contribution into restoration of human relations.

Vologda Oblast official website