MONTEVIDEO, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Institute of Bering and Bellingshausen, a non-government organization seen as a bridge between Russia and Latin America, was officially launched in Uruguay on Monday.
In his greeting message to the participants in the founding assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the establishment of this institute was “a vivid evidence of growing mutual interest to strengthening comprehensive ties not only between the peoples and states but also between two promising regions of the globe - Eurasia and Latin America.” The Russian foreign minister expressed confidence that the new institution would open “new horizons for cooperation” between regions, which had spiritual affinity and strong ties.
Addressing the first conference of the Bering and Bellingshausen Institute, Russian well-known journalist Sergei Brilev, who is President and co-founder of the Bering and Bellingshausen Institute, noted that little was known in Russia about Mercosur — an economic and political association of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. He said that the lack of information about tax free zones in the territory of Mercosur had prompted the idea of creating the Bering and Bellingshausen Institute. On the other hand, he noted, Latin Americans “have little knowledge about the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan].”
Taking part in the conference are Mercosur High Representative, Ambassador Ivan Ramalho, Uruguay’s Vice President Danilo Astori and Uruguayan government officials. The Russian delegation includes President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, member of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s board on key areas of integration and macroeconomics Tatiana Valovaya, representatives from the Kaluga and Vladimir regions. Reports will be delivered by CEOs and top managers of the Russian Central Bank, the Russian Agency for Insuring Export Loans and Investments, the Russian Direct Investments Fund, Gazprombank, VTB Bank, the Skolkovo Foundation, professors from the MGIMO University of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the St. Petersburg State University and leading Latin American universities and mass media.