The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met the new Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Montréal, Alexey V. Isakov. The meeting focused on Québec-Russia relations and the possibilities for developing them further, especially in the cultural and educational arenas.
Québec culture is increasingly present in Russia. Robert Lepage has now become a household name on Moscow stages, not to mention Garou, who will tour again in Russia in March. The Consulate pointed out that Québec was honoured with a Cirque Éloize show, four Robert Lepage plays and two Compagnie Marie Chouinard shows at Moscow's Chekhov International Theatre Festival in the summer of 2007, and mentioned that he hopes other similar types of events can be held in the future.
The Minister took the opportunity to mention to the Consulate that this year marks the 10th anniversary of Québec’s presence in Moscow through the Moscow-Québec Centre. The Centre was created through an agreement between Université Laval and the University of Social Sciences in Moscow with support from the Ministère des Relations Internationales. In its ten years of activities, the Centre has given many Russian and Québec students an opportunity to complete exchanges, helped organize symposia and enabled the creation of a Québec Studies Program at the University of Social Sciences.
Finally, the Minister informed the Consulate General of his intention to visit Russia in the spring in order to discuss concrete possibilities for developing relations with the country.