Cultural Relations

The cultural cooperation between Estonia and Russia has been great over the years. In 2016, many exhibitions, film festivals and concerts introducing Estonian culture were organised in different cities of Russia. 09.-12.06.2016 around 30 events related to Estonians took place as part of a citizen diplomacy initiative “1000 Estonians in St. Petersburg”. Minister of Culture Indrek Saar was on an unofficial working visit in St. Petersburg at the time, thereby expressing his support for the initiative. From 08.-18.10.2016, the traditional theatre festival Golden Mask took place in Tallinn and Sillamäe. In Octobr 2016, the Moscow Helikon-Opera performed in Tallinn and the Estonian National Opera performed in Moscow. On 3 June 2016 Estonia-Russia culture cooperation program for 2016-2018 was signed in Narva.

The cooperation in projects concerning education, science, youth and language, has been successful. There are cooperation projects that enable student and lecturer exchanges between universities. Russia is one of the Study in Estonia programme priority countries. During the school year of 2016/2017, 266 Russians will be studying in Estonia, which makes Russia one of the top 5 countries where foreign students come from. Cooperation concerning languages studies will continue in the Pechory Linguistic Gymnasium and the Saint Petersburg State University, both of which will host a necessary teacher and lecturer.

The official inauguration of the St. John’s Church in St. Petersburg, which took place on February 20, 2011, played an important role in the cultural and general history of Estonia. The building of the church and the land beneath it have been returned to the congregation, the building has been fully reconstructed, its original function and appearance have been restored. He building is administered by Eesti Kontsert (The State Concert Institute). The St. John’s Church has become an important cultural centre, which makes it possible to introduce the Estonian culture and organise various events. Religious services in Estonian are regularly held in the church.