Cultural Relations

Cultural cooperation between Estonia and Russia has historically been good. Cooperation falls under the programme of bilateral cultural cooperation. On 1 March, the Undersecretary of the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Deputy Culture Minister of Russia signed the 10th programme for 2010-2021. The cooperation programme includes all major cultural sectors – music, theatre, visual arts, film and folk culture.

Last year, numerous events were organised in Moscow, St Petersburg and other locations in Russia to celebrate the centennial of the Republic of Estonia. Highlights include the exhibition Border Poetics. Estonian Art 1918-2018 at the National Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Estonian cultural days in Krasnoyarsk, the solo exhibition of Jaan Toomik at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and many other events. 2019 brings many more Estonian cultural events to Russia. In January 2019, the guest performances of the Estonia Theatre were off to a successful start at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In September 2019, a production about Georg Ots, who was born 100 years ago next March, will premiere at the Helikon-Opera. The festival Spiegel im Spiegel, dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt, is held for the fifth time. The St John’s Church in St Petersburg has become an important cultural centre that hosts concerts throughout the year. Between 23 September and 16 October, the Baltiiski Dom festival is held in St Petersburg. In May every year, the film days of the Baltic States are organised in St Petersburg. Various artists from Estonia perform in Russia throughout the year. Estonian film days are also organised in various parts of Russia every year.

One of the most highly anticipated events for theatre fans is the Russian Theatre Festival Golden Mask, held every autumn. In 2019, the festival takes place from 18 to 30 October, already in its 15th year. The festival offers Estonian audiences the best of the last theatre season of Russian theatres. In June 2019, the Finno-Ugric film festival FUFF was held for the 6th time, and the programme included various workshops. The Helikon-Opera attended the Saaremaa Opera Days in 2019 for the 12th time. This year’s Birgitta festival is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Eri Klas and its main guest is the Moscow Novaya Opera, where Klas worked as principle conductor from 2006 to 2011.

One of the permanent exhibitions of the Estonian National Museum is Echo of the Urals – an exposition presenting the culture of Finno-Ugric peoples living mostly on Russian territory. From 17 to 19 June 2020, the Estonian National Museum will host the 8th World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples.

Additional information:

The cultural calendar of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow: and

Cultural events in Estonia:

Estonian Ministry of Culture:

Estonian-Russian cultural cooperation programme (in Russian):