Petersburger Dialog (The Petersburg Dialogue) was founded in 2001 at the initiative of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia and Gerhard Schroeder, the Chancellor of Germany, as an open forum for the two nations to develop German-Russian relations.
The Forum’s main priority is
- Increasing mutual understanding between Germany and Russia
- Developing mutual cooperation in all social spheres
- Broadening contacts between the two nations
The Forum’s major tasks include
1. Building a constructive dialogue between the representatives of all social spheres of the two countries as a solid foundation for cooperation irrelative of the current political situation;
2. Developing joint projects in different areas (economics, healthcare, culture etc.)
The Forum’s activity is organized as annual conferences hosted alternately in Germany and Russia, special meetings to discuss specific issues, and regular meetings of thematic working groups (Politics, Economics, Education and Science, Mass Media, Civic Society, the Church, A Workshop of the Future, Culture).
The Petersburg Dialogue is managed by Coordinating Committee – an independent and parity basis body. From 2001 to 2009 it was co-chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. On the German side, the Committee is co-chaired by former East Germany's prime minister Lothar de Maizière. Since 2010 co-chairman of the Forum’s Coordinating Committee has been Viktor Zubkov, first deputy of the prime minister of the Russian Federation.