Estonian Minister of Culture Indrek Saar and his Ukrainian counterpart Yevhen Nyshchuk are set to sign a program of cultural cooperation between the two countries for the 2017-2021 period in Tallinn on Monday.
Cultural cooperation between Estonia and Ukraine, which has been officially ongoing for more than two decades, has intensified in recent years.
In 1994, an agreement on cooperation in culture, education and research was signed by Estonia and Ukraine, on the basis of which a cooperation agreement between the Ministries of Culture of the two countries was later signed. The first program of cultural cooperation based on this agreement was signed in Kiev in 1997; the program to be signed on Monday is the fifth such document.
According to Saar, cultural cooperation between the two countries has intensified in recent years. For example, the Ukrainian National Opera was the main guest performer at the 2014 Saaremaa Opera Days and a concert piano was donated to the School of Fine Arts in Slovyansk, Ukraine as a result of a charity project spearheaded by the Estonian National Opera.
Another example of good cooperation between Estonia and Ukraine highlighted by Saar was a case last year in which Estonia confiscated on its border and returned to Ukraine a Viking-era sword illegally taken out of Ukraine.
The Estonian minister said that at Monday's meeting, thoughts would be exchanged with Ukrainian colleagues regarding areas in which the two countries could work together in the future.
Ukraine is one of Estonia's priority countries in development cooperation; it is also one of the partner countries for the EU under the Eastern Partnership program.
Estonia has altogether nearly 50 agreements on cultural cooperation and joint programs in place with countries all over the world. Cooperation agreements and programs enable cooperation with foreign countries and their cultural institutions to be developed and supported, thereby helping promote Estonian culture globally as well, the ministry said.
Editor: Aili Vahtla