Today’s teleconferencing between mayors of Yakutsk and Fairbanks

Teleconferencing between the mayors of sister-cities, Yakutsk and Fairbanks, June 05, 2010.

In the picture: Ed Clarke, mayor Yury Zabolev, interpreter Nadya Noeva

Today two mayors of sister-cities, Yakutsk (Russia) and Fairbanks (USA), had teleconferencing. It was the first time, when Yury Zabolev (biography) talked live to his colleague of Fairbanks, Luke Hopkins (his bio). They talked about how they could reanimate the relations between sister-cities in the near future.

In Yakutsk Yury Zabolev was surrounded during the conference with his two deputies, chief of international relations department, Yakutia’s representative in the Secretariat of the Northern Forum Anastassia Bozhedonova, Yakutsk IREX representative Kapitalina Alexeeva and 1st Deputy of Yakutia’s Ministry of Foreign Relations Anna Shishigina. Besides, there was also Ed Clarke, a Fairbanks representative, who visited Yakutsk many times since the beginning of two cities relations, precisely since 1989, when the agreement was signed.

In Fairbanks there was Luke Hopkins with 10 members of Fairbanks Sister-Cities Assistance Committee. The chat started with words of courtesy and change of memorable gifts.

Teleconferencing between the mayors of sister-cities, Yakutsk and Fairbanks, June 05, 2010.

Choron from Mr Zabolev for Mr Hopkins. This vessel is used for drinking horse milk.

Teleconferencing between the mayors of sister-cities, Yakutsk and Fairbanks, June 05, 2010.

This decoration is also for Mr Hopkins. In honor of the 65th Anniversary of Great Patriotic War Victory over Fascism.

Afterwards, Mr Hopkins asked what type of the future cooperation Yakutsk might be interested in. In his turn, he mentioned the following issues:

- business;
- transportation;
- culture, education & etc.

Mr. Zabolev said it was very good that previous mayors had signed the agreement without time-limit. Even now after long silence both sides may continue developing cooperation.

In his turn, he highlighted the necessity of resuming flights between two continents, between Yakutia and Alaska. Many years ago there were regular flights on the route Yakutsk — Magadan — Alaska. «Why not do that today,» said Yakutsk mayor. Hopkins agreed and promised that the issue would be discussed by his committee tomorrow.

By the end of the teleconferencing two sides decided to repeat the phone dialogue on August 25th, on the day of the agreement signing. Besides, they expressed desire to meet each other in reality, either on the US side or in Yakutsk.

The song dedicated to Yakutsk-Fairbanks friendship. Written by English teacher Valentina Moukina and kept by Yakutsk mayor adviser Galina Lykhina. Click the photo to enlarge

When the phone dialogue ended, the representatives of Yakutia’s ministry of foreign relations discussed with Yury Zabolev the opportunity of arranging the Ivan Negenblya’s Alaska-Siberia WWII Air Route photo exhibition in Fairbanks on October 12-13, 2010. Check some pics of that historic photographs collection at AlaskaSiberia.com I am currently working on.

The mayor didn’t promise, but said he and his colleagues would think of where to find funds for paying Ivan Negeblya and his wife’s housing to in the US. That’s already good! Regarding their travel expenses we hope to talk to Yakutia Airlines.

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