Culture, Science and Education Cooperation

Culture is the area where the links with Scotland are most advanced and well-established.

Russian companies and orchestras are frequent visitors to Edinburgh. Edinburgh International Festival hosts regularly ballet and opera companies and orchestra of the world famous Mariinskiy theatre, whereas Maestro Valeriy Gergiev has been the Festival's honorary president since 2011. Numerous Russian performers bring Russian twist to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

As part of Russia-UK Year of Culture EIF's programme includes the premier of the Russian World War One - themed play ‘The War', while Scotland sends to Moscow ‘Dunsinane' by the National Theatre of Scotland  and three shows of the Scottish Ballet .

Scottish companies are also now regular guests at the Russian Chekhov Theatre Festival, and bands perform often at the Celtic music gigs. They also take part at numerous Robert Burns events in Russia.

Indeed, the Scottish Bard, just as Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter Scott, is very famous in Russia - his verses are translated perfectly by excellent Russian poets, like Samuel Marshak, and it is not surprising at all that the first Robert Burns postal stamp was issued in the Soviet Union in 1956. At the same time Russian literature is also well known in Scotland. Russian-themed conferences are hosted by the Moffat Book Events, and Pushkin Prizes celebrating Russia's best known poet are awarded to the Scottish and Russian school students every year for their achievements in creative writing.

Meanwhile, 2014 is a year of another iconic Russian poet‘s birth bicentenary - Mikhail Lermontov, who, by the way, had some Scottish blood. To mark the occasion, the excellent translations into English and Scots were published by the Scottish Poetry Library, and there will be further celebrations throughout the year.

Museums play great role in the cultural links too. High level cooperation between the National Museum of Scotland and the State Hermitage produced the range of breath-taking exhibitions of items brought to Edinburgh from St Petersburg - most recently, epic ‘Catherine the Great: An Enlightened Empress' exhibition in 2012.

In Russia, unique items from Scotland are exhibited regularly as part of the annual Days of Scotland in St Petersburg.

Both Russia and Scotland are known for their education and since and it is just natural that many links are established between the universities.

There are frequent student exchanges and joint degree programmes between Russian and Scottish institutions.

Joint degree programmes  are established between St Andrews and Moscow State Institute of the International Relations, Heriot-Watt University and Tomsk Polytechnic University, Napier University and Russian University of Economics as well as Peoples' Friendship University of Russia.

The University of Edinburgh has partnership agreements with Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University and the Higher School of Economics.

Students who study Russian language or Russia-related programmes in Scotland go often to the Russian universities for their language training and short programmes, whereas many young Russians apply for full-time programmes in Scotland. The University of Edinburgh alone hosts for up to 120 students from Russia every year.

The exchanges exist among the professors and researches too. Many highly skilled Russian experts work full-time in the Scottish universities both as lecturers and researches. Their expertise is particularly known in the mathematics, informatics, natural sciences.