The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will open a liaison office in Moscow in order to strengthen cooperation links between the Russian Federation and the organization in the areas of agriculture and food security.
Under the terms of a Host Country Agreement signed at FAO headquarters, the new office is set to open later in 2015.
"The opening of the liaison office opens up new partnership opportunities in pursuit of our common goals, exploring at full capacity the country's enormous potential, knowledge and vast expertise in the areas of agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the signature ceremony.
The ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to FAO Alexander Gorban who said: "We attach great importance to the opening of the Moscow office. It is intended to further expand cooperation between FAO and Russia and its specialized agencies, industry associations, agribusiness and scientists. We hope that it will also enhance joint FAO-Russian programs, promote wider dissemination of FAO knowledge in the Russian language, and strengthen FAO's position in the region in particular in the countries of Eurasian Economic Union".
Graziano da Silva also noted that the next step in the partnership would be the preparation of a Framework Agreement between the Russian Federation and FAO on strategic cooperation in agriculture and food security. Geographically, the partnership will focus on countries from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Food safety and food security priority areas
The Russian Federation became an FAO Member in 2006. Since then, FAO-Russian cooperative relationship has focused on a wide array of development initiatives in parts of Europe and Asia as well elsewhere around the world. The following have been identified as priority areas of work for the two partners: food security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, food safety and participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission.The importance attached by the Russian Federation to cooperation on food safety and international food standards programs is reflected in the concrete support provided to FAO food-related initiatives.