The city of Strasbourg, with its strong European vocation and desire to consolidate good neighbourly relations between the European Union and Russia, signed a cooperation agreement in 2009 to cement its relations with the Russian city of Vologda


Strasbourg attaches considerable importance to cooperation with Russia, which, over the years, has given rise to a rich variety of exchanges, including students, cultural events, university cooperation and experience-sharing between local authorities.

Two cities with much in common

A rich historical and religious heritage, a thriving cultural scene and shared weaving and wood-craft traditions, provided the impetus for the two cities to sign a decentralised cooperation agreement.

Christmas is another area where Strasbourg and Vologda share strong traditions. Died Moroz, the Russian Father Frost, whose home is in Velikiy-Oustioug in the Region of Vologda, comes to the Strasbourg Christmas fair every year and Russia was the guest of honour there in 2009.

The 2009 cooperation agreement

The renewable 3-year framework cooperation agreement between Strasbourg and Vologda was signed on 6 December 2009, by the mayors of the two cities. The aims of the agreement are set out around three main themes:

  • Culture and heritage
  • Tourism
  • Sport, health and social cohesion

Cooperation projects

Culture, heritage and crafts: the France-Russia Year in 2010 gave rise to a number of artistic exchanges between the two cities. Vologda craftsman demonstrated their skills in the 2009 Christmas Market in Strasbourg, which featured Russia, and also in the European fair in 2011, where the city set up a special booth to show off the richness and diversity of Vologda's traditional crafts industry, as well as the region's many heritage, cultural and tourist attractions.

  • Tourism: experience exchanges based on promoting tourism and developing accommodation facilities were set up with the support of the Tourist Office of Strasbourg and Its Region.
  • Sport: a partnership agreement was signed between the Cronenbourg Gymnastics Association and the Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation of Vologda, when young gymnasts from Vologda came over to perform in Strasbourg's European Fair. Exchanges between other sports, such as ice hockey and women's basketball, are also being considered.
  • University and school exchanges: exchanges regularly take place between schools of both cities, and also between the Strasbourg School of Architecture and the University of Vologda
  • Health: the Strasbourg Teaching Hospital is due to provide expert advice and assistance to Vologda hospital with regard to healthcare system administration and hospital governance, with the financial support of the French Embassy in Russia.

Partners in France

  • City of Strasbourg
  • Tourist Office of Strasbourg and its Region
  • Strasbourg Teaching Hospital
  • Cronenbourg Gymnastics Association
  • École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Strasbourg
  • Lycée international des Pontonniers

Partners in Russia

  • City of Vologda
  • Region of Vologda
  • French Embassy in Russia
  • "Vologodskie Souveniri" tourist information centre
  • "Reznoï Palissad" crafts centre
  • Vologda Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation
  • University of Vologda
  • School no.1 of Vologda