(Yan Smirnitsky’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 8/27.)

Moskovsky Komsomolets spoke with Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for international cultural cooperation, Mikhail Shvydkoi, about the status of cultural ties between Russia, Europe and America at a time of political and economic tension.

MK: What events await us in the coming months?

Mikhail Shvydkoi: On Sept. 17, the Science Museum in London is set to launch a highly important and unprecedented exhibition, “Cosmonauts” dedicated to the achievements of our country in space exploration.

Ian Blatchford, head of the Museum of Science and Technology, has done much over the past two and a half years to ensure the exhibition is a success. I hope the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, will take part in the opening.

At the same time, we are continuing a dialogue with the new management of the British Council; specifically, we are negotiating the possibility of holding the Year of Language and Literature in our countries. We suppose that we will hold the Year of the Russian Language and Literature in the UK, and the Year of English Language and Literature in Russia in 2016.

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