Auditors General of Estonia and Russia meet in St Petersburg

Toomas Mattson | 1/16/2013 | 3:18 PM

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The meeting of Estonian Auditor General Mihkel Oviir and Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Sergei Stepashin was held on 16 January in St Petersburg, Russia. The parties analysed whether any progress had been made in solving the problems that were revealed in the course of the parallel audits carried out by the Chamber of Accounts of the Russian Federation and the National Audit Office of Estonia a year ago regarding the organisation of border crossing and the condition of Lake Peipus.

Both Oviir and Stepashin emphasised the need to continue their rational and mutually beneficial cooperation and agreed that the two countries’ work together had so far proven to be a success.

At the meeting of the Collegium of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the management of the National Audit Office of Estonia, the auditors general of Estonia and Russia agreed to return to the issues which concern border crossing problems and the activities undertaken to resolve them a year later. A follow-up audit of the condition of Lake Peipus will be carried out in 2015, as agreed last year.

Construction of a new bridge in Narva, which has been highlighted by the Estonian side several times, was also discussed at the meeting. Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Sergei Stepashin considers the construction of a new bridge very important in order to cope with the increasing traffic on the border between the two countries.

It was also agreed at the meeting that materials about everything that has been done or must be done in these areas will be sent to the competent state agencies of both countries.

Representatives of Estonia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tax and Customs Board, Veterinary and Food Board and their colleagues from the respective Russian state agencies who were involved in the content and carrying out of the audits were also invited to the meeting of the Collegium of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and the management of the National Audit Office of Estonia, which was held in Smolny, so they could take part in discussions on further cooperation.
The Estonian delegation also visited the Estonian Consulate General in St Petersburg.

Auditor General Mihkel Oviir and Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Sergei Stepashin also met with the Governor of St Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko. Mr Oviir thanked the Governor for the return of St John’s Church, which plays an important role in the history and culture of Estonia, and expressed his hope that the last remaining issues will also find quick and timely solutions. Governor Poltavchenko promised to do everything in his power to complete this process as soon as possible.

The parties were pleased to note that the general growth in economic relationships and tourism between Estonia and Russia is particularly visible in St Petersburg. The increasing number of business contacts and growing trade between Estonia and the St Petersburg region both speak of this.

Background:
Mihkel Oviir and Sergei Stepashin signed documents that concern the common part of the parallel audits carried out by the two states in Ivangorod on 29 March 2012. One of the documents described the activities of the agencies that ensure cross-border flows of goods and means of transport; the other focuses on guaranteeing the environmental protection of Lake Peipus and the sustainable use of transboundary bodies of water. These audits were agreed on during the visit of the Chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber to Estonia in 2010. This was the first joint project of its kind implemented by the supreme audit institutions of Estonia and Russia.

Toomas Mattson
Head of Communication Service
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513 4900
toomas.mattson@riigikontroll.ee

  • Posted: 1/16/2013 3:18 PM
  • Last Update: 1/18/2013 9:27 AM
  • Last Review: 1/18/2013 9:27 AM

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