The Crown Prince in St. Petersburg
Today His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon embarked on a three-day official visit to Russia. Activities will include the promotion of Norwegian industrial initiatives in St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast.
Crown Prince Haakon is accompanied by State Secretary Dilek Ayhan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, State Secretary Kåre Fostervold of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and State Secretary Bård Glad Pedersen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Consulate General in St. Petersburg
Upon his arrival, the Crown Prince attended a ceremony to celebrate the new offices of the Consulate General of Norway in St. Petersburg, which were opened at the end of May 2013. The Consulate General has a staff of ten, with five Norwegian and five Russian employees. The ceremony was followed by a short guided tour of the facilities.
Several large Norwegian companies have established operations in the region. Crown Prince Haakon will be visiting two of them: paint manufacturer Jotun and FMC Technologies, the world's leading equipment supplier for subsea oil and gas production.
The Consular District includes St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast, Novgorod oblast, Pskovs oblast and the Republic of Karelia, all of which were represented at the ceremony. The district extends across 370 000 square kilometres, roughly the same area as Norway, and has a population of approximately 9 million.
Window to the West
St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as his "window to the West". With a population of close to 5 million, the city is an important industrial and financial centre as well as home to central Russian research and education institutions.
St. Petersburg is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. The State Hermitage Museum is renowned for its enormous collection, which is housed in more than six buildings, one of which is the Winter Palace.