Kostroma, a city in Russia on the Volga River, to promote cultural and economic ties, is looking for a twin city in Turkmenistan, the Information Agency KOSTROMA.TODAY informs.
According to the press service of the City Duma, Kostroma is in active search for a new twin town; currently, Kostroma is twinned with 19 towns. The head of the city considers this expansion of the “family” as prospects for the development of cultural ties, economy, and holding of joint sports events, as well as mutual exchange of delegations of schoolchildren and youth.
For twin-cityhood, the priority was given to the CIS states – Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, members of the Council on International Activities proposed to consider one of the cities of Italy as a possible twin town candidate.
Twin cities (or sister cities or town twinning) are a special case of two cities or urban centres that are located in two different states, or in one, which happens less often, and founded in close geographic proximity to promote cooperation in various fields. Twin cities exchange delegations, art and sports groups, exhibitions, literature, films, and photographs about the life of cities and information about the experience of urban management.
In 1944, the British city of Coventry and Stalingrad (now Volgograd), both cities destroyed by war, became the first Anglo-Soviet twin cities. Residents of Coventry presented to Stalingrad a table cloth with the words: “Little help is better than big sympathy.” They were joined by Dijon, Turin and Ostrava, cities damaged by war as well.
The World Federation of Twin Cities was founded on April 28, 1957 in the city of Aix-les-Bains, France. In 1962, on initiative of the organization, it was decided to celebrate a World Day of Twin Cities last Sunday of April every year. In 1970, about 1,000 cities from more than 50 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and America joined the World Federation of Twin Cities, while by 2000 – over 3,500 cities from more than 160 countries.
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan and the largest administrative, political, industrial, scientific and cultural center of the state, has established sister city ties with foreign cities and regions of the world, which are shaped in various treaties, agreements and memorandum on joint cooperation.
In 1974, Ashgabat was twinned with Bamako, the capital of Mali, Africa. In 1990, the city of Albuquerque, USA, became a sister city of the Turkmen capital, and since that, several exchange programs between the two cities were implemented.
Ashgabat is also twinned with Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. An agreement between the city halls on the establishment of sister city relations was signed during a working visit of the Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmenistan on May 20, 2017.
During the visit of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to Ashgabat on November 3, 2017, the governors of Orel and Mary provinces signed an Agreement on the establishment of sister city relations between the city of Mary and the city of Orel.
In April 2014, Isao Iijima, Special Advisor to the Cabinet of Japan, proposed to grant Tokyo and Ashgabat a town twinning status.
In 2017, Ashgabat was twinned with the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Ashgabat has such foreign sister cities as Athens, Ankara, Chinese Lanzhou, Kazakh Aktau, Kiev and Yerevan.
On August 23, 2018, an Agreement on the establishment of sister city relation between Ashgabat and Bishkek was signed within the framework of the state visit of President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbai Jeenbekov to Turkmenistan.
And still, the list of cities that have town twinning links to the main city of Turkmenistan is not complete. Indeed, today Ashgabat is recognized center of constructive cooperation on regional and global levels, attraction center for foreign tourists and travelers who wish to learn the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Turkmen people and its modern achievements.