ST. PETERSBURG 's A top Russian official said on Thursday it was prepared to participate in a project to build a new bridge across the Narva River on the border with Estonia.
St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko admitted to Estonian Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland that Russia had failed to give the issue due attention because of a lack of funds but in the future it would become more involved.
The border town of Narva desperately needs a new bridge due to the age and lack of capacity of the existing one. Ojuland said.
The minister and the governor agreed that the building of a new bridge serves the interests of not only Estonia and Russia but more widely of the EU-Russia partnership.
Both also said that the border checkpoint needs to be raised to promote the development of tourism.
Matviyenko also promised the Ojuland that she would personally address the question of the St. John's Church in St. Petersburg, which was built by Estonians in the middle of the 19th century and consecrated in 1860 but has been put at the disposal of an Estonian Lutheran congregation though not ownership.
The governor said St. Petersburg was ready to give the church into the congregation's ownership if the building is restored to its original form.