Russian leaders heading to Virginia Beach

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 18:46:42-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Several Russian leaders are attending a Sister Cities summit this week in the Resort City.

A handful leaders will attend the summit at the Convention Center. Tim Quigley, the chairman of Sister Cities International, says the goal is for leaders from America to continue connections with leaders from overseas, and share ideas.  There are 77 sister city relationships with Russia, according to Quigley. One of the leaders attending is the Russian equivalent of a county board of supervisors chairman.

Russia's interactions with the Trump campaign during the 2016 have been the focus of much talk going on this week in Washington. Quigley says that chatter hasn't reached the summit, but that the conference is important to build people-to-people relationships during turbulent times. "It's easy when times are easy between countries, but the most important time is when things are not easy," he said.

Mayor Will Sessoms says the city is proud to host the summit and conference, and is hoping to learn from the Russian officials. "For instance in Russia, I wonder if they have the same issue with sea level rise that we do," Sessoms said. "I wonder do they have budget issues at a local level extent we do."