Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony later on Thursday at the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks, according to a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington.
FAIRBANKS (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony later on Thursday at the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks in commemoration of those who contributed to the Lend-Lease program from both the United States and the Soviet Union, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington told Sputnik.
"There will be a wreath-laying ceremony [Thursday]," Nikolai Lahonin said. "It will be attended by Minister Lavrov, Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, Fairbanks Mayor Matherly and the US servicemen."
The monument in the heart of Fairbanks was created by Alaskan sculptor Richard Wallen in 2006, and features a Soviet and a US pilot, and serves to honor all those who flew the Lend-Lease route from Alaska to Siberia.
The Alaska-Siberia Air Route, or ALSIB operated in 1942-1945 was used as part of the US Lend-Lease program to deliver US warplanes to the Soviet Union. It consisted of roads and airports that began in Montana and ran some 6,000 miles through Canada on to Alaska, where Soviet pilots tested the aircraft before flying them into Siberia to be sent westward for use against German forces. Over 8,000 US warplanes were sent to the Soviet Union along ALSIB to aid the country in its fight against Nazi Germany.
Lavrov is currently in Alaska to participate in the 10th biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting.