In civilian shipping, commercial "classification agencies" run registers of ships sorted into various classes (e.g. by size), and provide technical oversight and surveys of all ships on their register. "Classification" is required to enter any territorial waters in the EU for example, for safety concerns. Also, this is usually required to obtain any insurance for a ship.
In total, there are only 40 such agencies worldwide, with ten of them operating internationally and acknowledging each others registers as "valid"; these ten are organized in the IACS organization.
Now, two of these ten agencies within the IACS are the German "Germanischer Lloyd" (GL) and the state-run Russian "Maritime Register of Shipping" (RS).
Germany and Russia signed several contracts over the last six months.
Part of these is among other things that GL will closely cooperate with the St Petersburg Maritime University, one of the best maritime engineering universities worldwide.
Additionally, and that's the big thing, GL and RS will be mutually able to operate in each other's country. That means that Germans and Russians will - to some extent - supervise each other's shipbuilding industry, maritime safety, and technical upkeep in the civilian maritime sector in the future.
A big step.