The Concept is a system of approaches to priority tasks, targets and areas of activity for the Russian Federation to support and promote the Russian language abroad in the interests of developing international cultural and humanitarian cooperation and creating a positive image of Russia in the world.
The legal basis for the Concept is created by the Russian Federation Constitution, its Foreign Policy Concept, the Federal Law On the State Language of the Russian Federation, a number of Presidential Executive orders, commonly recognized principles and norms of international law, international agreements that the Russian Federation is a signatory of, and normative legal acts of the Russian Federation regulating the activities of federal bodies of power in international cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
The Concept stresses that work to support and promote the Russian language abroad is an important part of Russia’s foreign policy.
It says that the Russian language is the basis of Russia’s history and culture, the national language of the Russian Federation, the language of inter-ethnic communication and an important instrument of cooperation within the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as a means of the ethno-cultural and language self-identification for our compatriots living abroad. It is also one of the most widely used languages in the world and the official or working language of major international organizations.
Expert assessment places the number of people speaking the Russian language in the world at over 260 million, making Russian the fifth language in the world on this criterion. Russian is the official language of numerous international organizations: the UNO, UNESCO, CSTO, SCO, OSCE, IAEA, WHO, EEU and other.
A growing interest towards learning the Russian language worldwide is spurred by expanding political, economic, research, educational, cultural and humanitarian cooperation with the Russian Federation. The Concept speaks of the importance to maintain these positive tendencies, which requires stimulating interest among the foreign public, specifically young people, to the Russian language by highlighting the broad educational, scientific, economic and career opportunities opening up in Russia, and by motivating compatriots living abroad to retain their ethno-cultural and language identity.
The Concept is called upon to make these activities focused and systematic. The principal efforts in this area should be directed at achieving the following targets: to enhance the role, significance and competitiveness of the Russian language in the modern world; to support Russian language learning and teaching; to improve the infrastructure used to develop international cultural, humanitarian, educational and scientific cooperation.
The Russian Federation attaches great significance to promoting the Russian language abroad and it is interested in creating a stable and efficient system for attracting the public abroad to the Russian language, for stimulating interest in studying it abroad, and, as a consequence, for creating its positive image, enhancing its international authority and defending its geopolitical and strategic interests.
Activities in this area envisage, among other things, the organization in Russia and abroad of large-scale events (primarily Russian Language Days); the creation of a single national system of teaching the Russian language abroad on the basis of Russian institutions abroad; expanding the use of remote technologies to teach the Russian language and in the Russian language; providing scientific, methodological, technical and informational support to foreign educational establishments teaching the Russian language or in the Russian language.
The Concept also envisages measures to meet the needs of foreign citizens in multi-level education in the Russian language in the main general educational and professional training programs; to increase access to Russian-language literature abroad by creating a Russian book-trading network; to ensure access for Russian language learners abroad to the digital resources of libraries in the Russian Federation and to develop the system of inter-state and inter-library exchange.
The Concept gives special attention to ensuring the active use of the Russian language for inter-ethnic communication within the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The Russian Federation, the Concept says, attaches great significance to defending the interests of its compatriots living abroad in gaining access to general and professional education in the Russian language and views the Russian diaspora as its principle partner in expanding and strengthening the Russian language and culture space in the world.
Russia supports Russian schools abroad and Russian classes at foreign educational institutions; it assists in creating systems of international pre-school facilities and schools with subjects taught in the national and the Russian languages; it trains Russian language experts among its compatriots living abroad; it motivates descendants of Russian immigrants to study the Russian language, including through the organization of cultural, educational, scientific and educational events; it supports foreign Russian-language writers and scholars.
The Concept lists measures of informational support for activities to support and promote the Russian language abroad.
The main agencies to conduct activities to support and promote the Russian language abroad are the Foreign Ministry of Russia, its Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Culture, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation and other federal and regional executive bodies of power.
The Russky Mir Foundation, created pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order of June 21, 2007, assists the federal executive bodies of power in supporting and promoting the Russian language abroad within its authority and expertise and acts in accord with them.
The support and promotion of the Russian language abroad envisages systematic and focused cooperation with official agencies in other countries, with foreign educational establishments that teach the Russian language and in the Russian language, as well as cooperation with foreign associations of Russian language and literature teachers, compatriots’ unions, friendship societies, sister cities and associations of foreign alumni of Russian (Soviet) higher educational establishments.