The message reads, in part:
“This is the first time you are meeting in Moscow. Russia places great importance on preserving and developing cultural heritage. A unique conglomerate of different ethnic groups has taken shape in Russia over the centuries. Throughout its development, the Russian state has always had its foundations in the search for the best ways in which different peoples can live together and enrich each other with cultural particularities and achievements. Russia’s greatest treasure today is its unique system of coexistence between different ethnic traditions and faiths. We are ready to share generously this wealth of ours with our partners in the aim of bringing greater cultural harmony to the whole of Europe.
Your conferences provide the opportunity for deep and substantive dialogue that helps us to respond effectively to today’s challenges and to continue perfecting our technological progress. The dramatic increase in information volumes and the upsurge in migration make the role of culture more important than ever in cementing social bonds. Today’s priority tasks include finding new ways and opportunities for cooperation in regulating cultural processes, getting citizens and non-governmental organisations actively involved, ensuring unhindered access to culture, and giving people, especially Europe’s youth, the best possible conditions for realising their creative potential.
These are precisely the issues on your agenda. I am sure that your active discussions, comprehensive analysis of the problems, and constructive ideas and recommendations will have a positive effect on the European dialogue in general and on developing the Council of Europe’s cooperation with other international organisations, above all UNESCO. Your work will help to promote mutual understanding and trust between all countries and all peoples of different nationalities and religions.”