“Although you live far away, you are still a part of Russia and have always kept an unbroken spiritual tie with it”, Mr Medvedev’s message says. “You lovingly preserve Russia’s rich cultural traditions and make every possible effort to develop the Russian language. Through your efforts, there are Russian theatres, cultural centres and libraries working in many countries, and memorable humanitarian actions and cultural events taking place. We in Russia are genuinely pleased to see that your interest in events in your historical homeland is growing all the time, and that our contacts are expanding and becoming ever more diverse.
Developing and maintaining ties with our compatriots abroad will always be a priority for the Russian authorities. Support programmes are being implemented at federal and regional level today to provide all-round protection for Russian-speaking people’s rights and help to carry out cultural, information, educational and social projects. We will work consistently to intensify activities in these areas.
I wish the conference participants fruitful work. I am sure that your discussions and the substantive exchange of views you will have will enable you to assess what has been accomplished so far and outline future work. The recommendations you draw up will be developed upon at the World Congress of Compatriots in 2009”.
Around 300 members of Russian communities abroad and public organisations representing Russians living in more than 80 different countries are to take part in the conference, which takes place in Moscow on October 31-November 1.