The message reads, in part:
“The issue of preserving indigenous languages is of great, even universal importance, without exaggeration. It is symbolic that the UN General Assembly has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Today our country joins this much-needed initiative.
We are justifiably proud of our status as one of the largest countries where representatives of some 200 ethnic groups live in peace and harmony. The languages, distinctive traditions and economic way of life of indigenous people are our common heritage; they constitute Russia’s cultural and ethnic diversity and its true wealth. Our Constitution guarantees people the right to learn and use their native language, which plays a major role in people’s personal interactions, binds generations and preserves invaluable experience and historical memory. I would like to stress that we will continue comprehensive, creative and painstaking efforts aimed at supporting all languages in our multiethnic country, and we will engage experts, teachers, civic organisations, ethnic communities and the media in this important and solemn mission.
I am convinced that the forum will be held in a positive and constructive spirit, and the decisions and recommendations reached by its participants will certainly be acted upon.”