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World Congress of Russian Compatriots opens in Moscow to further consolidate Russian World

November 05, 2015, 4:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This year, the Congress is expected to be attended by about 400 delegates representing Russian communities from 97 world nations

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MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. The fifth World Congress of Russian Compatriots is opening in Moscow on Thursday.

The Congress’ mission is to consolidate Russian compatriots, to protect their rights and legal interests, to strengthen their ties with historic motherland, to preserve cultural heritage and the Russian language abroad.

This year, the Congress is expected to be attended by about 400 delegates representing Russian communities from 97 world nations.

The Congress will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaker of the Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the State Duma lower parliament house Sergei Naryshkin, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, chief of the Federal Agency for the Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Lyubov Glebova and other tops officials from federal authorities, representatives from public organizations of Russian compatriots and a number of Russian regions.

The previous World Congress of Russian Compatriots was held in St. Petersburg in late October 2012. It was attended by representatives of Russian communities from 94 countries.

Colossal Potential of the Russian World

The Congress "is to be a milestone event for further consolidation of the Russian World," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said ahead of the forum. "It is a good opportunity to sum up the results of the work done in the recent years and outline plans for future."

"By the fifth Congress, the Russian World has grown more consolidated, with democratic organizations structures functioning at the country, regional and global levels," he said. "Washington’s and Brussels’ anti-Russian actions, including their unilateral restrictions, have had no adverse impacts on our dialogue with Russian communities which have been expressing their support to Russia."

"I am confident we will be able to successfully solve our tasks through consolidated effort in the interests of further realization of the colossal potential of the Russian World," Lavrov underscored.

Protection of Historic Memory

The fifth Congress of Russian Compatriots is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II. "The forum will take place in the year of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview with TASS. "Therefore, its delegates will pay attention to the need to protect historical memory, primarily the truth about a decisive contribution of all peoples of the Soviet Union to the victory over fascism.

"Efforts made by our compatriots to fight against the glorification of Nazism and manifestations of xenophobia, inter-ethnic strife, racism and aggressive nationalism will certainly be part of the agenda," the Russian diplomat said adding it was important to define common problems, which Russian compatriots face around the globe.

"It is important for the Russian state to understand what it can do to help solving these problems. I am confident that the words and calls that will sound in Moscow will be heard in all parts of the world," Karasin stressed. "The forum has an aim to demonstrate that the foreign Russian world maintains partnership relations with its historical homeland preserving the native language, culture and historical heritage. Our compatriots regarded Crimea’s reunification with Russia as a landmark historical event, which was actively discussed by everybody who is linked to Russia. It also produced a positive consolidating impact on the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Russian diaspora."

Consolidation of Compatriots Association

"The forum is expected to discuss the forms and methods of consolidating the associations of compatriots and the role of young people; protection of compatriots’ rights; preservation of historical memory and counteraction to attempts to distort history; the task of spreading the Russian language, Russian culture and education abroad and many other things," Karasin said.

According to Karasin, the World Congress of Compatriots is a floor for open and free discussion of all problems that interest compatriots irrespective of where they live.

The Russian diaspora of about 30 million people is among the world’s four biggest ones.

Russia is currently implementing a state program to encourage Russians to move to live in Russia from abroad. In 2014, according to the Federal Migration Service, a total of 106,000 compatriots returned to Russia from abroad. In all, over the three years since program’s adoption in 2012, more than 290,000 people returned to Russia.

In 2016-2017, the Russian government plans to allocate 400 million roubles (6.32 million U.S. dollars) to finance this program.

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