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Common historical memory unites Belarussians, Russians, says culture minister

Belarussian Minister Yuri Bondar recalled that this year the two states mark two historical dates:the 75h anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad and the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis

MINSK, September 20. /TASS/. Belarussian Culture Minister Yuri Bondar has said that the large-scale festival called Days of Russian Spiritual Culture in Belarus actualize the common historical memory of the two peoples. He was speaking at a full-scale meeting Historical, Cultural, and Ideological Unity of the Russian and Belarussian people in Moscow House in Minsk.

"Relations between the people of Belarus and Russia are really fraternal and there are many reasons for this, such as common Slavic roots, a thousand-year-long history of neighborliness, cooperation and mutual assistance and close cultural traditions resting upon similar moral and ethical values and common historical memory," he said.

Bondar recalled that this year the two countries marked two historical dates: the 75h anniversaries of the end of the siege of Leningrad and the liberation of Belarus from the Nazi invasion. Next year the two peoples will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the victory in the war against Nazi Germany.

"These historical landmarks are very important for the unity of Belarus and Russia and the ideological basis of the Union State. The presidents of our countries invariably mention this at each proper occasion," Bondar said. "All activities of the Days of Culture are expected to actualize common historical memory."

Russia’s Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova noted the role of the Russian diplomatic mission in arranging for such a major event. She recalled that earlier the presidents of the two countries devoted one of their meetings to the humanitarian issues. They pointed out that cultural cooperation between Belarus and Russia "should be more intensive, meaningful and productive and reach every individual."

Manilova said that as a result a three-year program for large-scale cultural cooperation had been formed.

"There will be new ideas for complementing the program. We will specify and update it and diversify and expand its content and scope," Manilova said.

The program’s biggest event this year will be Days of Religious Culture in Belarus. Russia will present two exhibition projects - an exhibition of Orthodox artistic handicrafts from different regions of Russia and a large exhibition of children’s drawings The Soul of Russia. "It features works by the best students of art schools in different Russian regions from Kalinigrad to the Far East," she said.