ST. PETERSBURG, November 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday culture can be seen as a counterbalance to aggressive radicalism looming over the world.
"Culture, art, education are the answer to the challenges of barbarism, intolerance, aggressive radicalism threatening our civilization. It is a way to bridge gaps, clear barriers and do away with prejudices that hamper our progress," Putin said at an opening ceremony of the 6th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.
He greeted participants in the forum and noted that their proactive position, their mutual trust and striving for partnership prove that culture is a universal language of communication and mutual understanding which has a colossal potential as a means to unite people and ideas around humanistic goals.
He stressed that culture helps preserve basic values and pass them over to the following generations, which makes it possible to link the past, the present and the future, to preserve specifics of each nation and help not to lose one’s way in the rapidly changing globalized world.
"We highly appreciate that the spirit and the essence of the St. Petersburg forum have won such broad support, that we have managed to create another venue for an open and equal dialogue, for launching initiatives geared at cross-fertilization between cultures and hence at harmonious development of the entire world," the president underscored.
The Russian leader thanked foreign participants for their interest to Russian culture.
"I would like to say thanks for your interest to Russian art. We are justifiably proud of our art, of our people of art," he said. "We are especially pleased to welcome outstanding people of world culture who regularly come here, who have joint projects with their colleagues."
According to Putin, international projects are very important as they help unite people from various countries, "help us build the present-day world which is to be based on humanistic principles.".