RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] World Congress of Compatriots” – KremlinRu

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kremlin.ru – October 31, 2018)

Vladimir Putin addressed the 6th World Congress of Compatriots Living Abroad.

During his address, the President announced the approval of the State Migration Policy Concept of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,

I am delighted to welcome the participants of the 6th World Congress of Compatriots.

It is symbolic that this Congress has met ahead of the National Unity Day. This holiday was established to celebrate the glorious deeds of our forefathers and unbreakable bonds between all generations that remain loyal to their homeland and uphold their traditional values and common ideals irrespective of the country they live in.

Over 700 people from many countries are attending this Congress. At the same time, all of you together represent the tight-knit community of Russian compatriots and the huge united Russian world, which was never based exclusively on ethnic, national or religious principles. It has brought together and united all those who are connected to Russia spiritually, who feel a spiritual link to our homeland, and who consider themselves to be Russian speakers and the carriers of Russian culture and history.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for your involvement in the life of Russia, for your invariable support and for your solidarity. We are grateful for your contribution to the promotion and advancement of our rich historical and cultural heritage and everything else that constitutes our national Russian identity.

An important role in this is played by Russian cultural institutions abroad: theatres, libraries, and museums. Many of them are created and supported by our compatriots abroad.

I cannot fail to note the role of the media. Without them, many useful initiatives to expand the Russian-speaking space would not have the desired effect.

I would like to sincerely thank philologists, teachers, literary critics and enthusiasts who help us in organising the international celebrations of our outstanding writers’ anniversaries: Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and many others.

I am also pleased to announce that a modern, state-of-the-art building of the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russian Expatriates has been built in Moscow. Its collection is now being finalised. Compatriots donated priceless relics, evidence of dramatic events in the history of our country to the museum.

The museum will open its doors to visitors in spring 2019, and I am sure it will become one of the leading intellectual and cultural centres of Russia, a platform for fruitful dialogue with our compatriots all over the world.

Friends, all of this is especially important now that we are dealing with the issues that will directly affect the future of Russia and other countries. The international situation is far from simple. Tensions and unpredictability are growing. The foundations of international law are being eroded, and long-term agreements between states are crumbling.

Russophobia and, regrettably, other forms of extreme aggressive nationalism are being employed. There is no concealing the fact that a war on memorials and the Russian language is underway in Ukraine, the Baltics and several other countries. People are being intimidated and even terrorised. A natural desire to preserve one’s ethnic roots is denounced as a crime and a form of separatism. The freedom of speech and the right to keep up one’s traditions are defied. Some of our compatriots have been denied the right to practice their professions for political reasons.

Many people are feeling the consequences of this harsh pressure.

We will firmly defend your rights and interests, using all the available bilateral and multilateral mechanisms at our disposal. We will continue to provide assistance to the Foundation for Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad, which has helped establish 26 legal aid centres in 20 countries. It has allocated grants to some 200 projects and organised over 50 events, including courses for young human rights advocates. Professional legal assistance has been provided to over 70,000 people, including in such trouble spots as Syria, Yemen and Libya.

As I said, the preservation and promotion of the Russian language is among our priorities. Towards this end, the Federal Agency for the CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) alone helps some 5,000 preschool and secondary school teachers receive advanced training every year.

Measures are being taken to support Russian language teachers. Starting in 2017, Russia’s Education Ministry sends Russian language teachers to six cities in Tajikistan and provides assistance to the Alexander Pushkin Russian-Turkmenistani School in Ashgabat.

The Pushkin Institute Partner Network has been established to facilitate access to Russian language tuition programmes. Over 80 language centres around the world have been created within the framework of this partner network.

We are increasing the delivery of textbooks, fiction and teaching aids to educational establishments. Youth Olympiads are held regularly, and their winners are invited to study at the top Russian universities.

To be continued.

[featured image is file photo]