Komi: Finno-Ugric Congress
The 5th World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples brought together 24 Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples and three Presidents.
Below is an article published by Itar Tass News Agency :
“Over 16 years that these congressed are held, they have become truly international events. They help strengthen public and personal contacts as evidenced by the fact that the presidents of four countries where Finno-Ugric peoples live are attending this congress,” Medvedev said at a reception for the congress participants in the oil town of Khanty-Mansiisk on Saturday [28 June 2008].
“This congress reflects the big interest of the Finno-Ugric peoples in their roots,” he said.
“It is not incidental that the congress is taking place on the land of ancient Yugra that is home to people of different ethnic backgrounds who live respecting and supporting each other through civilised interethnic dialogue. These are fundamental conditions for comprehensive consensus in our country,” he said.
He noted that a considerable part of the Finno-Ugric world had been historically and geographically connected with Russia; of 24 Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples, 19 live in Russia’s five republics (Karelia, Komi, Mari-El, Mordovia, Udmurtia), two areas (Perm and Krasnoyarsk), and two autonomous areas (Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets). Representatives of these peoples also live in many other regions of Russia.
Finnish President Tarja Halonen, Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom, and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves attended the congress together with Medvedev.