GREETING ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
to the participants, organizers and guests of the III World congress of Finno-Ugric peoples
I would like to extend a cordial welcome to the delegates and guests of the III World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples and my best wishes for the beginning of its work!
I am convinced that the aspiration of the Finno-Ugric peoples, living on the extensive territory of Northern and Central Europe and Russia, to unity in solving the complex problems of their national development is at present directed toward a progressive, civilized onward march of peoples and countries on their way to create and affirm an atmosphere of trust, good neighbourhood and establishing of a versatile and mutually beneficial co-operation.
Your Congress takes place in hospitable Finland, a country that has significant influence in the Finno-Ugric world and renders substantial support to the same.
The preservation of the national versatility of the Finno-Ugric peoples is
a general tendency and at the same time a key factor in the stable development
of the international community.
The meaning and contents of your activity is the understanding by the Finno-Ugric world of the fact that national unity furthers the solution of the task of revival and development of the Finno-Ugric peoples, as well as of other nations and nationalities living in their dwelling areas.
The Finno-Ugric peoples of Russia can also in the future rely on the support of the leaders and governing bodies of Russia in their strive to revive and further develop their national traditions, culture and languages for the good of the flourishing of their common native land - Russia, as well as to preserve peace and accord between nationalities.
I wish you success in your work in the name of consolidation and friendship between all peoples on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of the rights of free national development.
Moscow, the Kremlin, December 11, 2000
Source: III World Congress of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples. Helsinki, 2000 [Joshkar-Ola, 2001], p 12.