member of the Consultative committee of the Finno- Ugrian peoples,

Bur lun, dona yorttez!

Komi-Pennyatskoy delegatsiya nimsany sölömsany privetstvuyta eta zalyn finno-ugorsköy otirlis poslannikkezös. Kosya, med vil pantasyöm odzlany krepitis miyan oitir kolasyn ertasyom da vezhor!

Dear friends! On behalf of the Komi-Permian delegation I should like to greet the envoys of the Finno-Ugrian peoples in this hall. I wish that this new meeting strengthens friendship and mutual understanding among us.

It is rather justified that after 4 years we together evaluate the way passed after the Budapest forum. We need to choose all out of the experience accumulated that will allow us to develop good-neighbourly relations and preserve a mutual interest in the 21th century.

What does the Finno-Ugrian cooperation give to the Komi-Permians? I think that a significant part of my country-fellows can answer this question.

First of all, several structures of scientific institutions - a social sciences' department of the Komi scientific centre, the Kudymkar institute (a branch of the Udmurt state university) - appeared in the region as a result of cooperation with the kindred peoples. The work of these institutions significantly changes the situation in our region. In the last 10 years 9 persons proved their theses on problems of language, history and ethnography. In the present moment some 30 persons do their post-graduate studies in Syktyvkar, Izhevsk and Perm.

Disciplines on history, language and culture of the native land and the kindred peoples are included in the curriculum of the Kudymkar institute, a branch of the Udmurt university. Unknown moments of those disciplines are subject to scientific research of teachers and students. In the last 4 years four volumes of scientific papers are published on the results of scientific-practical conferences. In the framework of state programs adopted in Finland, Hungary and Estonia the best students from Kudymkar received a possibility to continue their education at universities of Budapest, Tallinn and Helsinki.

We think that the work carried on will significantly influence the formation of our nation and substantially enrich its intellectual potential.

In the last 4 years a process of identification of the Komi-Permians as a constituent part of the Finno-Ugrian community went on. It was to a great extent facilitated by the activities of the Consultative committee. The participation of our people at conferences, festivals and exhibitions which were organized under the auspices and with the assistance of this international organization furthered a deeper knowledge of our own historical roots and cultural traditions. In this case, we had possibility of comparing them with achievements of the kindred nations.

The following events, in our opinion, can be singled out as the most important: a scientific-practical conference on problems of language in Yoshkar-Ola, a Congress of the Finno-Ugrian writers in Syktyvkar, a seminar of mass media workers in Finland, folklore festivals in Udmurtia, Estonia and Hungary etc. An international children's camp Szombathely (Hungary), children camps in Izhevsk, Syktyvkar and Yoshkar-Ola that are organized during many years allow to transfer the cooperation onto the level of personal contacts. All this taken together is a brilliant example of the peoples' diplomacy in action.

In the last 4 years positive shifts occurred in cooperation in the field of mass media of the Finno-Ugrian nations. A program of publication of a TV and radio magazine "The Finno-Ugrian world" that is realized jointly elicits a warm response among televiewers and listeners. At the same time, it is advisable that the press does not keeps out of this and that the news becalms regular in their pages as well. This wish I direct to a new composition of the Consultative committee. I hope that this aspect of the cooperation will be subject of a detailed discussion at the section tomorrow.
With satisfactions we state on the rostrum of this forum that seeds of friendship among the kindred peoples sowed many years ago in Syktyvkar give good shoots now. In the last years the cooperation more often goes from the humanitarian sphere to those of inter-regional economic links.

A concrete example of such cooperation is the beginning of the construction of a motor-way Penn-Kudymkar-Syktyvkar. We associate great expectancies in the dynamic progressive development of the economy of the native land also with the beginning of the construction of a railway line Perm-Kudymkar-Syktyvkar-Arkhangelsk that began in 1999. The realization of these projects develops a possibility of closer contacts among our peoples both in a direct and a figurative sense, thus decreasing the age-old distances. These projects demand both the help of the state and of private investors. We hope that potential investors of countries and nations present in this hall will an interest in them.

Dear delegates! Many a form of international and inter-regional cooperation which I mentioned were possible thanks to the official support of different countries.

I should like to express our gratitude from this rostrum to Presidents and governments of the Russian federation, Finland, Hungary and Estonia. Their participation renders the contacts among our peoples stronger and furthers mutual understanding among our countries.

In the 21st century the Finno-Ugrian peoples will have to settle side by side with other nations both common, global problems connected with ecology and rational use of natural resources and special ones related to the preservation of languages and cultures of small nations. We have still a lot of problems but it is clear that it is only a teamwise and near daily work and a close interaction of social organization with bodies of authority that allows us to achieve a deserving and prosperous life for our peoples.

Thank you for your attention!

Source: III World Congress of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples. Helsinki, 2000 [Joshkar-Ola, 2001], pp 61–63.