Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#9 - JRL 2006-236 - JRL Home
Moscow to involve foreign NGOs in defending ethnic Russians' rights

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) - Moscow is prepared to give stronger support to foreign non-governmental organizations that are committed to preserving the Russian-language and protecting ethnic Russians' legitimate rights and interests.

Foreign NGOs "have vast capabilities for launching various programs to strengthen our compatriots' links with Russia and to defend their rights and political, socioeconomic and cultural liberties," Alexander Chepurin, director of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Compatriots Abroad, said in an interview with Interfax.

"Moscow is prepared to build up support for organizations which indeed want to help preserve the Russian-language and to defend ethnic Russians' legitimate rights and interests," Chepurin said ahead of the World Congress of Compatriots, due to be held in late October.

The hundreds of ethnic Russians' non-governmental organizations that exist are nearly unconnected and are competing with each other, he said.

"This is unacceptable. A consolidation of ethnic Russian communities is a must for building an ethnic Russian space abroad in the current international setting, with due accounts taken of Russia's growing role in the world.

He said he hoped that the upcoming World Congress of Compatriots would be important for strengthening the ethnic Russian community.

The interview will be posted in full on the www.interfax.ru website.