by Marianna Mkrtchyan
The Annual Conference of Russian Compatriots is a useful event and it undoubtedly makes an invaluable contribution to development of the bilateral relations between Armenia and Russia, Russia's Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin told journalists when speaking of the role of the Russian community in Armenia.
"The Russian community in Armenia is well-consolidated. Russian compatriots have gathered today to sum up the results of the year 2013 and outline the prospects for the future. I think it is a useful event, which should be held on a regular basis. The Russian compatriots living in Armenia are a kind of bridge between the two states. Therefore, we should pay great attention to these people: they are Russians in blood but first of all they are citizens of Armenia", said the Russian diplomat. Volynkin also pointed out that Russia intends to support the Russian speakers in Armenia, because Russian, he says, is a language of intercultural communication.
When opening the conference, Russia's Ambassador pointed out that in 2013 Armenia held nearly 60 cultural, educational, social, political and scientific events aimed at maintaining the Russian spiritual, verbal and cultural environment in Armenia.
He also touched on the situation in Ukraine and pointed out that the ongoing developments cause great concern because now Ukraine is governed by neo-Nazi and extreme right forces, who have come to power in the unconstitutional way with the West's support. "Our consistent stand has allowed us to protect our compatriots in Crimea, to prevent the legal outrage of neo-Nazis and to restore the historical justice. We will suppress any aggressive intervention in the domestic affairs of friendly states under pretence of imposition of strange ideas", he said.
On April 12 Yerevan hosted the 7th annual conference on "Problems of Russian Compatriots in Armenia and Topical Issues of Interaction, Cooperation and Consolidation". The heads and representatives of a number NGOs of Russian compatriots in Armenia attended the conference.
The conference covered the results of activities of the Russian compatriots in Armenia, the projects implemented, as well as the current problems, particularly, the problems related to maintenance and expansion of the Russian educational field, consolidation of the status of the Russian language at the official level, education and upbringing of youth with due regard for spiritual and moral traditions, and maintenance of the ethno-cultural identity. A key priority is also given to the compatriots' participation in maintenance of the Russian historical, cultural and architectural heritage in Armenia.