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The 10th International Congressus of Fenno-Ugristics
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Yoshkar-Ola Prepares for the Xth International Congress for Finno-Ugric Studies

The International Congress for Finno-Ugric studies that gathers scholars - ethnologists, historians, linguists across world - was carried on every five years during the last century. The interest in culture and history of the Finno-Ugrian peoples as well as the number of the participants of this scientific and cultural event are growing. Two thousand scholars took part at the discussions of the Congress-2000 in Estonian city of Tartu. Yoshkar-Ola, the capital of  Mari El Republic was determined the place for the next meeting in 2005.

At the meeting with the leadership of the friendship society Finland-Russia that took place in February 11 in the Federation Council, Alexander Torshin, the deputy Chairman of the chamber and the representative of Mari El, answered the questions of the Finnish guests who were concerned with the course of preparation for the Finno-Ugric Congress. Are the strengths enough to organize such an event? Are there possibilities to accommodate all the participants of the Congress there? These questions were asked by Heikki Talvitie, the Chairman of the friendship society Finland-Russia, and Merja Hannus, the Secretary General of the society and the coordinator of the Consultative committee of the Finno-Ugrian peoples. Mr. H.Talvitie was Ambassador of Finland in Russia and he knows the Russian problems well. He has repeatedly been in different regions of Russia, including republics of Mari El and Karelia whose Senators took part at the last meeting.

Alexander Torshin reassured the participants of the meeting that preparations for the Congress were sufficient. The Government of the Republic is interested in carrying on the Congress in Yoshkar-Ola and we are confident that everything is organized well in Mari El, so the Vice-Speaker answered the question about the possibility to transfer the right to carry on the Congress to the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region.

Summarizing the meeting results, Heikki Talvitie noted that this period has become favorable for Russian-Finnish relations, enlargement of business exchanges and tourism and implementation of a system of multi-visas. The relations with Russia are foreground for Finland in foreign policy; therefore the establishment of direct contacts with the regions is very important for the leadership of the society, as the former Ambassador of Finland stressed. The Vice-Speaker of the Federation Council Alexander Torshin recognized Finland for political and economical attention for Russia and the subjects of the Russian Federation.

The meeting passed in a sociable atmosphere, they recollected "general pages of the common biography" and cardinal changes that had taken place in the last decade in the relations of the two countries. Human and business contacts of the 84 brother-cities of Russia and Finland became in the opinion of Senator Viktor Stepanov a model of relations between two countries and "had dissolved ice" between our countries.