Medvedev speaks out on ethnic tribes
He said such criticism is made by those who have little knowledge of the lives of Finno-Ugric peoples in Russia.
President Medvedev also said he was happy with the outcome of talks with his Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian counterparts, with whom he discussed joint economic projects.
The forum, which drew around 300 people, follows the successful Russia-EU summit in the city.
The congress is held every four years and aims to promote cooperation among Finno-Ugric peoples and to protect their culture and languages. Previous events have taken place in the Russian city of Syktyvkar, and in Helsinki, Budapest and Tallinn.