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6 Jul, 2007 19:28

Russians living abroad rebuild ties with homeland

Compatriots' Forum for Russians living abroad has opened in the German city of Nuremberg. Its aim is to create a focal point for Russian speakers in the country and provide a support system.

Germany has never seen such a movement from Russians leaving abroad despite being home to one of the largest expat Russian communities. The official goal of the conference is to create a centre for all their compatriots living in Germany. But other projects include, helping them take part in social life and politics and supporting the Russian language – to name just a few.

“We live in a time when we can't let our compatriots down, whoever they are and whatever they do here,” says Aleksandr Karachevtsev, Russian Consul General.

The organisers say with Russian-speaking compatriots already having created a political and economic elite in Europe it's even more important to make their ties to Russia as close as possible.

“Everyone of us, no matter how long he or she has been living here, or which part of Russia we come from, carries with them Russian culture, Russian traditions and Russian spirit – in that sense we are definitely allies of our homeland,” believes Tatyana Forner, organizing committee member.

Germans say Russians living in their country should keep in touch with their homeland, as it helps the two nations build stronger ties.

“Germany and Russia understand each other very well, and the fact we have here Germans of Russian origin and Russians who came from Russia and now live in Germany creates an important bridge and a symbol of our common historic and cultural development,” suggests Markus Zeder, Christian Social Union General Secretary.

The Diaspora – or compatriots living abroad – are a natural ally for any nation because they are people who seek to maintain their ties with homeland always thinking of its interests. Times, when Russians abroad felt isolated and avoided walking past Soviet embassies are in the past. Closer ties with compatriots can be a pillar of a nation's foreign policy. And the fact that Russia's developing ties with Russians living abroad can only be regarded as a good sign.