Media advisory - 76(2009)

Strasbourg, 15.06.2009

Launch of Joint Programme on “Minorities in Russia: Developing Languages, Culture, Media and Civil Society”

Date: 22 June 2009

Location: Moscow (Russian Federation) – Ria Novosti premises, Zubovsky Bulvar 4

Organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, in co-operation with the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation.

Description: Running until the end of 2011, the Joint Programme aims at promoting Russia’s ethnic and national minorities and better recognition of their specific integrity as regards culture, education, languages media and civil society.

A comprehensive policy approach to minorities and their languages will be elaborated by drafting recommendations and providing expert advice to the Russian authorities with a view among others to implementing Council of Europe standards and facilitating the ratification by the Russian Federation of its European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Participants in the kick-off event, including public officials and representatives of the civil society, will discuss ways to enhance the legal framework for ethnic and national minorities, promote national minority presence and expression, and develop concrete activities in a number of pilot regions in the Russian Federation.

High-level representatives from the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the Russian Ministry of Regional Development will open the presentation of the project.

Practical information:

    · The presentation is open to the press as of 11 am on Monday 22 June.

    · A press conference, followed by a cocktail, is scheduled for 12.30 noon.

    · For accreditation, journalists are invited to contact Ria Novosti at +7 (495) 645 64 72 or +7 (495) 637 50 19.

More information

Press contacts:

In Strasbourg:

Estelle Steiner, Press Officer, Council of Europe; Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 33 35, mobile +33 (0)6 08 46 01 57,

In Moscow:

Tatiana Baeva, European Commission Delegation to Russia, tel. +7 495 721 20 41/09
Alexey Chernyshev, Russian Ministry of Regional Development, tel. +7 495 980-25-47,
Art Aslanian, Information Office of the Council of Europe in Moscow, tel. +7 495 775 3762,

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11