Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebrations of the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of the Mordovian and Russian peoples
16 december 2009
Prime Minister Putin's introductory remarks:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,
Today is the first meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebrations of the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of the Mordovian and Russian peoples. The celebrations proper are scheduled for 2012.
We have enough time to properly organise this event.
One thousand years ago Russia was at the dawn of its statehood, but even then, traditions of mutual respect, friendship and support between the ethnicities that made up the new country had been established.
The Mordovian people made a natural, historic choice to live and develop within a unified country. This allowed them to retain their identity yet work with other nationalities to create our common state.
This is where things stand, in my opinion. Indeed, they set about creating a common state. Finno-Ugric peoples truly were among the originators of the Russian statehood, who worked together with Slavic peoples to create our country.
This is why we plan to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary as a nationwide holiday, which will involve regional, federal and international events. We need to develop an outstanding and memorable plan for the celebrations.
While it is certainly important that we create a festive atmosphere for people, the main point is the long-term effect of the anniversary celebrations.
Our strategic objective is to create the conditions in Russia, in particular in the Republic of Mordovia, that will allow the Finno-Ugric languages and culture to flourish, their rich legacy to be studied, and their friendly contacts with related ethnicities in other countries to be expanded.
Along with the restoration of monuments of historic and architectural interest, the Institute of the National Languages and Culture of the Finno-Ugric Peoples will be established at the University of Mordovia in Saransk. This institute is intended to become the centre of Finno-Ugric research and educational projects.
By the way, significant, I'd even say crucial, changes have taken place in Saransk in the time between my first and latest visits to the city. I didn't think so much could be done within such a short period. I would like to congratulate the republic and its government on this.
The forthcoming anniversary will be truly successful if the republic's economic development is given extra momentum. And naturally, we must ensure that our efforts make people's lives more comfortable, giving them access to modern health, education, cultural and athletic services.
A national theatre, the Mordovian Palace of Sports, an ice rink and two university dormitories are already open, and a unique cathedral is being constructed in the city centre.
There are other problems we must address over the next few years, primarily finishing construction on the Republican clinical hospital, which is 70% done. The first phases of construction should be completed this year. We also need to consider medical equipment for the hospital.
It is also necessary to finish construction on the main building and archives of the State University and pay special attention to infrastructure, mainly roads and health and educational facilities.
The majority of these projects will certainly be co-financed, using funds from both federal and regional budget. In some cases, for example in the construction of a new football arena, we will need to make use of public-private partnership mechanisms.
All in all, this will require clear-cut and well-coordinated work from all of us.
It is necessary to analyse all possibilities carefully and come up with an interesting, ambitious and, at the same time, realistic plan of events.
Let us discuss this project in detail now.