THEME IN FOCUS
No. 8, 31 July 2000
Global Russian Press Forum
Global Russian Press Forum "Russians in Europe: Integration - Society, Culture, Business" Held in Latvia
July 25, meeting of the Global Russian Press Association's executive committee, the international forum "Russians in Europe: Integration - Society, Culture, Business" was launched in Riga. The opening session was addressed by Prime Minister Mr. Andris Berzins, while on July 27 President of State Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga welcomed the participants of the forum in her residence in Jurmala. The forum concluded on July 29. During the event the problems of the Russian language mass media abroad, establishment of a joint Russian press electronic information network, advertising policy and other issues were discussed.
Chief editors, publishers, and leading reporters of 50 Russian-language printed media in Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania and other countries took part in the forum. The forum was also joined by Russian government officials, influential politicians and civil servants, including First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Mrs. Lubov Sliska, Deputy Minister of Culture Mr. Pavel Horoshilov, and others.
The international non-governmental organisation Global Russian Press Association was established in 1999. The Association unites representatives of printed and electronic mass media, agencies, publishing houses, editorial staffs, television and radio programs in 63 countries. The first congress of the Association was held in Moscow last year, the second - in New York, while the third - in Riga and Jurmala. The Association is headed by ITAR-TASS Director General Mr. Vitaly Ignatenko.
Latvian Prime Minister Meets First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
July 27, Prime Minister Mr. Andris Berzins had a meeting with First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Mrs. Lubov Sliska, who had arrived to Latvia within the framework of the Global Russian Press Forum "Russians in Europe: Integration - Society, Culture, Business". The Prime Minister voiced his satisfaction over the fact that Mrs. Lubov Sliska, one of the highest officials of the Russian Federation has paid a visit to Latvia, underlining that such visits contribute to development of constructive bilateral relations. Mrs. Lubov Sliska appreciated the opportunity to visit Latvia and expressed the hope for development of an active political dialogue and constructive relations between Latvia and the Russian Federation.
Mr. Andris Berzins pointed out that relations between the parliaments and political parties of the two countries should be activated. During the meeting co-operation possibilities between the Republic of Latvia and Saratov Region, the home region of Mrs. Lubov Sliska, were also discussed. The officials expressed support for development of mutual contacts in various fields. Mrs. Sliska proposed to organise a visit of Latvian business delegation as well as to hold Latvian culture days in Saratov Region. The Prime Minister welcomed the proposal and reiterated the invitation to the Governor of the Saratov Region to pay a visit to Latvia.
On July 27 Mrs. Lubov Sliska also had a conversation with President of State Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She also had a separate meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Saeima Mr. Rihards Piks. Possibilities of co-operation between the People's Party of Latvia and the political force "Yedinstvo" were discussed.
Co-operation through Culture - an Important Component of the Interstate Dialogue between Latvia and Russia
July 27, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia Mrs. Karina Petersone had a meeting with Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Mr. Pavel Horoshilov, who had arrived in Riga to participate in the meeting of the Global Russian Press Association. The officials discussed development of Latvian-Russian co-operation in the field of culture. The meeting was also joined by Chairman of the National Radio and Television Council of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Ojars Rubenis.
The Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation noted that at the Global Russian Press Association meeting a great attention has been paid to presentation of Latvia-related events in Russian-language mass media of the world. It was admitted that the current presentation of information creates incorrect image of Latvia. The Latvian side noted that Latvia wishes to see unbiased reflection by mass media of the processes taking place in the country and invited to establish direct contacts between the mass media of the two countries. The officials were unanimous that culture is an important component of bilateral relations and interstate dialogue and expressed the readiness to intensify the co-operation between the Ministries of Culture of both countries.
Extracts from the Welcoming Address of the President of State Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga to the Participants of the Global Russian Press Forum, Jurmala, July 27, 2000
"We are happy at this occasion to welcome you here because our movement towards integration into the European community as well as our movement as candidate nations for the enlargement of NATO is basically aimed at establishing peace, security and stability in this region of Europe and in maintaining friendly relations with all our neighbours - both with those neighbours with whom we shall be integrating as part of the European Union, but also with those neighbours who are not part of that same union of states but who remain important for us because of our geographical propinquity and because of the common interests that we share.
Latvia stands ready to improve its relations with Russia at any time. I, as President of Latvia, stand ready to do everything that is in my own personal power, to foster dialogue between our two countries, to foster good understanding and to foster mutual coming to a mutual understanding that we have common interests, that we have a common future and that we will reach each our own goals much faster and, I think, much more productively by co-operating than by being towards each other. I stand ready as president to engage in dialogue wherever it is possible and, when it is not possible at an official level, to do so unofficially. This is why I have invited you here in this residence as a sign of our openness, as a sign of our friendliness."
President's Press Service
Extracts from the Address of Prime Minister Mr. Andris Berzins at the Opening Session of the Global Russian Press Forum, Riga, July 26, 2000
"Latvia is interested in good neighbourly relations with Russia. It is a part of European unity policy. And I would like to emphasise that we already enjoy good relations in a number of levels. We co-operate in practically all fields: from co-operation between border guards, law enforcement agencies and railwaymen to presentation of art exhibitions and theatre performances in the neighbouring country. During these days you will witness yourselves that the Latvian-Russian co-operation is a reality and it develops despite the emotional rhetoric of those forces that are not interested in development of a constructive dialogue. I hope that the journalists will bring back home the message that Latvia is ready for a constructive dialogue with the Russian Federation on all levels."
"You are journalists who live and work in different countries of the world, but for the most part in Europe. In your journalistic practice you apply European values, European journalistic ethics, European democratic traditions of relations between mass media and authorities. I invite you to abide by the European principles of journalism also when you observe, evaluate and describe Latvia."