The international conference called "The Slavonic World: Its Community and Diversity" opened Thursday at the Scientists' House in the Novosibirsk Academic Township (Akademgorodok).
Among those who came to Novosibirsk to take part in the conference are Mikhail Shvydkoi, Russia's minister of culture, Leonid Drachevsky, the Russian president's representative in the Siberian federal district, Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the heads of Novosibirsk and the Novosibirsk region, numerous delegations which include representatives and ambassadors of Slavonic countries to Russia, scholars, theologians, and cultural workers.
"The festival of the Slavonic alphabet and culture on the eve of which the conference starts is an important day for the entire Slavonic world and the whole of Russia," said Mikhail Shvydkoi when opening the conference. According to Shvydkoi, "given the current globalisation processes, the Slavonic world can only be threatened with neglect of its own roots." "Day of the Slavonic Alphabet and Culture is the only holiday in Russia which is both secular and religious, the state and church holiday at the same time," the minister stressed.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969