The Russian Parliament is concerned with a drop in education among the indigenous minorities, said the Russian Minister on Ethnic Policy, Vladimir Zorin. The share of the Russian ethnic minorities without primary and secondary education has increased, and educational establishments' conditions have deteriorated, added the Minister.
The provision of teaching and methodological materials in learning indigenous languages is "inadequate", said Zorin. On Tuesday the Minister spoke at the session of the National organizing committee on preparing and holding the International 10-year anniversary celebration of the world's indigenous minorities.
The Minister reminded those present that in 1994 the United Nations, acting on the initiative from Russia, declared the celebration of the International 10-year anniversary of the world's indigenous minorities. He stressed that the Russian authorities pay increased attention to the social and economic development of the indigenous minorities in the North, Siberia and the Far East. The government takes measures to support the ethnic minorities. For instance, on July 25 the Russian President signed the law on alternative military service which grants representatives of the indigenous minorities a right to serve in the places of their original residence.
There are about 500,000 people in Russia that constitute 65 indigenous minorities. The smallest in number are the Oroks (179 people), the Entz (198), the Talysh (202) and the Beludgis (297).
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