The world kurultai of Bashkirs opened on Friday in Ufa (the capital of the federal republic of Bashkiria; the foothills of the Urals). Chairman of the organising committee for the preparation and holding of the kurultai prime minister of Bashkiria Rafael Baidavletov reported that 840 delegates were elected to the world forum of whom 579 delegates represent Bashkiria, 187 -- Russian regions, 30 -- CIS states, 44 -- far abroad countries. In addition, 198 delegates have the status of guests of honour. They are representatives of the presidential administration, the Russian government, the Federal Assembly, State Duma deputies, the State Assembly of the republic, the Constitutional, Supreme and Arbitration Courts, the prosecutor's office of the republic, prominent politicians, well-known people, scientists and cultural figures.
The world forum of Bashkirs is being held for the second time. The first kurultai took place in 1995. It is planned to discuss, during this forum, the issues of spiritual revival of the Bashkir people and the development of their language and culture. The delegates are expected to approve of the new wording of the kurultai's charter, the resolution as well as an address to the president of the country, Vladimir Putin, the peoples of Bashkiria and the Bashkirs. The delegates will also elect the new executive committee of the kurultai.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia