A seminar on international tolerance opens in Vilnius on Thursday. The seminar is organised by the Lithuanian Department of National Minorities and Emigration. Distinguished scholars and representatives of different ethnic groups living in Lithuania are to participate in the seminar, Remigius Motuzas, the Department director, told RIA Novosti. They are expected to discuss, in particular, international tolerance in mass media, the genocide of the Jews in the 20th century and the status of Muslim minorities in Europe. About 100 ethnic groups live in Lithuania, a country with a population of 3.5 million people. The Russian diaspora is the greatest (about 8 per cent of the population). All in all, the number of national minorities totals about 20 per cent of the population. More than 90 per cent of them have received Lithuanian citizenship. All permanent residents could receive citizenship without any restrictions after the declaration of the country's independence.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea