A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Protecting the Rights of Compatriots: Maintaining Contact with Russia
30 June 2022
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russians abroad face various forms of pressure from local communities

In Germany, neither the Russian language nor Russian culture is actually banned. However, there is a very serious psychological factor. There is demotivation, if we talk about the Russian language. There is serious demotivation of both pupils, and students, and teachers, and heads of municipal and state authorities. There is no official ban though. Moreover, if you read the statements of politicians and prominent public figures, they state the position very clearly that persecution on the grounds of nationality and language is unacceptable and the principles of multi-ethnicity should be promoted — Alexey Dronov, General Consul of the Russian Federation in Bonn.

There are unprecedented, I dare use this word, which has become fashionable recently, but it is true, facts of discrimination on the grounds of nationality of our compatriots who find themselves in a difficult situation. There are different figures on how many of our compatriots live abroad today. According to some data, two million, while other sources mention a figure of five million Russian speakers. During the work of our centre, our project to protect the rights of compatriots, more than two hundred of our compatriots have applied. By far, the most complaints have come from Germany, Israel, Spain, France, and then from the Ukraine — Sergey Stepashin, Chairman, Association of Lawyers of Russia; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Territorial Development Fund.

Every year, we receive more and more appeals to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and they become more and more heated. There are five main groups of appeals on the protection of the rights of compatriots. The first is the pressure and persecution of Russian citizens who are detained and imprisoned abroad. We see a danger zone in this area — Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
Rights of children of mixed marriages between Russians and foreigners are a growing problem abroad

We have come across a number of cases of women whose children have been taken away in an absolutely brazen manner. <...> The number of cases of domestic violence and the removal of minors from their families by the juvenile authorities of foreign countries is increasing — Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation.

Indeed, in some situations it is impossible to obtain Russian citizenship for a child without the consent of the other parent who is a citizen of another state. Such consent is also required if the minor is living in another state. According to part 19 of the Regulation on the procedure for examining issues of citizenship of the Russian Federation, in a situation where one parent is a citizen of the Russian Federation and the other parent is a foreigner, the parent, national of another country, must provide a notarized letter of consent for the child to acquire Russian citizenship. Therefore, especially in today's situation in the world, children from multiracial families find themselves in the most vulnerable situation — Sergey Stepashin, Chairman, Association of Lawyers of Russia; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Territorial Development Fund.

One of the topics that is very acute is the issue of citizenship for children. But I want to assure you that this is not the only issue that arises in this context, because, as my colleagues have already mentioned, there is now a very high level of anxiety among people, and they are starting to seriously think about acquiring Russian citizenship — Alexey Dronov, General Consul of the Russian Federation in Bonn.

SOLUTIONS
Russia should use international institutions and the laws of other countries to protect the rights of its citizens abroad

It is very important to understand that in addition to the support that compatriots expect from Russia, we have to use the opportunities provided by local laws, and they exist. And, by the way, this is one of those topics that I think can also be taken into consideration when consulting lawyers. Because the ability to use these tools and these programmes is of course a very important aspect — Alexey Dronov, General Consul of the Russian Federation in Bonn.

Another mechanism that could be used to protect the rights of our citizens, our compatriots, is the special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. While the treaty bodies are expert mechanisms, the UN Human Rights Council is the main intergovernmental human rights body of the UN system. This intergovernmental body has a system of special procedures — Grigory Lukiyantsev, Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

As regards possible appeals of our citizens and compatriots to the ECHR on possible violations of their rights abroad, the citizenship is not important in this case. The fact that Russia is no longer a party to the European Convention on Human Rights is not important either, what’s important is which state has violated the rights. That is, no one has deprived our citizens and compatriots of the right to apply to the ECHR, having exhausted all domestic legal remedies. And in this regard, it seems to me, the possibilities are quite ample — Grigory Lukiyantsev, Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

I believe that lawyers defending human rights in any jurisdiction should work on the basis of sharing and interacting. We should support these lawyers because if there are sanctions imposed on a country, it does not mean that the citizens of that country should all suffer — Kumar Prashant, President, The Bar Association of India.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS