MINSK, 25 August (BelTA) – The Office of the Russian Justice Ministry in the Republic of Karelia has registered a regional national and cultural autonomy of Belarusians, BelTA learned from the official website of the Ministry of the Republic of Karelia for Nationality Policy, Relations with Public and Religious Associations, and Mass Media.
“The nongovernmental organization will be chaired by Svetlana Bartashevich, member of the Council on International Relations at the Head of the Republic of Karelia. It was thanks to her direct support that the national and cultural Belarusian autonomies were opened in Petrozavodsk, Segezha, and Kondopoga in 2015-2016. Svetlana Bartashevich also was among the delegates representing Russia's Federal Autonomy of Belarusians at the 7th Congress of the Belarusians of the World in Minsk in July 2017,” the post on the website reads.
The ministry pointed out that Belarusians are active participants of different social events making part of the state nationality policy in Karelia. The ministry also mentioned some of the main goals of the new autonomy: to help preserve the Belarusian cultural identity in Karelia, to support local national and cultural autonomies in municipal districts and urban okrugs, and to strengthen Belarus-Russia fraternal relations.
According to the 2010 All-Russia Population Census, there were over 23,300 Belarusians living in Karelia. They are the third biggest ethnic group in the republic, trailing Russians and Karelians.