Press release on a meeting of the Coordinating Expert Council of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Preserving Russian Historical and Cultural Heritage in the United States

August 28, 2017

On August 28, the Foreign Ministry hosted a working meeting of the Coordinating Expert Council of the Interdepartmental Working Group (IWG) on Preserving Russian Historical and Cultural Heritage in the United States.
The participants discussed the results of the IWG-sponsored events held in Russia and the United States pursuant to its decisions of May 25, including the successful launch of a Russian segment of the socio-political and business forum Fort Ross Dialogue in Pskov and Izborsk, the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the legendary transpolar flights from the Soviet Union to the United States by the crews led by Valery Chkalov and Mikhail Gromov, research expeditions sponsored by the Ryazan branch of the Russian Geographical Society to Hawaii and remote areas of Alaska, and a joint celebration of the 880th anniversary of the city of Totma in the Vologda Region and the 205th anniversary of Fort Ross.
The scholarly and journalistic materials published by the IWG members and invited experts in media outlets, including specialised and online publications, received high praise.
Preparations for forthcoming major thematic events were reviewed, including, primarily, the American round of Fort Ross Dialogue in San Francisco slated for October. The first full-scale conference of compatriots residing in Hawaii, which is to be held with the participation of the Russian Foreign Ministry and is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the founding of Fort Elizabeth on the island of Kauai by Russian seafarers, will be an important bilateral public relations event.
Developing cooperation in the sphere of archives, including digitalisation projects and opening access to valuable documents on the history of Russian America and bilateral relations to researchers is a priority new track of Russian-American cultural ties. Plans are also in place to continue the earlier opened talks with the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America regarding the preservation of the Orthodox shrines created by Russian settlers in Alaska and other US states.
A representative of the Altai Territory Government spoke about the projects aimed at preserving the memory of outstanding Russians who were born in that region and spent their lives in North America.
Heads of a number of US public organisations and associations of compatriots who actively engage in promoting bilateral ties in the sphere of education and culture took part in the meeting.