I World Congress of Russian Press

Moscow-Sochi, Russia, June 1999

I World Congress of Russian Press

The first World Congress of Russian Press met in June 1999 in Moscow and in Sochi.

This forum was the first ever meeting of chief editors, publishers and leading journalists from Russian media from 48 countries. Congress was preceded by a painstaking gathering of unique data about the Russian media from all corners of the globe.

The whole history of relations between Russia (USSR) and Russian emigration in the twentieth century was full of hostility and distrust on both sides. Russian emigration press has always expressed this sentiment, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transformation of the new democratic Russia these relations gained mutual attraction and interest.

By the end of the 90s Russian foreign press has fundamentally changed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Russian media of the newly independent states formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, have become foreign.

Organizers of the first World Congress - ITAR-TASS and the Russian Press Institute (RPI) set out to establish and strengthen ties with the Russian media in the neighbouring countries and further abroad, to shape the future of a unified information space.

The result of the Forum on the initiative of the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (Itar-Tass), Russian Press Institute (RPI) and the number of the oldest and most respected publications of the Russian diaspora was the decision by the participants to join in a free organization - the World Association of Russian Press (WARP).

The final choice of the name was made after extensive discussion during which it was emphasized that the definition of the press as a "Russian" has no ethnic character and should be extended to all the media that use Russian language as a sign of belonging to a unified information space growing out of the common cultural and historical roots.

Appreciating the significance and scale of the current event - the First World Congress of Russian Press - the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin greeted the participants of the Congress.

Work of the unprecedented forum generated a lot of interest in the United Nations. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived in Moscow and spoke from the rostrum of the Congress.

24 June 1999

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