Activities to support compatriots abroad
The concept of Russian compatriots introduced by the Federal Law of May 24, 1999 № 99-FZ "On the State Policy of the Russian Federation concerning compatriots abroad": compatriots are persons who were born in one country, are living or have lived in it, and have signs of a common language, history, cultural heritage, traditions and customs, as well as descendants of these persons in direct line of descent.
According to the law, compatriots abroad are citizens of the Russian Federation permanently residing outside its territory.
Compatriots are also persons and their descendants, who live outside the territory of the Russian Federation and relevant as a rule to the peoples historically living on its territory, as well as the ones made their free choice in favor of spiritual, cultural and legal connection with the Russian people whose relatives in a direct upline previously resided in the territory of the Russian Federation, including:
-persons of the nationality of the Soviet Union living in the states that were part of it gained the citizenship of these states or became stateless persons;
-natives (immigrants) from the Russian state, the Russian republic, the RSFSR, the USSR and the Russian Federation had the appropriate nationality and became citizens of a foreign state or stateless persons.
The recognition of belonging to the nation is an act of self-identity, confirmed by social or professional activities to preserve the Russian language, the native languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, to develop Russian culture abroad, to strengthen friendly relations between the states of compatriots' residence and the Russian Federation, to support public associations of compatriots and to protect the rights of compatriots or other evidence of the free choice of these persons in favor of the spiritual and cultural ties with the Russian Federation.
Relations with compatriots abroad is an important direction of Russian foreign policy. The activity of the Russian Federation regarding the relations with compatriots abroad is carried out in accordance with generally recognised principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation considering the legislation of the compatriots' residence states.
The legal basis for activity of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg for supporting of compatriots living abroad is generally recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law of May 24, 1999 № 99-FZ "On State Policy Russian Federation concerning compatriots abroad",
Concept of support by the Russian Federation for compatriots abroad approved by the President of the Russian Federation on August 30, 2001, other legislative and regulatory acts of the federal authorities of Russia and the legislative and executive authorities of St. Petersburg regulating the activities of public authorities in regards to foreign and domestic policy.
Practical work to support the compatriots living abroad is carried out by the Division for cooperation with Compatriots Abroad. This work is carried out in close cooperation with the executive authorities of St. Petersburg.
Activity of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg to support the compatriots living abroad is a practical implementation of the Federal Law "On the State Policy of the Russian Federation concerning compatriots abroad" and is a system of practical steps to establish effective mechanisms for cooperation with compatriots and organizations created by them both abroad and in St. Petersburg in order to preserve their ethnic and cultural identity, as well as to strengthen their role in the expansion of cooperation between St. Petersburg with the countries of their residence.