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Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group Met at KazanForum, with Putin’s Greetings

Deputy Foreign Minister Marat Khusnullin. Credit:

The Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group (WSV) met May 16 within the framework of the KazanForum, which is taking place over May 14-20, with 11,000 attendees, representing 80 nations. Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin represented Russia at the WSV, presenting greetings from President Vladimir Putin. The WSV was founded in 2006 by then-Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov and by then Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, as an advisory group to further cooperation between Russia and Islamic nations. This year, the WSV event theme is, “Russia-Islamic World: A Just Multipolar World Order and Safe Development.”

Important bilateral and multilateral meetings have taken place at the KazanForum, among country leaders this past week. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan delegation, led by I.E.A. Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Haji Nooruddin Azizi, met with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed the WSV meeting, proposing an Islamic initiative for peace to be presented at the UN General Assembly.

In President Putin’s greetings to the WSV, he said, “Russia treasures its traditionally friendly ties with the Muslim countries.… Together, we have been calling for the emergence of a democratic multipolar order based on the rule of law and principles of justice, free from any oppression or discrimination…. We attach great important to the annual meeting of the Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group, and the fact that representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are taking part in this event. It is essential that we inject greater momentum in Russia’s interactions with this prominent international institution when dealing with issues on the regional and global agendas….”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has 57 member nations, the second largest multinational organization after the United Nations.

There is a lot of activity in Tatarstan this month, hosted by its President Minnikhanov, Chairman of the WSV, who also led the Russian observer delegation to the world OIC Summit in The Gambia earlier in May. As of January 2024, Russia was made a permanent observer of the OIC, with a permanent representative at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where the OIC has been since its founding in 1969.

Minnikhanov said, among other strong points, that the collective West is trying to maintain a dominant world position by imposing self-serving “regulations,” sanctions, blackmail, wars, and modern forms of colonialism. He said, “As an alternative, the sound forces of the planet should oppose this with a model of a just and multipolar world order.”

Minnikhanov also made the point that the WSV group is “uniquely positioned to promote inter-faith dialogue at a global scale, and focused on defending traditional spiritual and moral values through a direct dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Islamic World.” He thanked President Putin for backing this. Many clerics attended the WSV event May 16, and parts of the week-long KazanForum.

The KazanForum was designated last year as one of the three national government-associated strategic, economic events in Russia, along with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the annual Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The full name of the week-long Kazan event is, “Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum,” with the theme, “Trust and Cooperation,” for its 15th annual meeting this year. Dozens of sessions, exhibits and presentations were held during the week, on topics ranging from energy, agriculture, food, construction, water, trade, tourism, sports, culture, and more. A main feature is the International Trade Fair Halal Market.