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The Old Believers take a closer look at the lands of Khabarovsk Krai


The results of the study trip of the Old Believers community heads living in the countries of far abroad to the Far East, the Republic of Buryatia, and the Republic of Karelia were presented at the meeting in the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. The event was attended by both the Old Believers participating in the trip and the head of the work group on promotion of voluntary resettlement of the Old Believers compatriots living abroad and their adaptation in the Russian Federation Vladimir Ostrovenko, thr Head of the Russian Orthodox Old Belief Church Metropolitan Cornelius, Deputy Head of the Internal Policy Department of the Administration of the President of the RF Mikhail Belousov, Head of the Agency for Human Capital Development in the Far East Sergey Khovrat, and other experts.

The Old Believers called the trip historical. From 12 to 28 September 2018, 21 people from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, New Zealand, the USA, Uruguay heads of the Old Believers communities and their spouses visited Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsk Krai, Jewish Autonomous District, Amur Region, the Republic of Buryatia, and the Republic of Karelia.

The meetings with the authorities of the federal entities were held in all regions and included presentation of opportunities for obtaining the agricultural land plots, conducting livestock activities, fishing and collecting of wild crops. Almost in each of the regions, the Old Believers visited local Old Believer farmers, chatted with them and discussed the economy.

The work group was created about a year ago by order of the President of Russia. The aim of our group is to provide assistance to the Old Believers living abroad who are willing to move voluntarily to the Russian Federation. Our team has done considerable amount of work recently. In particular, this trip to Russia has become one of the visible results of our activities. At the initial stage, we were dealing with more individual and specific problems the village of Dersu and other settlements in Primorsky Krai. This work was coordinated by the Ministry for Development of the Far East," Vladimir Ostrovenko said.

The Old Believers participating in the meeting told about the historical path that led them from Russia through China to the countries of Latin America. AS an example, Dmitry Kuzmin shared a story of his family. In the 1960s, they moved to the north of Brazil and chose the flat lands, which were then absolutely empty, for development and cultivation.

Over the years, a city with population of 85,000 people was formed in the former forest. Today, our state enjoys the largest soybean yields in the country. We sow corn to get the second harvest now, Dmitry said.

Other participants of the trip shared their impressions about it.

We arrived to Russia and made a tour through the regions Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsk Krai, Jewish Autonomous District, Amur region, Buryatia, Karelia. We were all greeted. We were received friendly. In most of the places, we spent two or three days; in some settlements - one day. We were shown the land. The land is beautiful and the nature is magnificent. Everyone liked it. We are thinking about resettlement to live and work here, Martimian Reutov said.

Avraam Kalugin summed up the results on behalf of all the community heads and admitted that lack or impossibility to buy the land plots in the places they are now living in is the main incentive for the Old Believers to move to Russia. Avraam admitted that the decision to move was a difficult, courageous step. The trip participants wanted to "see with their own eyes and touch" what they are going to take. During the trip, they shared their impressions with the members of the Old Believers communities using messengers. Their stories and photos from the trips have changed the attitude of the Old Believers living abroad who have followed their journey remotely.

The community head outlined the key measures from the side of the state which should be taken to make the final decision to move. These measures include access to Russian citizenship in the territory of the country of departure; provision of ownership of the land plots with the area of 300 to 600 hectares per family; preferential long-term lending and tax holidays after resettlement; solving the issue of unarmed  service in the army.

The Old Believers moving to Russia were promised the greatest possible support both during the move and at the adaptation process. Metropolitan Cornelius drew attention to the fact that the Old Believers, even living abroad, retain spiritual values and proficiency in the Russian language.

Source press service of the Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East

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