July 1, 2021 

The Head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia Mufty Albir Hazrat Krganov met with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The meeting was also attended by Salih Hazrat Ibragimov, advisor to the Mufty of the Republic of Tatarstan on international relations, imam-muhtasib of Nizhnekamsk region and First Deputy Mufti of the Republic of Dagestan Abdulla Hazrat Adzhimollaev. The guests of the OSCE delegation were told about the experience of Russian Muslim  organizations in the field of interreligious and interethnic dialogue, prevention of spreading pseudo-religious ideas, protection of the rights of believers, and reforming the system of religious education. 

The meeting was devoted to the discussion of possible tracks of cooperation in the international area, the organization of joint events, the application of the experience of the Muslim organizations in the Russian Federation and the SAMR in particular in the field of strengthening interreligious peace and harmony. 

The OSCE High Commissioner was interested in the current problems of the Muslim community in Russia, as well as possible prospects for cooperation in the humanitarian, spiritual and educational spheres. 

Albir Hazrat stressed in his speech that the SAMR pursues a consistent policy of international cooperation based on the principles of international law and mutual respect and noted that international colleagues regard the organizations as a reliable partner to the Islamic world. He also drew the attention of Mr. Abdrakhmanov to the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, during his Big Annual Press Conference held in December 2020, pointed out that there are stable and long-standing ties between Russia and the Arab-Muslim world, and nowadays these relations have a tendency to expand. According to Vladimir Putin, Russia appreciates these relations and will contribute to their future development. 

Kairat Abdrakhmanov thanked the administration of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia for the warm welcome, noting the great and concrete work carried out by the regional structures of the SAMR. In this context, some agreements were reached on further cooperation between the two parties.  

Earlier the same day, the OSCE High Commissioner held a meeting with members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. Deputy Secretary of the Civic Chamber Alexander Shkolnik said that the Chamber carries out an active international dialogue. Since 2011, it has been a member of the Presidium of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS), which is considered a unique structure that unites organized civil society institutions from 75 countries of the world.  

Mufty Albir Hazrat also spoke about the positive results of the activities of the Center for Legal Socio-Cultural Adaptation of Migrants “ROSMIGRANT” organized under the SAMR: The center has recently launched its own web-portal, published a series of manuals called "ABC of a Migrant" available in four languages, as well as made 40 training videos. This project is considered to be unique among religious organizations and has no analogues. 

The Mufty also reminded that in 2022 Russia will host an international conference on interreligious and interethnic dialogue which is supposed to be held in St. Petersburg. In this regard, he invited the OSCE delegation to take part in this significant event. 

Albir Hazrat added that the OSCE is open to everyone, but at the same time, an objective control framework for the membership of civil society organizations is necessary. “This moment, as we know, is even recorded in the Helsinki Final Act and a number of other OSCE documents”, he said. 

The OSCE High Commissioner gratefully accepted the proposal by Albir Hazrat on the readiness of the SAMR to provide its expert assistance to the Office of the High Commissioner. 

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