Rustam Minnikhanov, Tatarstan President and Chairman of the Russia - Islamic World strategic vision group, has received a diploma certifying that the town of Sviyazhsk has been officially put on the UNESCO World Heritage list.  UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova came in person to Kazan to present the document to Mr. Minnikhanov.

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"The introduction of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk to the UNESCO World Heritage List is the result of painstaking and productive effort by Tatar, Russian and international specialists. We are fully aware of our responsibility to the UNESCO in terms of preserving these unique historical sites and would like to reaffirm our commitment to all the rules," said Mr. Minnikhanov.

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Rustam Minnikhanov also said that the support from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, as well as from state advisor Mintimer Shaimiev, was instrumental in securing the prestigious status for the two sites.