On 22 November 2014, the III Congress of the Russian Saami people was held in the village of Lovozero, Murmansk region. As the Finno-Ugric Information Centre reports, the regional authorities intervened massively with attempts to sideline the Kola Saami Parliament, headed by Valentina Sovkina and create a new institutional framework for the Russian Saami community.
In Russia, several prominent indigenous rights activists have been harassed while travelling to the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held 22-23 September in New York. Incidents include harrassments by traffic police, passports snatched by thugs or confiscated by the authorities. One of them is Valentina Sovkina, president of the Kola Saami Parliment, who was trying to travel to New York via Kirkenes, Norway. At the time of writing, Valentina has finally managed to reach Kirkenes, although she has missed her flight. Below is a translated interview with Valentia, as it was published on the Russian news website 7x7.