September 11-12 2019. Vilnius, Lithuania

Final Report

On September 11-12, 2019, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, hosted the 12th international conference for ccTLD registries and registrars from CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, TLDCON 2019. The two-day conference brought together 120 participants from 20 countries. It was organized by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ with the support of DOMREG.LT (host), the Technical Center of Internet (general partner), ICANN and the Vilnius Convention Bureau.

Andrei Vorobyev, Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, opened the conference. He noted that the event would focus on an analysis of the ongoing processes in East European ccTLDs for the past 25 years. Many of the regional countries have either recently marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of their TLDs, or will mark it this year, like .RU.

“We will talk about how national domain zones are developing, how this development is seen by international organizations, and how registries and registrars contribute to the development of the internet. Today .RU has almost 5 million domain names, and we continue to grow, actively responding to the challenges facing the domain industry,” said Andrei Vorobyev.

He added that next year will mark another anniversary – 10 years of the Russian national Cyrillic domain .РФ, which today ranks second among all IDNs and first among Cyrillic domains.

The plenary meeting attendees talked about the need for cooperation between various organizations. The speakers included member of the Board of Directors of the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) and Deputy Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Irina Danelia; Director General of the Technical Center of Internet Alexei Rogdev; Director of the Lithuanian national registry,, Daiva Tamulioniene; and Global Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at ICANN, Natalia Mochu.

Alexei Rogdev, Director General of the Technical Center of Internet, cited some interesting statistics. He noted that, despite the projected 20% decrease in the number of domains in the .RU zone, the real drop was only about 6%. At the same time, the number of new registrations has not decreased, while the number of removals, on the other hand, is decreasing every month. The proportion of renewed registrations has been growing since the fall of 2016 along with their age. “The percent of unused domains not associated with any service such as email or a website, or parked domains, is falling. This statistics suggest domain zone integrity and a high demand for registered domains,” Alexei Rogdev concluded.

The TLDCON 2019 business program began with the session on Cybersecurity: How registries collaborate with law enforcement. The participants shared their experience with law enforcement agencies. The session was moderated by Mikhail Anisimov from the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ. It appears that, despite the difference in legislation and approaches, the registries of all countries have a common problem – the vast majority of law enforcement officials have no idea how the internet works. This was explained by John Crain from ICANN and Richard Leaning from RIPE NCC, who noted that “an investigation into cybercrime always begins with an explanation of how the internet works and why it is controlled by everyone and by no one at the same time.” The session was also attended by Benedict Addis from Shadowserver, Hilde Thunem from UNINETT Norid AS, Olga Baskakova from the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, and Kirill Mordan, OAC under the President of the Republic of Belarus.

During the session on Legal issues of domain name registration, participants from different countries spoke about how relations between representatives of the domain industry and copyright holders are built, and what factors influence this process. Mzia Gogilashvili (Georgian National Communication Commission) and Kateryna Oliinyk (Arzinger) talked about the approaches of the national registries of Georgia and Ukraine and shared their experiences in building these relationships in their countries. Representative of copyright holders – Yekaterina Kalinicheva (Semenov & Pevzner law firm), also talked at the session. She is attending TLDCON for a second time and, like last year, she warmly defended copyright holders and their rights to domain names. Moderator Sergei Kopylov (Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ) again argued for the other side, and WIPO representative Gonzalo Manuel Bleda acted as an arbiter.

The next session, Is there a future for domain names?, moderated by MSK-IX CEO Elena Voronina, focused on new technologies and processes that influence the use of domains in the internet industry. Leading experts in the domain market recalled the path that the domain name system has travelled and presented their vision for the future of domains and web applications. The session was attended by Pavel Khramtsov (MSK-IX), Andrei Kolesnikov (IoT Association), Konstantin Chumachenko (Ngenix), Madina Kasenova (MSSES) and Dmitry Belyavsky (TCI). The last speaker talked about an OpenSSL patch developed at the initiative of the .RU/.РФ Coordination Center, which implements support for Email Address Internationalization (EAI) in electronic signature certificates. This solution helps make IDN domains “equal players” in the domain market and thereby contributes to the development of the domain name system for Universal Acceptance.

The second day of the TLDCON 2019 conference opened with the session Domain marketing: Face to face with the end user. Moderator Dana Ludviga (NIC.LV) invited participants to think about whether registries should try to work with the end user directly and whether it would lead to a conflict with the registrars. Participants Maria Kolesnikova (Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ), Michaela Cruden (Afilias),Vaidotas Jakuska (, Svetlana Tkachenko (Hostmaster UA) and Anna Karakhanyan (ISOC Armenia) talked about who should ‘love’ end users more – registrars or registries, and how to help users understand the intricacies of operating in a virtual space. They shared best practices and experiences, and talked about methods and tools for working with users and registrars.

The Coordination Center attracts end users to its social projects such as the short socially themed movie, Internet for Everyone, which is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of ccTLD .RU. The main characters are internet users whom the internet has helped in their daily lives. TLDCON 2019 participants saw the trailer. Internet for Everyone will premiere on September 19 in Moscow at the Cinema House.

The final session of the conference, Secondary Market of Domain Registration, focused on domain name auctions. Raedene McGary (Centralnic), Alyona Belskaya ( and Andrei Kuzmichev (RU-CENTER) spoke about their experience in conducting auctions and participating in them, as well as about working in the secondary domain market. Moderator Andrei Saveliev from Domeny RF proposed discussing the pros and cons of auctions to figure out who ultimately benefits from them.

This closed the TLDCON 2019 conference. The next one, TLDCON 2020, will be held in September 2020 in Tallinn. Sign up now!