The participants began the meeting by honouring the memory of those killed on April 3, 2017 in the St Petersburg metro blast. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Magomedsalam Magomedov said: “Among the dead there were people of different nationalities, but this is our shared grief, the shared grief of our multi-ethnic population. I would like to express my condolences to all those who were affected by this tragedy, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
In his speech, the Deputy Chief of Staff summarised the results of the agency’s activities in its first two years and stressed that the agency was not only successfully integrated into the system of managing state ethnic policy, but also plays a leading role in its implementation.
As part of implementing the Presidential instruction, with the agency's active participation, a landmark event took place in 2016 – the Government approved the state programme on Implementing the State Ethnic Policy. This was Russia’s first state programme related to interethnic relations, which, according to Mr Magomedov, once again confirms the high degree of attention the Government pays to this issue. “Thanks to a set of measures and systemic decisions taken by the President, a positive trend emerged to stabilise and improve the situation with interethnic relations. And our task is to preserve this trend and do everything possible to further harmonise interethnic relations and strengthen the unity of Russia’s multi-ethnic population,” Mr Magomedov said.
The agency was asked to pay special attention this year to promising areas of activity. In particular, there is a need to fully launch the state system for monitoring inter-ethnic relations and early prevention of conflict situations. The main tasks also include ensuring the coordination of executive authorities’ activities to implement state ethnic policy at the regional level, strengthening systematic cooperation with civil society institutions and increasing the efficiency of the policy-making activity of the agency.
Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Igor Barinov presented a report on the agency’s activity in 2016 and the main plans for 2017.
The Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs carries out integrated work to implement Russia’s State Ethnic Policy Strategy through 2025, works to prevent national and religious extremism and cooperates with the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations.
The agency’s activity was praised by Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Nationalities Ildar Gilmutdinov, Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations and Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Tishkov, Head of the Research Centre for Interethnic Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology Leokadia Drobizheva. and representatives of Russian regions.
The board participants recognised the agency’s work in 2016 as satisfactory.