This year’s first district seminar on the Strategy for the State Ethnic Policy has been held in Krasnoyarsk in keeping with the President’s instructions.
The meeting was attended by Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Igor Barinov; Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Viktor Tolokonsky; Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss; members of the Council for Interethnic Relations Iosif Diskin, Gulvaira Kutsenko and Grigory Ledkov; and representatives of the top executive bodies of the Siberian Federal District’s regions responsible for ethnic relations.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Magomedsalam Magomedov said in his address that strengthening the unity of Russia’s multiethnic people and interethnic accord remained among the priorities of the state policy in the current complicated international political situation and amid efforts to fuel ethno-political and religious tensions in Russia. This provision has been also added to the Strategy for the State Ethnic Policy, which President Putin approved in late 2015. Seeking to prevent national security threats, the state has shifted its attention to strengthening the internal unity of Russian society and promoting social stability, interethnic accord and religious tolerance.
Mr Magomedov spoke about public support for decisions related to the state ethnic policy, which the Russian authorities have recently adopted. According to opinion polls, the overwhelming majority of respondents say that relations between different ethnic groups in Russia are friendly or normal. The polls also recorded positive dynamics, as the number of people who think so increased from 66.9 percent in 2013 to 67.8 percent in 2014 and to 79 percent in 2015.
However, this does not mean we can sit back and relax, because destructive foreign forces have redoubled their efforts to influence ethnic public organisations and other NGOs in Russia, and the number of extremist crimes has increased, Magomedsalam Magomedov said.
He went on to say that more attention should be given to protecting the rights of indigenous small ethnic groups in the Siberian Federal District, which calls for close monitoring, effective coordination and cooperation of all concerned bodies of authority, including federal, regional and municipal authorities.
The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office also outlined the main objectives, which include enhancing the efficiency of state management of ethnic relations; restraining the influence of radical nationalist and religious movements; reducing foreign influence on Russian NGOs and preventing the use of the ethnic factor to destabilise the internal political situation during elections; involving ethnic public organisations in efforts to implement the priorities of the state ethnic policy; and introducing a system of state monitoring of ethnic and religious relations in the regions.