Ten New Initiatives For Russia’s Nationality Policy Announced – OpEd


Vladimir Putin’s acceptance of the idea that the Russian Federation needs to adopt a new law on the definition of the civic Russian nation has so overshadowed everything else that happened at the Astrakhan session of the Presidential Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations that a simple list of all the ideas raised there is necessary.

The journalists of the Nazaccent portal have provided a list of ten proposals that the site said had been made and discussed in front of Putin (nazaccent.ru/content/22276-korotko-o-glavnom.html). They include the following:

  1. Adopt a law on the Russian nation.
  1. Set responsibilities for the adaptation of immigrants.
  1. Build roads and accessible housing in the cities of Russia.
  1. Include the services performed by ethno-cultural organizations in the list of the socially useful.
  1. Adopt a law on ethnological expertise.
  1. Subordinate regional and local national-cultural autonomies to the federal level ones.
  1. Create in the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs a Department for Work with Compatriots.
  1. Support the institution of federal national-cultural autonomies.
  1. Create a structure for distributing presidential grants on projects in the inter-ethnic sphere.
  1. Have a Year of the Unity of Peoples of Russia and Build a Palace of the Unity of the Peoples of Russia.

The list itself says a great deal about where things are headed in Putin’s Russia. Many of these topics will undoubtedly be revisited in the future.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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