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STAVROPOL, November 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian police will not create some special "ethnic units", First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoi told reporters in Stavropol this week.
"There is no reason to expect special ‘ethnic units’ within the police force will be created," said Gorovoi. Previously, a number of heads of territorial Interior Ministry bodies expressed the view that to strengthen the fight against so-called ethnic crime and extremism it would be expedient to recruit into the police force people of various nationalities. In particular, they had in mind criminal investigation units, economic crime units, counter-extremism squads, and neighborhood police inspectors.
The first deputy interior ministry said that the proposed approach - the idea of "ethnic units" within the police force - does not comply with Russian law. "This approach not only contradicts the law On the Police, and the principles of law enforcement such. For service in the Russian police one is to match the main conditions - Russian citizenship, appropriate education and professional approach. Ethnicity in this case does not matter," said Gorovoi.
In his view, police officers’ knowledge of languages and the specific features and customs of ethnic diasporas, whose concentration is high in certain areas, would be highly welcome. "But let me emphasize once again that the ethnicity of a particular employee does not matter. In the process of recruitment a strictly individual approach is used. There cannot be general, formalistic requirements. Police work in this field certainly should be strengthened," Gorovoi said.
"As for the neighborhood police, then in keeping with the practice common not only in Russia, but also around the world these positions can be taken by officers matching the ethnic composition of the population resident in the territory in question," he concluded.
Gorovoi was in Stavropol for a meeting with the staff of the regional police force. He agreed that some departments concerned experienced a shortage of staff with the knowledge of the languages, customs and traditions of different ethnic groups. "This problem must be solved," he said.