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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggests setting up a federal structure for affairs of ethnic development in Russia.
"I believe there is a need to set up a special structure in the system of federal authorities to be in charge of affairs of ethnic development, interethnic welfare and cooperation between ethnoses," the premier said in his article "Russia, the National Issue" published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Monday.
The Ministry of Development of Regions is in charge of the issues at present, and they are removed to the background behind the heap of current problems. The situation must be rectified, he noted.
It should not be a standard department. It should be a board that cooperates directly with the country's president and government leaders and has certain powers, the premier believes.
An ethnic policy must not be written and implemented only in offices. Ethnic and public associations must directly participate in its discussion and formation.
Russia's traditional religions are expected to actively patricide in the dialogue. The basis of the Orthodox, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism faiths is formed by common moral and spiritual values -- mercy, mutual help, truth, justice, respect for elderly people and family and labour ideals. It is impossible to replace the value guides with anything else, and they must be strengthened, Putin said.
The state and the society should welcome and support the work of Russia's traditional religions in the system of education, the social sphere and the armed forces, but the secular character of the state must be preserved, he stressed.