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UR: Russia needs broad debate on nationalities question

January 23, 2012, 23:52 UTC+3

Burmatov believes a debate will now really be started on the so-called “ministry of nationalities”

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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Sergei Neverov, the secretary of the United Russia General Council presidium, the deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament, believes that the article by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the nationalities policy published by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily on Monday must be the subject for a broad public debate.

“The measures Putin proposes should be discussed by various circles, including the United Russia Party and the All-Russian People’s Front, and in regions. For peace and calm in the homes of millions of Russian citizens and Russia’s future depend on effective solution of the nationalities question,” Neverov stressed. He noted that the article contains suggestion of a number of subtle adjustments to the nationalities policy that are based on the experience of many centuries of the development of Russian statehood.

Sergei Zheleznyak, the first deputy secretary of United Russia General Council presidium, said Putin’s proposal to set up a collegiate body to deal with matters of inter-ethnic relations “can become a most important trend of the work of a Greater Government being formed, where every expert in inter-ethnic relations can state his or her views and suggest a recipe, while a public debate can help find the solution having the biggest support in society.

Andrei lsayev, the other first deputy secretary of the United Russia General Council presidium, the head of the State Duma Committee for Labor and Social Policy, pointed to the proposal contained in the article for the solution of inter-cultural and inter-religious problems engendered by migration and leading to the spread of radical attitudes. “Russia must avoid this. Putin suggests how this can be done,” he noted. “In his opinion, Putin also gives the answer to the question if the national idea is needed. “Russia needs a set of common basic values the main religious communities in the country, the majority, would share. Such a set of basic values should be formulated in the school curricula and in political science. Such a set of values is being formulated now, and it is an earnest of our development and strengthening of the state,” Isayev holds.

Vladimir Burmatov, the fist deputy chairman of the State Duma Education Committee, notes that Putin, in his article, “aims at starting a public debate and publishes a program of action rather than intentions.”

Burmatov believes a debate will now really be started on the so-called “ministry of nationalities”, an interdepartmental entity combining the powers of several ministries that will have a certain administrative level with features of a civil, consultative expert council with real authority.”

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