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Russia urges OSCE to avoid politicizing minorities’ problems

September 26, 2016, 14:42 UTC+3 WARSAW

A Russian diplomat urges emergency measures to cope with the ethnic and political challenges

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WARSAW, September 26. /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) high commissioner on national minorities should avoid being selective and politicizing the problems of national minorities, a Russian diplomat said at the OSCE meeting on implementation of the obligations on human dimension.

According to the Head of Russia’s Federal Agency for National Affairs Department on the Enhancement of Nationwide Unity and the Prevention of National and Religious Extremism Abdulgamid Bulatov, "neglecting long-standing problems leads to the growth of conflict potential in the OSCE region."

"Emergency measures need to be taken to reverse the unfavorable trend and cope with the ethnic and political challenges of the present day. It is important to avoid selectivity while implementing the national minorities’ protection policy. Moreover, double standards and politicization should also be discarded when assessing the national minorities’ rights situation," the Russian official said.

"Given the high migration risks and terrorist threats, national and religious relations have been deteriorating in many countries of the OSCE," Russia’s representative pointed out.

He noted that the number of racial hate crimes has been growing in the UK, while national minorities there have been struggling to find jobs and gain access to higher education. Besides that, in Canada problems with the protection of the Indians’ rights have been in need of a solution for a long time.

"In Latvia and Estonia, the problem of numerous stateless persons has been lingering for over twenty years, hundreds of thousands of people are subject to discrimination based on their native language, in the areas of job recruitment and education," Bulatov said. The information field for this population group has been reducing under the pretext of combating the alleged "Russian propaganda."

"Various methods are utilized, including imposing temporary restrictions on broadcasting Russian TV channels or turning them into paid ones, levying fines in order to allegedly fight disinformation coming from a neighboring country. At present, the Baltic states consider the printed media, books and songs in Russian to be sources of national security threats," the Russian official said noting that the Polish minority in Latvia has been facing similar problems.

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