After the reorganization launched in the Russian Ministry of Regional Development the top priority can become the scope of issues over the settlement of interethnic relations and the implementation of the nationalities policy, Kommersant daily reported. Experts already said about actual reinstatement of the ministry for the affairs of nationalities disbanded in 2001. However, the Russian Presidential Administration noted that the structure will become clear after Vladimir Putin’s additional instructions on the results of the October meeting of the Presidential Council on Interethnic Relations.
The reorganization of the Ministry of Regional Development was announced on November 1. President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to form a separate ministry for construction and housing and public utility sector (the Ministry of Regional Development dealt with these issues before).
The Ministry of Regional Development will form an additional structure with regional offices. Probably, this will be a state-run non-profit organization, some kind of monitoring centre with branches in each Russian constituent entity. Their task is to obtain urgently the information about tension and pressing problems in interethnic relations. This structure should supervise the fulfilment of the federal target programme for 2014-2020 on interethnic relations for which 6.8 billion roubles (about $211 million) were allocated. The creation of a new structure will make the scope of interethnic relations prioritized in the work of the Ministry of Regional Development.
“Certainly, a second ministry for the affairs of nationalities is being created,” political expert Sergei Markov believes. “The other question is whether the minister will have enough political weight to reduce the crime level in the diasporas, regulate huge migration flows and the demographical crisis of the Russian population. For this one should be at least the deputy prime minister, this is the responsibility and status,” he noted.
In the view of the expert, the situation in the nationalities policy should be balanced, when the development of small-populated peoples was given top priority, and, otherwise, the Russian population of the country was left without the proper support.