There Are No Major Inter-Ethnic Conflicts in Russia, Nationalities Policy Minister Says

There are no major inter-ethnic conflicts, as well as those between nationalities, in Russia at this stage; moreover, the local socio-political situation can be considered stable. This was disclosed to reporters here today by the Russian Federation's Nationalities Policy Minister Vladimir Zorin, after a nationwide conference dealing with the implementation of this country's state nationalities-policy concept wound up.

According to Zorin, Russia has more than 150 nationalities and ethnic groups, with the local education system offering tuition in 80 languages. Meanwhile 40-language tuition curricula were offered in 1995.

At the same time, the rights of some ethnic minorities are being infringed upon; everyday nationalism still persists; this country has its own skin-heads; add to this anti-Semitic, anti-Caucasian and anti-Russian moods, Zorin noted. We must react promptly to such facts, the Minister believes.

In his words, a centre should be established, monitoring the national ethnic-confessional situation all the time and preventing conflicts in their early stages. Moreover, the government deems it necessary to implement the nationalities policy on a par with religious organisations. The Russian way of life has been marked by the ethnic factor ever since this country's inception, Zorin stressed. Many nationalities and confessions are Russia's asset, first and foremost, Zorin noted in conclusion.

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