The all-Russian meeting of representatives of executive power bodies of Russian regions re realization of state national policy and ethnic-cultural development of Russian regions has taken place in Moscow last Friday. It was organized by Russian Ministry of regional development. The deputy Prime-Minister of Government RB, Minister of culture and national policy RB, doctor of political sciences, Professor Ildus Ilishev has taken part in the meeting.
The measures on consolidation of Russian nation’s unity, formation of Russian identity and preventive measures against ethnic, religious and political extremism, including youth sphere, perfection of coordination in activity of federal and regional executive power bodies in sphere of realization of the state national policy, on support of ethnic-cultural development of aboriginal small nations of the North, Siberia and the Far East and protection of the minorities’ rights were under discussion at the meeting.
Taking the floor with the report “Actual questions of the state national policy and formation of Russian identity” Ildus Ilishev mentioned that the meeting of the heads of executive power bodies RF, patronizing the sphere of international relations, covered wide circle of questions, vitally important both for the whole of multinational Russia and its regions, including Republic of Bashkortostan, where more than 4 million people made the unique for Russia variety of ethnoses, religions, cultures and languages. The Vice-Premier emphasized that Republic of Bashkortostan, being one of the national-territorial formations of Russian Federation, accumulated wide experience in formation of the regional model of the state national-lingual policy.
“Bashkortostan represents the unique and strategically important region of Russian Federation, where more than 130 nations live and every nation possesses the unique peculiarities of material and spiritual culture. Bashkortostan, as a region with wide historical experience of long-term joint habitation of different nationalities with high level of inter-ethnic tolerance, is characterized by stability of international agreement and ethnic-political stability. Preservation and consolidation of this stability is one of the prior tasks of the national policy, pursued in our Republic” – Ildus Ilishev said. At the same time the sphere of international relations in the country isn’t practically regulated at the federal level and Ildus Ilishev supposes it is high time to establish the competent federal body, which would be engaged in these questions.
In opinion of the State Duma nationalities affairs committee chairman Valentine Kuptsov the laws, regulating this delicate sphere, are met in the Russian parliament with great difficulties and fr om this point of view federal authority has to follow the example of Bashkortostan, wh ere the wide legislative base on realization of the state national policy is present.
The first deputy chairman of the Committee on Federation affairs and regional policy of Russian Federation Council Valerie Kadokhov and the director of the Institute of ethnology and anthropology of Russian Academy of sciences Valerie Tishkov consider the main goal of the national policy is that every Russian and representative of any other nationality in any point of the country should feel himself as at home – this is rather simple, fair and uneasy challenge and solution of this challenge is rather difficult because of the obstacles, thought out by federal officials. The harmony in sphere of national development is still too distant and the system of education and cultural-enlightener work doesn’t guarantee what it is promised by the Russian Constitution. The “ethnic” clauses of the federal laws are far from ideal and in opinion of the meeting’s participants federalism as a style of thinking, as the legal principle and as the way of solution of all burning issues has to be followed in the country undeviatingly.
At the same time, as it was mentioned at the meeting, the organizations of civil society start noticeably developing themselves in the ethnic-cultural sphere. In particular, as the chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Federation affairs and regional policy Rafgat Altynbaev reported, there are 19 federal national-cultural autonomies, 170 regional and 350 local active autonomies in Russia now, working in approximately 70 Russian regions and presenting 43 nationalities.
Chairman of Russian Public Chamber commission on tolerance and liberty of conscience, the director of the Institute of ethnology and anthropology Valerie Tishkov pointed to the role, which local communities can play in improvement of international relations in Russia. “90% of problems and positive affairs, connected with preservation of national cultures and overcoming of local conflicts, are solved at the level of local communities” – he said – “The regional commonality is not a chimera”. He also pointed to the importance of independent monitoring of the processes, running in the ethnic-cultural sphere in Russian regions. In this connection he mentioned the existing network of ethnological monitoring and early prevention of conflicts (EAWARN) – the independent expert organizations, established in 1993 on the base of the Institute of ethnology and anthropology. In his opinion the activity of EAWARN should be financed at the state level. He said he was ready to refuse from foreign grants and this step had to raise the confidence in the results of the network’s investigations.
The participants of the meeting supported the idea of the quickest approval of a new version of the state national policy Concept in Russia and the federal goal-oriented program “Ethnic-cultural development of Russian regions”, worked up by Russian Ministry of regional development and at present time found under consideration of Ministry of finances RF.
Participants of the meeting approved the recommendations and suggested that the Public Council on international relations should be established under Ministry of regional development RF jointly with Russian Public Chamber.