What will the Federal Agency for Nationalities do?
The Russian government has approved a list of rights and tasks of the newly created Federal Agency for Nationalities (FAN). Facing the new Ministry the task is to implement the state policy in the sphere of inter-ethnic and ethno-confessional relations, the implementation of measures aimed at strengthening the unity of the multinational people of the Russian Federation, ensuring interethnic and interreligious harmony, as well as measures aimed at ethnic and cultural development of the peoples of the Russian Federation, the development and implementation of state and federal target programs in the field of inter-ethnic and ethno-confessional relations, implementation of state monitoring and state control in the sphere of inter-ethnic and ethno-confessional relations.
Previously, these tasks were implemented by the Ministry of Regional Development, abolished in 2014. FAN’s leader is Igor Barinov. In the structure of FAN there will be four departments, working on key issues of the agency’s activities, ITAR-TASS reported.
The chairman of the Presidium of the Russian Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus, the president of the Foundation for Assistance to Karachay-Balkar youth 'Elbrusoid', Ali Totorkulov, believes that for the Agency there will be a lot of work: "Russia is a multinational state, and sound national policies are one of the most important tasks for development, so it is for the preservation of our country. The rich Russian language and culture are leading, uniting the peoples of the whole of Russia. But our wealth is in many colors. It is the multicolored languages and cultures of our country which distinguish us from the vast majority of countries in the world."
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the process of interpenetration and mutual enrichment of cultures slowed down. According to Totorkulov, there is alarm, "especially now, when internal and external forces are working on the collapse of our country, and first of all staking on ethnic, sectarian conflict. Unfortunately, Russia has plenty of politicians and officials who consider the assimilation of ethnic minorities the best solution to the problem. Others believe that the rescue of the drowning is the work of the drowning themselves. And politicians and bureaucrats who stand for preserving the languages and cultures of the peoples of Russia are almost unseen. Many of the people of Russia are experiencing problems with the study and use of native languages. This, in its turn, leads to discontent and separatist moods in the national borderlands."
According to Totorkulov, "in an age of globalization, when there is active internal migration, many representatives of national minorities are deprived of any opportunity to preserve their language and culture. The wonderful Soviet-era practice of translation of national literary works into Russian is in oblivion. There is also no public social order for the adaptation of literary works, strengthening friendship between peoples, tolerance towards each other. People are educated and live the stereotypes which are created by the media, which perform no state national policy, and, at best, chasing ratings to get more money from advertising. There are no federal programs that could be based on the new computer and telecommunications technologies to solve many existing problems. Outside of the autonomous republics there are no national classes, Sunday schools, or courses in native language and literature."