Aslambek Paskachev: "The fear of migrants is decreasing in Russia"

Aslambek Paskachev: "The fear of migrants is decreasing in Russia"

The Civic Chamber of Russia held a conference on implementation of the state migration policy in the context of the Strategy of State National Policy of the Russian Federation. Aslanbek Paskatchev, chairman of the Commission on Migration Issues and Socio-Cultural Adaptation of Foreign Citizens of the Council for International Relations under Russian President, discussed achievements, as well as challenges and risks in the sphere of interethnic relations in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- The concept of migration policy and the Strategy of State National Policy were adopted five years ago and should be fully implemented until 2025. Is it already possible to discuss current results?

- In this five-year period we have made great progress. People are beggining to feel like a united Russian nation more and more. Sociological polls show that during this time. the way people treat each other and other ethnic groups has become much better. More than 70% of young people identify themselves as representatives of Russian nation. This is a very important and great achievement.

- How did you manage to achieve this?

- During this time, civil society and human rights activists have become more active. We feel that various NGOs and public organizations have become actively involved in these processes and state their positions. We also see that attitude of the authorities towards these problems has changed, both at the state, at the federal and regional levels. Everyone finally realized that interethnic relations are one of the main problems. Migration was, is and will be one of the main problems. But the fear of migrants has decreased. It happened not only thank to the government policy, but also thanks to the media. However, the fear of migrants still exists. Negative attitude toward other ethnic groups also still exists. These issues concern us. In this sense, we're thinking about what legislative and administrative measures can we take, what work with public organizations can we do, what human rights measures can we take.

- What problems do people who deal national policy face?

- We have the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs, but its management hasn't been completely determined yet. We initially proposed to create a state committee that would deal with the issues of both national policy and migration policy. We feel that there's lack of information about issues associated with migration. Due to this we will ask the Interior Ministry whether it updated the system of automated registration of foreign citizens, so that we would have more clear information: who comes here, how many people, what categories come here. In other words, we need to know who we're dealing with.

A very important thing is that in recent years, the issue of terrorist threats has become associated with migration. Along with the fact that migration is a driver of economic development, it's also a source of political and economic instability, and sometimes a terrorist threat. Therefore, all these issues should be discussed in a complex, we must proposed recommendations. Only then we can make decisions.

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