Experts discuss inter-ethnic relations in former Soviet republics

Examples of successful inter-ethnic relations in former Soviet republics were discussed today at the "Models of Inter-ethnic and Inter-faith Tolerance in Post-Soviet States" conference.

The head of the Inter-ethnic Relations Research Centre at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leokadia Drobizheva, underlines that the vast majority of Russians are ready to cooperate with representativs of other cultures. However 30 percent of Russians aren't ready for such contacts and demonstrate prejudice.

Lyudmila Adilova, Professor of the Russian State University for the Humanities, says that while government policy aimed at promoting inter-ethnic peace has failed in Russia, it has been quite successful in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh authorities have managed to establish a united multi-ethnic nation, she believes.

Deputy Director of the Information and Analysis Centre for Post-Soviet States Research, Yuliya Yakusheva, stresses that society itself should play the most important role in promoting inter-ethnic harmony, but admits that nowadays civil society in Russia is very weak and fragile.

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