Russia: 193 nationalities, 277 languages, 77 studied languages

Russia: 193 nationalities, 277 languages, 77 studied languages

By Vestnik Kavkaza

Experts supported establishing of the Federal Agency for Nationalities. The director of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Andrei Kazantsev, told Vestnik Kavkaza that “in the post-Soviet space in general and in Russia in particular, there is, unfortunately, a trend of worsening of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations, so the high priority of the topic of promotion of international peace is necessary, and Russian power structures should promote this topic above in the hierarchy of the state tasks, which are being addressed at the moment. The decision on the establishment of the agency, which we are discussing, is the correct one, as it is happening within this channel.”

The Assembly of Peoples of Russia was founded in 1998, it marks its 17th anniversary this year. It was established according to the concept of the state national policy of Russia, approved by the president of Russia in 1996.

Svetlana Smirnova, the head of the Council of the All-Russian Public Organization "Assembly of Peoples of Russia", says that today the Assembly of Peoples of Russia is the only interethnic all-Russian public organization. “We support the initiative and the decision of the Russian president to form the Federal Agency for Nationalities. Because our country, which is populated by 193 nationalities, is undeniably in need of a state structure, an authorized organ, which would work on strengthening the unity of the Russian nation and strengthening of the all-Russian national identity every day. Unsurprisingly, two years ago, in December 2012, a new strategy of the state national policy of Russia until 2025 was passed. And it is very important that the strategy, simultaneously with organs of the federal, state power, organs of local self-governance, sets a special role and place in the realization of the strategy of national policy in institutes of the civil society - national-cultural associations, national-cultural autonomies,” Smirnova says.

According to her, “the government creates the conditions for preservation and development of the native language, native culture, native traditions. Russia has 193 nationalities, they speak in 277 languages and dialects. At the same time, it is the only country in the world, where school classes - be it a subject or the native language - are given in 77 native languages. Apart from the problems of preserving languages, cultural traditions, issues of strengthening consolidation and formation of all-Russian civil identity are foregrounded. That is the main question we are actively discussing in the civil society.” 

Smirnova read the words of President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev, the chairman of the Council of the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan: "The Assembly is an innovative model of universal representing of interests of all citizens, and a successful instrument of our young democracy." “The fact that Kazakhstan today has such enormous experience, and representatives of the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan are represented, have their own quota in the parliament of the country, I think that for us, for the Assembly of Peoples of Russia, we certainly need to learn what we are doing from our neighbours, from our colleagues,” Smirnova thinks.



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