Barinov: monitoring of inter-ethnic relations in Russia will start working by end of 2016
A system to monitor inter-ethnic relations, created in order to prevent conflicts, will appear in all the regions of Russia this year, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities, Igor Barinov, said at the governmental hour today.
Currently the program is operating in about 40 out of 85 regions.
Barinov said that thanks to the monitoring system, "30 problematic situations are revealed every day" and "some of the topics become the subject of constant surveillance."
"The monitoring system is certainly not a panacea for all the problems This is a tool that allows emerging conflict situations to be perceived and reacted to quickly," TASS cited the head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities as saying.
He also touched on the reduction of terrorist activity in Russia. "There were no terrorist attacks for two years even in Dagestan, it's a major achievement!" Barinov said, stressing that today ethnic-religious issues are the issues of national security of the country.
"We managed to create an agency for a short period of time, less than a year, recruit people, understand the mechanisms. We are trying to implement the tasks set before us by the state strategy," Barinov stressed.
"The situation was even worse in the regions: if the leadership in the republics has understood the importance of this subject [regional ministries have been established and programs to strengthen the unity of the Russian nation were created there], then half of the subjects didn't do such things, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities said, explaining that a vertical of executive power in the agency has been built in the first phase.
"We took the initiative to unify the executive vertical in the regions as well, to unite inter-ethnic, inter-religious themes with issues of indigenous people, Cossacks, federal national-cultural autonomies and diasporas," he concluded.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies, Sergey Markov, noted in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that the idea of creating a system of monitoring of inter-ethnic relations is very correct. "Igor Barinov is very competent. Another thing is that the level of the Federal Agency for Nationalities is not very high now. Therefore, the most important thing for Barinov is to improve relations with regional administrations. But I think that he's going in the right direction," the expert believes.
At the same time, he stressed that the inter-ethnic situation in Russia has improved over the past year. "It was due to the fact that against the background of external attacks, the internal contradictions diminish to some degree. One year is still not enough for the head of the agency to affect the inter-ethnic situation. He must rebuild the work in such a way to make it more effective. The purpose of the agency is to prevent future conflicts. Relatively speaking, Barinov's work in this year is aimed at prevention of conflicts within the next five years," Sergei Markov summed up.
The leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center, Alexander Karavaev, in his turn, noted that the prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts is an issue which is solved by the quality of public administration. "As for the agency for nationalities, it may receive objective information from the Russian regions and create more or less objective analysis on the basis of this information, to keep a finger on the pulse and identify potential risks associated with the aggravation of inter-ethnic relations," he noted.
"In general, the control of possible conflicts is the task of the state policy, which includes economic, social and labor issues," the leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center explained.
"The main thing the agency should make is to be an accurate tool to measure the temperature in society. And the monitoring of social life shows that the Russian authorities have accumulated enough tools and resources needed in order to obtain objective information," he said.
Thus, according to the expert, it is too early to wait for visible results of the Federal Agency's activity.