Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who runs is running for presidency in the March 2012 election, plans to publish one more major article on the issue of inter-ethnic relations in Russia.
“I’ll give special attention to the problem and will write a special article,” he said Thursday night at an informal meeting with football fans in St Petersburg.
“I’ll publish the article shortly and I’m working on it right now,” Putin said.
As he spoke the inter-ethnic relations in Russia in general, he underlined the fundamental importance of this sphere for the country.
“He who seeks to destroy Russia will be pounding at exactly this problem,” Putin said. “We have a multiethnic country but the Russians /people of Russian ethnicity by virtue of their origins or associating themselves with it – Itar-Tass/ make up 80% of the population here and that’s the ethnic foundation of the country.”
“Still, I’d like to tell the Russians and the non-Russians likewise, our ancestors built Russia over a thousand years as a multiethnic state and if someone starts telling you, well you know, let’s build a mono-ethnic country, he or she will do it specially for destroying the country,” Putin said.
“Such people simply don’t understand moving along that pathway will throw the ethnic Russians and the entire country into the category of third-rate regional powers,” he said,
However, Putin called the audience’s attention to one more aspect of the inter-ethnic relationship problem.
“Also there’s a very concrete and rather acute problem that most city dwellers come to grips with in western Russia, in Siberia and even in the Far East, and that’s when young people coming in increasingly bigger numbers from the Caucasus behave far worse than they do at home,” Putin said.
“These youngsters don’t observe either rules or customs or cultural traditions of the local population and produce irritation in the people around them this way,” he said.
He believes that public organizations and especially the elders of ethnic communities should exert influence on the young in this sphere, since the young are full-fledged Russian citizens and have the right to go whatever region of the country.
“What we must do by all means – I mean the regional authorities and the federal government – is to create jobs right where people live so that they wouldn’t have to seek their luck in distant corners of their huge homeland but would be needed where they were born,” Putin said.
“This means an opportunity to earn money, to flourish as personalities, to become real specialists, to earn for their families, and to have a dignified human status, in the final run,” he said.
“This can’t be done overnight, of course, but we do have such programs,” Putin said.