Russian President Vladimir Putin gives inter-ethnic issues primary significance.
In the course of a working meeting on Tuesday with Nationalities Minister Vladimir Zorin the president ranked this problem "among questions of top priority".
The minister informed the head of state of the recent conference on the implementation of the state's nationalities policy. He recalled that the concept of the state's nationalities policy was adopted in Russia in 1996 and is now, on the president's instructions, being polished up. The conference, Zorin said, held an "interesting discussion" on aspects of nationalities policy.
The minister said that at present Russia has more than 10,000 ethnic public organisations and associations, and 300 ethnic cultural autonomies. Besides, "there has been a noticeable growth in the number of religious organisations." Russia currently has 21,500 registered religious associations, or four times their number 12 years ago, Zorin remarked. These are 70 confessions, compared with 19 at that time, the minister added.