Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Russia

Putin Attacks Nationalists For Sowing Discord While Touting Tougher Migration Laws

A computer monitor displays Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign website in Moscow.
A computer monitor displays Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign website in Moscow.

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By RFE/RL
On the eve of Russia's presidential election, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has criticized nationalist attempts to stir up ethnic discord while and the same time called for tougher immigration laws.

In a lengthy article published in the daily "Nezavisimaya gazeta" and reprinted on his official campaign website, Putin put forth a vision of a multiethnic and multiconfessional Russia and decried nationalists for promoting a vision of the country as a “national” and “mono-ethnic” state.

He also dismissed a nationalist opposition slogan championed by anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny, saying that “Stop Feeding the Caucasus” is as senseless as calls for the Kremlin to stop subsidizing Siberia or the Moscow Region.

"We have lived together for centuries. We fought together in the worst war. And we will live together in the future. And those who want or are trying to divide us, I can say just one thing -- keep waiting," Putin wrote.

As he prepares for the March 4 presidential election, Putin is facing the largest wave of popular discontent since he came to power as Boris Yeltsin's hand-picked successor 13 years ago. The "Nezavisimaya gazeta" article is his second publication in a major Russian daily ahead of the vote. An earlier article, published in "Izvestiya," earlier this month, appealed to the middle class aid out his reasons for seeking to return to the Kremlin.
Migrants gathered in Moscow in November 2007 to show their support for then-President Vladimir Putin and his policies.Migrants gathered in Moscow in November 2007 to show their support for then-President Vladimir Putin and his policies.
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Migrants gathered in Moscow in November 2007 to show their support for then-President Vladimir Putin and his policies.
Migrants gathered in Moscow in November 2007 to show their support for then-President Vladimir Putin and his policies.

Putin balanced his critique of nationalists with calls for tougher laws on migrants, proposing that they be required by law to register with the authorities and pass exams in Russian language, history, and literature.

"Very often -- not just often, but in fact always -- ethnic tensions are caused by the uneven economic development of Russia's territories, followed by mass immigration, the inability of local authorities and law enforcement to maintain order, by corruption, poverty, lack of social prospects, and a sense of injustice and vulnerability," Putin told a Forum of the Peoples of the South of Russia in Kislovodsk on January 23.

Popular author Boris Akunin, a fierce Putin critic, lauded the call for ethnic tolerance but noted that rhetoric and reality do not match in Russia. The Kremlin has often been criticized for exploiting the threat of rising nationalism to suit its interests even as it exploits nationalist sentiments.

Last week, for example, Putin questioned the motives behind Akunin's role in Russia’s protest movement on the grounds of his Georgian ethnicity. The premier said Akunin may bear resentment toward Russia for its 2008 war with Georgia.

“The one thing that often happens with Vladimir Putin is that his theoretical constructs don’t go into practice very well," Akunin told RFE/RL's Russian Service. "Against the backdrop of this article, I can’t really understand him speaking out about ethnic roots, while basing people’s political affinities on their ethnicities. These two things just don’t go together.”

Masha Lipman, an analyst at Carnegie Moscow Center, also welcomed the article's call for tolerance but assailed its proposal for migrants to register.

“Many things [in this] are contradictory," Lipman said. "There is, for instance, his suggestion to toughen up laws requiring migrants to register. Putin himself spoke about this during his video call-in with Russian citizens; the practice of registering belongs to the Soviet police state. Toughening up registration requirements of course limits mobility around the country, which of course contravenes the constitution or at least its spirit.”

He was prevented from serving a third consecutive presidential term by the Russian Constitution but maintained a tight grip on the levers of power as prime minister throughout Dmitry Medvedev's four years as president.

with additional agency reporting
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
January 23, 2012 15:40
curious, is there evidence that Kremlin "subsidizes" Siberia? I thought the opposite has always been true.. i.e. Kremlin pumps out Siberian gas and oil and uses the proceeds to enrich Moscow bureacrats and also to feed the corrupt and improverished muslim regions of Russia
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 23, 2012 17:23
Siberia is not rusia ?

As texas is not usa ?
In Response

by: Jack from: US
January 23, 2012 19:13
USA would have been a much better country without TX and all the bright minds like George W Bush who crawled out of there
In Response

by: A.T. from: Russia
January 24, 2012 01:08
The example was just used to show that the North Caucasus is not the only region, which is subsidised. There are many rich regions in Russia, it's true but there are even more regions, which are poor and need subsidies or development before they produce more than they consume. There are more poor regions in Siberia and they are larger in both size and the extent of the poverty than there are in the North Caucasus but it's the latter, which is under fire by nationalists.

by: john from: Canada
January 23, 2012 21:27
Its news to many that Russia still has Soviet-style internal passports and migration laws. Putin's statements about migration forces don't seem inaccurate but the prescription of continuing or hardening internal migration laws seems to contradict a future where Russian nationalities would be appreciated more by the Moscow-St Petersburg elites. Are Putin's intentions really just aimed at stealing power from the Nationalist contenders? Will the ROR (Rest of Russia) be happy with this new aim to push away the growing muslim/ethnic migration away from MSP axis?

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 24, 2012 02:56
What a "clever man" is Mr. Putin
----------------------------
Everyone knows that Putin ordered the Russian Migration Service organized the distribution of Russian passports to Abkhazians and Ossetians to dismember Georgia

This step is also directed against the owners of ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia and South Ossetiai n favor of the bandits who took their houses and apartments

These actions contradict the Russian Federal Law and is a criminal offens.
And this is done when thousands of Russian from the former Soviet Union can not get passports for ridiculous reasons.

Mr. Putin аu!!Can you hear me?
Distributing passports to Abkhazians and Ossetians bandits and your countrymen are sending to hell?
Good migration policy--a role model!!

Here we must add that the Migration Service of Russia is a corrupt criminal organization, where employees are united by one goal--making money through illegal manipulations and bribery.

Eskimos and reindeer are aware of this, only Mr. Putin does not know....or just do not want to know?

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