"We don't have any ethnic issues" is one of the slogans Russian President Vladimir Putin will use during his election campaign. It sums up the work he carried out during his third presidential term and plans for the fourth term, leading analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza Andrei Petrov said today during the National Question program on Vesti.FM, commenting on the statement Russian leader made during his annual press conference.
The National Question is a weekly program on Vesti.FM, during which the hosts, Gia Saralidze and Armen Gasparyan, and their guests discuss various aspects of national relations, primarily in Russia. Today's program was dedicated Putin's annual press conference, which was held on December 14.
"Prior to that President stressed that there is a number of ethnic issues that must be resolved, but this Thursday he basically said of one of the 'May decrees' was finally implemented. In other words, he noted that the Council for Ethnic Relations under the President, the National Policy Strategy and the Federal Agency for Nationalities, created under this decree, finally brought results," Petrov said.
"In other words, he gave ethnic policy an 'A', although overall, the government got a 'C'. This is a great way to begin the election campaign, when current President recognizes that not everything in the country is perfect, but the state of affairs in a number of areas, such as national relations, is pretty great. Especially since ethnic issues have divided and continue to divide societies and countries," he said.
According to Andrei Petrov, Russian leader strengthens his position, because he achieved success when it comes to the most important issues, and narrows programs of his opponents, who now won't be able to use these issues in their campaigns. "The national question has finally been answered - Russia has established itself as a multiethnic state and a united civil nation. Vladimir Putin was the one who gave this answer," he stressed.
"In this context, opposition can appeal only to radical nationalists and marginal part of the electorate, while most Russians prefer to maintain interethnic peace. In other words, they will vote for Putin," Petrov concluded.