On the 11th February an international seminar took place in the conference room of the hotel “Arbat” in Moscow. It was dedicated to the use of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities ratified by Russia in 1998. Center for Interethnic Cooperation (CIEC) initiated and organized the seminar; the Council of Europe gave the financial support.
In the seminar participated leaders of 25 national communities representing 17 Russian Regions, as well as a delegation of the Consultative Committee of the Council of Europe on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
Worth mentioning that in the whole history of national public communities this is the only meeting of representatives of the Council of Europe with regional national communities of Russia.
The Council of Europe will publish official results after its analysis.
Nevertheless we want to acquaint you with the results of the inquiries among the seminar’s participants. The overwhelming majority of leaders of regional national communities think that:
1. There was a unsatisfactory situation concerning to the protection of national minorities in Russian Federation,
2. At allocation of financing bolstering development of cultures of national minorities on federal and at an aboriginal level, the representatives of national minorities in decision-making process were not involved,
3. The system of a registration does not correspond to fulfillment of Article 15 (effective participation of the representatives of national minorities in state affairs, which one concern these minority) and other requests of the Skeleton Convention concerning the people belonging to national minorities,
4. In the Russian mass media national minorities are as a whole figured negatively,
5. The authorities did not consult with Public Organizations during drawing up of the state report to Council of Europe about the totals of application in Russia of the Skeleton Convention,
And at last,
6. Not much would be changed substantially for national minorities, if Russia in 1998 has not signed the Skeleton Convention.