Patriotism Is Remedy To Stop Race-Hate Violence Says Putin

Cultivation of patriotism in today's troubled Russian society will help curb outbursts of interethnic violence across the country, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said during a State Council meeting on Monday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who chaired the meeting, unexpectedly switched the agenda from maternity issues to methods of tackling the increase in xenophobia.

The president warned governors against regarding interethnic policies as an abstract subject and urged them to work out new effective approaches in this sphere.

""I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it is neither the Federal Security Service, nor the police, but the regions themselves that are in charge of interethnic relations as well as in maintaining civil peace and compliance,"" Medvedev said. Putin emphasized that there were no race-hate clashes in the Soviet Union.

""The Soviet authorities were able to create a concept which was above interethnic and inter-confessional relations. Unfortunately, it was based on ideology,"" Putin said. ""This was a socialist, and they even came up with a new society of people, [calling] it soviet peoples,"" Putin said. ""So far, we have nothing like this. We say 'Russians' and 'Russian nation,' but it is still not on track,"" Putin continued.

""I believe that the solution is not far away... This is all-Russian patriotism. We just aren't using it, not developing this idea, and at times [we] are even ashamed of it.""

""But there is nothing to be ashamed of. We must be proud of this, everyone should be proud of his [or her] country and understand that the success of the individual depends on the success of the country and vice versa,"" Putin summarized."