NATO envoy back to Russia with nationalist project

Dmitry Rogozin, Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO and Special Envoy of the President of Russia for Interaction with NATO in Missile Defense. (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)
The Russian question has become the key problem for the country while immigration is a serious threat to the economy and society, believes Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin.

­He has marked his return to domestic politics with a report on the national question during the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum.

“The situation Russian people are now facing, the Russian question, is the main nerve of today’s Russian politics,” he stated, addressing the forum. “Like the West, Russia has come under unprecedented immigration pressure. Our immigration is not justified in terms of the economy and is extremely dangerous politically and socially,” Kommersant daily quoted him as saying.

He went on to say that the major tension is between natives of the North Caucasus and Russians.

“Natives of those [North Caucaus] republics defiantly violate the Russian cultural standard. Some peoples in Russia are more equal than others, and the Russian people are now in the position of the discriminated majority,” he asserted.

In this situation, there are few possible scenarios for the future, he said. “Either the province will subject the center and barbarize it or the province will modernize the center.”

To achieve the modernization goals, Dmitry Rogozin put forward a four-point program. First, equal rights for all peoples of Russia. This does not mean “some special rights” he stressed, but “justice” for the Russian people. Second, the ideas of multiculturalism and tolerance should be abandoned. In the third place, the Caucasus “should be returned to the Russian space,” that is, “there should be no political and legal off shores.” And the final and most important point is the “re-nationalization of the Russian people, re-establishment of the spirit of statehood…and resurrection of historical memory and great Russian culture.”

And to avoid painful developments the plan, in his opinion, should be put into practice as soon as possible.

The national issue is indeed a matter of concern for many Russians. According to a poll conducted by the independent research Levada-Center in August, 44 per cent admitted xenophobic feeling towards immigrants who provoke them with their conduct.

Before being appointed Russia’s envoy to NATO in 2008, Dmitry Rogozin headed the moderate nationalist party Rodina (Motherland), which managed to gain significant popularity, to a large degree thanks to its charismatic leader.

Rogozin informed of his return to domestic politics on Tuesday, stating he planned to restore his old political project, the Congress of Russian Communities. On September 21, during a Congress session, he is expected to announce whether or not he will run for president.

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