RIA Novosti: Russia’s Ethnic Tensions Drop Due to Crimea Reunification, President’s Approval: Kremlin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Interethnic tensions have reduced significantly this year in Russia as a result of the country’s reunification with Crimea and President Vladimir Putin’s high approval ratings, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Magomedsalam Magomedov said Wednesday.

“The main factors for the significant reduction in interethnic tension was rallying people around such prominent events as the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the reunification with Crimea,” Magomedov said during a meeting of the Board of Legislators.

“[Having a] highly rated leader, Vladimir Putin, is also a major factor in the growth of patriotic sentiments and unity among people,” he added.

However, Magomedov said that to further implement Russia’s National Policy Strategy through to 2025, the country must consolidate the actions of regional and municipal authorities, public bodies and the active part of civil society. He also stressed the importance of creating separate regional budgets for activities within the framework of this strategy.

According to a survey by the Russian non-governmental polling organization, the Levada Center, public support for Putin’s policies peaked at 86 percent in September from 84 percent in August and 85 percent in July. The recent numbers show a sharp contrast from March 2012, when Putin was elected for a third term and the level of support was 64 percent. Experts suggest the rise in public approval is linked to Russia’s reunification with Crimea.