Russian citizens are not ready to live with people from central Asia in one country – VTsIOM

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Interfax – September 11, 2013) Less than 10 percent of Russian citizens are ready to accept people from Central Asia who have lived in Russia for a long time as equals, VTsIOM General Director Valery Fyodorov said.

“Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kyrgyz – those who are in most cases called guest workers – only 8 percent of Russians agree to consider them Russian on condition that they have lived in Russia for a long time. That is, it is not true that we are ready to recognize them as part of our ethnos, even of these people live in the country for a long time, work, and even take Russian citizenship,” Fyodorov told a press conference on Tuesday.

Fyodorov said 44 percent of Russians are ready to recognize Ukrainians and Belarusians who live in Russia. “Forty-four percent of Russians say a Ukrainian or a Belarusian person can be considered Russian if he or she has lived in the country for a long time. The territorial and linguistic looseness and factor like that play a role here,” he said.

“The next people in the rating are Tatars and Bashkirs. Some 30 percent of the respondents said they agree to call these people Russian,” Fyodorov said.

“This means we are currently not ready to live with people from central Asia in one family. The situation with Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese is similar: this issue is more vital in the Far East,” he said.

“In addition, only 7 percent of the respondents are ready to consider residents of the Northern Caucasus republics – Chechens, Dagestanis, and Ingush – as Russians, and they live in Russia by definition. This division line is very dangerous, we should look closely at it,” the expert said.