Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 143

President Yeltsin has ordered the creation of a new presidential council for federal and nationalities policy. (Itar-Tass, July 22) The aims of the new body, which will operate under the auspices of the presidential administration, include developing policy on federal and interethnic relations and coordinating the activities of all the agencies working in the field. The council will apparently duplicate the work that the Ministry for Nationalities and Federal Relations is supposed to do. The July 21 meeting of Russia’s Security Council criticized the ministry for failing to keep tabs on the situation in North Ossetia, where tensions between Ossetians and Ingush have erupted into violence and death. Yeltsin has now ordered the Nationalities Ministry to set up missions in Russia’s regions. There have also been promises that Russia will set up an a new, consultative body in the fall. Provisionally entitled the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia, the new body will apparently be modeled on bodies such as the Assembly of the People of Kyrgyzstan, an umbrella organization set up in 1994 to encourage dialogue between Kyrgyzstan’s central government and representatives of the country’s ethnic minorities.

Russia’s New Justice Minister Discusses His Plans.