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The State Duma plans to introduce a ranking of foreign countries in terms of their treatment of their Russian minorities
The State Duma plans to introduce a ranking of foreign countries in terms of their treatment of their Russian minorities, the lower house of parliament's international affairs committee said on Wednesday. "This will be a ranking of around 20 countries based on various criteria such as Russian language support, and the availability of Russian-speaking television and media," the head of the committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, told a meeting of Russian diaspora associations in Belgium. He said policy toward Russians abroad is of great importance. "This implies not just a gesture, but a drastic change in attitude," the lawmaker said. Russia plans to spend 400 million rubles ($16 million) in support of compatriots abroad next year, compared to an average of around 50 million rubles ($2 million) in the past few years, Kosachyov said. He urged Russians living abroad to play a more active role in formulating Russia's policies relating to them. The number of ethnic Russians living abroad is estimated at around 30 million, with the largest communities in former Soviet states. Discrimination against ethnic Russians in Latvia and Estonia, many of whom are denied citizenship and employment rights, has proved a major source of tension with Russia.
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