Expert argues that Russia has no alternative to 'melting pot' policy

Russia has to assimilate immigrants, politician Boris Nadezhdin said at an Open Rostrum meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

"It seems Russia has no alternative to the 'melting pot' policy. We should teach [migrants] the Russian language and we should assimilate them; there is no other way," he said.

Nadezhdin added that visas for Central Asian countries would not be an option.

"Attempts to stop the migration would be senseless, especially as Russia has high living standards, high levels of education and an advanced average age of citizens; besides, we have the market economy and employers will hire people who agree to service public utilities for, say, 5,000 rubles (about $ 162) a month. Visas or no visas, labor migrants will not stop coming here and entering into sham marriages," he said.

The majority of labor migrants accept Russian culture, Nadezhdin said.

"Six million people identified themselves as Tatar in the latest population census, but only four million of them spoke Tatar; 200,000 identified themselves as Jews but only 30,000 people spoke Yiddish or Hebrew, and the others spoke Russian. All of them are gradually Russified, and the government, the state and the church should contribute to that process," he stressed.

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