Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the policy pursued by a number of countries, which is aimed at linguistic and cultural assimilation of the peoples living in those states.
"We also know other examples where in a number of countries the right of significant ethnic communities to use their mother tongue is being ignored or restricted," Putin said while opening a joint session of the presidential Councils for inter-ethnic relations and the Russian language.
Certain countries "are pursuing a tough, aggressive policy of linguistic and cultural assimilation," Putin said.
"We see what consequences this leads to: division of society into normal and not-normal people, into citizens and non-citizens, and even to direct tragic internal conflicts," the Russian president said.
He recalled that the Russian Constitution explicitly guarantees the right of all peoples to preserve their mother tongue and to create conditions for studying and developing it. "Our republics are also entitled to establish their own official languages and use them in the work of government bodies and local self-government along with the official one," the president recalled, citing the example of Crimea which has three equal languages: Russia, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.
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