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Analyst Suggests Talks Between Russian Nationalists, Ethnic Minorities

Russian Police Dragging Rioter Amidst CrowdMOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) - A high-profile Russian political analyst on Tuesday suggested organizing dialogue between Russian nationalists and ethnic minorities living in Moscow as a way of averting violence such as the riots that broke out in the center of the Russian capital on Saturday.

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Another analyst expressed fear on Tuesday that some of those who were involved in Saturday's violence "will be murdering one another individually."

"Several conflicts of this kind in the center of Moscow would simply change the political situation throughout the country for the worse. I'm afraid that this is actually the purpose of those who connive at those conflicts. They don't risk anything while it's the president who receives all the hits, because the blood that has been shed in such clashes is the greatest indictment against authority," Gleb Pavlovsky, president of the Effective Policy Foundation, told Interfax.

"Under (former Moscow mayor Yury) Luzhkov there was a dialogue with ethnic communities, and it was producing some results. It must be resumed and intensified, and nationalists, both Russian and non-Russian, should be drawn into it as well. There are some of both in Moscow. The very existence of a dialogue reduces the threat of a crisis. Otherwise this vacant spot will be filled by people engaging in various kinds of provocative activities that pursue various kinds of purposes," Pavlovsky said.

"There is a great danger of such conflicts in Russia because there is no effective mechanism of personal security. This problem remained unresolved in the liberal era, and it has remained unresolved since," he said.

Alexei Makarkin, first vice president of the Political Technologies Center, argued that non-mass-scale conflicts pose a greater danger in today's Russia than large-scale clashes because, he claimed, law enforcement services have learned to deal with the latter.

"New mass riots are possible, of course. But I doubt that they will take place very soon as many expect here. The law enforcement agencies are now in a position to deal with mass actions, it's just that the events in Moscow over the last weekend astounded them not so much from the point of view of the actual fact of their occurrence as with their scale," Makarkin told Interfax.

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