Ethnic discrimination is a problem facing not only certain Russian regions, but the entire country, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
"We have problems with this," the president said, speaking during a Human Rights Council meeting in Nalchik, the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.“I mean the situation in general, not just in a certain republic or a certain territory, in the Caucasus or in central Moscow."
Harmonizing inter-ethnic relations within the country is a complicated task, but it should be addressed, he said, adding that developing national media should be a major goal for local governments.
"We are trying to deal with it now in order for every ethnic group to have its own media, internet resources, as well as other opportunities that every people should have," Medvedev said.
He also stressed the importance of providing "equal access to municipal service positions" for representatives of different ethnic groups.
Promoting negative historical stereotypes that show certain ethnic groups in a bad light is "absolutely unacceptable, dangerous and may create horrible problems," the president added.
The Russian capital saw its worst race-related riots for almost a decade in December last year, when a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans clashed with police near the Kremlin walls. The rioters were protesting police negligence over the killing of a 28-year-old Muscovite football fan in a brawl with migrants from Russia's North Caucasus region earlier in the year.
Smaller race-hate disturbances took place afterwards in Moscow and other Russian cities.
Medvedev called the disorder a threat to the "stability" of the Russian state and has urged police to clamp down on nationalists.
The president also proposed banning those charged with extremism from taking up state positions.