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While calling for tighter controls on migrant workers in his article, Putin recognizes that they are here to stay, and he defends the country's federal and multiethnic structure.As political analyst Andrei Makarkin has noted, one important development this past year has been that many ultra- nationalist leaders have given up on trying to work with the Kremlin.Writer Alexander Morozov has suggested that the core ideas in Putin's article were taken from a 2010 Education Ministry proposal for promoting "polycultural" education.
"It is neither an ethnic state nor an American melting pot." Russian identity, rather, is that of a "civic nation" — one that is rooted in loyalty to the state.
Putin argues that this is why Russians living in other countries fail to organize themselves as a cohesive diaspora.
Putin praises Russian identity for achieving "unity in diversity" — perhaps not realizing that is the official motto of the European Union since 2000 and is almost identical in meaning to "e pluribus unum" — or "many united into one" — which the United States adopted as its seal in 1782.
The problem is that Russia faces ethnic and religious insurgencies in the North Caucasus that have no equivalent in Europe or the United States.
Russia, in contrast, is a "multiethnic civilization with Russian culture at its core," a tradition, which Putin says is rooted in the "expansive Russia" of tsarist times.
"Russia's state development is unique," writes Putin.