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This attitude has led to an unwillingness on their part to learn the language of the majority of the population andquite often Page 15 to accord due respect to the peculiarities of its spiritual life and customs. In our opinion, this circumstance has predetermined the vulnerability of the RSP in practically all non-Slavic ethno-territorial entities of the former USSR in this present period of ethnic revival and national state building. It seems at the moment that out-migration of the RSP from the Caucasus and Central Asia has reached the point were it cannot be checked or reversedor only with considerable difficulty.

Any sustained economic development in the area would be severely impeded by the shortage of qualified professionals and skilled industrial workers traditionally recruited from the ranks of the RSP: for example, over 60% of the RSP who left Tajikistan in January-September 1992 were of working age (Pechegina, 1993). Therefore, local political leaders have spared no effort of late in order to stem the tide of migration. Kyrgyzstan's president, Askar Akaev, has been the most persistent in this respect: he twice vetoed the land laws of the Republic until the parliament rescinded the provision which had declared the land to be in exclusive ownership of ethnic Kyrgyz.

30% of Russian residents admit the possibility of the emergence of inter-ethnic conflicts in their areas (Rukavishnikov, 1992: 53). This possibility appears more than a purely theoretical assumption, when we consider how difficult, even impossible, it will be for the newly emergent states to tackle repatriation problems effectively in a period of raging economic crisis. The arrival of approximately two million Russian servicemen and members of their families from Germany, Poland and the Baltic states within a few years will undoubtedly add complexity to this problem (Polyakov, 1992: 3).

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