The Ministry for Regional Development was established in 2004 and acquired responsibility for social and cultural issues in the units of the Russian Federation. It is in charge of implementing state policies concerned with national (read inter-ethnic) relations, territorial development, and cross-border co-operation. Its Department for Inter-ethnic Relations supervises issues of ethnic cultural development, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations, and Kazak (a particular ethnic and cultural group) affairs. The department provides support for research and sociological reviews on ethnic interactions, for conferences, festivals and forums concerned with ethnic cultures, cultural dialogue and tolerance, for related mass media including e.g. establishment of a special web portal in the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Federation incorporates 83 administrative and territorial units (some of which are based on ethnicity), with different political status: Republics, Krais (Provinces), Oblasts (Regions), Autonomous Oblasts, Autonomous Districts and the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Since 2000, these units are additionally clustered into 7 Federal Districts that on occasion provide a framework for bigger cultural projects, e.g. the Competition in Culture and Arts within the Central Federal District. The state structures in the regions generally mirror federal ones and are of primary importance for regional cultural governance. Regional cultural policies differ a lot as regards priorities and resources. The heads of regional cultural administrations are members of the Coordinating Council for Culture presided by the culture Minister. This Council joins federal and regional decision-makers to improve and develop the national policy-making process.