Introduction. The authors identify difficulties in implementation of multiculturalism policy and reveal weak points in ethnic-cultural identity models dominating in social researches over the last several decades but along with it possible theoretical restrictions of the alternative models of cross-cultural interaction constructed on other ontological principles. Materials and Methods. The research is based on the ideas of new post-multicultural approach to the analysis of the interaction of cultures realizing descriptive, explanatory and predictive functions of social knowledge on the basis of methodology of systemic, activity and cultural- historical approaches in modern conditions. The methodical base of the research consists in methods of phenomenological description, interpretation, comparison, and comparative analysis of works by Russian and Foreign researchers in the sphere of ethnic-cultural identity and interactions. Results. The authors analyze evolution of ideas of ethnic identity nature and ways of settling inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflicts. In the conditions of crisis of the idea of multiculturalism it is possible to consider the alternative models of cross-cultural interaction: concepts of 'melting pot' and ‘salad bowl’, and also their shortcomings and restrictions. The authors reveal that the concept of geographical determinism, which has been considered as outdate, unexpectedly becomes relevant for understanding the mechanisms of cross-cultural and interfaith interaction in modern conditions. Conclusions. The authors emphasize that within the context of implementation of such transcontinental initiatives as “The New Silk road" the China-centrist model of cross-cultural interaction could take the place of the multiculturalism model which has compromised itself. This new model leaves an ethnic component of culture out of the sphere of its attention. In conditions of changing paradigms of cross-cultural interaction, dependence of civil harmony and wellbeing on creation of dialogue of ethnic cultures, which is traditional for European philosophy, risks to become absolutely unclaimed.