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North Caucasus attracts international extremist groups - minister

October 06, 2011, 13:42 UTC+3
This is the eighth session of the commission set up by a presidential decree last July, and the first time that it is being held in the North Caucasus Federal district
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YESSENTUKI, October 6 (Itar-Tass) — North Caucasus attracts increased attention of international extremist and terrorist groups, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev stated on Thursday at a session of the commission for fight against extremism in a residence of the Presidential Envoy in the North Caucasus Federal District in Yessentuki.

“North Caucasus attracts increased attention of international extremist and terrorist groups, which try to sow chaos here in every possible way,” the minister said. “It is this that makes the situation in the North Caucasus Federal District considerably different from other regions of our country. We witness here the situation when extremist views culminate into terrorist acts,” Nurgaliyev stressed.

This is the eighth session of the commission set up by a presidential decree last July, and the first time that it is being held in the North Caucasus Federal district.

The minister said that despite a growth of gross product and industrial production as well as a decline in the level of unemployment in the region, militant gangs still operate in some regions.

“Today the North Caucasus is the southern gate of our country where main transport directions converge, and where one of the richest natural resource bases is situated. With the total amount of the population of about ten million people, over 100 nations and ethnicities professing practically all world religions live in the region,” he stressed.

“The current social and political situation is characterized by a high conflict potential for extremist manifestations,” the minister noted. Nurgaliyev stressed that not only authorities and power wielding agencies suffer from militant activity, but also clergymen and rank-and-file citizens, including children.

With that in view, he believes it is necessary to draw attention to education and patriotic education of the youth, as this can actively influence their world outlook.

Russian president’s envoy to the North Caucasian Federal District Alexander Khloponin, for his part, marked the expedience of such a session. He stressed that over the past decades such notions as migrants, Russian-speaking population and an ethnic conflict have been confused there.

“Russia has always been a multinational state, and this is the main competitive advantage that we have been proud of,” he said. According to Khloponin, Russian citizens who have moved to another region are not migrants. This is population mobility, which is seen as a sign of prosperity and quality of life all over the world. The more mobile are the citizens, the more prosperous the state is.

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