KISLOVODSK, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will turn into a third-rate country without ethnic entities, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned.
“If ethnic entities are separated from Russia, even though I hope this will never happen, it will shrink right away and turn into a third-rate regional country forever,” Putin said at the Forum of the Peoples of South Russia on Monday, January 23.
“Russians are like magnet, they attract other peoples in Russia. And Russia will simply no longer be. Russians will be the first to suffer. We should and must not allow this to happen and we will not,” he said.
He recalled the Soviet Union and its disintegration as an example when “25 million Russians happened to be outside their country. Where could they go? We know that domestic nationalism started to rise. People would have gone but there was no place to go to. Russia cannot accept all of them, as it is impossible to provide all of them with housing and jobs. We probably would like to do so, but we can’t do it on such a scale,” Putin said.
“The point I am driving at is that if Russia is rocked, things will get even worse, small peoples will suffer, and the Russian people will suffer, too. It is not accidental that our political opponents keep trying to tear the North Caucasus away from Russia, all the time, from century to century. This only testifies to the geopolitical significance of this part of the world,” he said.