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MOSCOW, November 25 (Itar-Tass) — Against the background of the massive rearmament of the troops, deployed in the Northern Caucasus, the social and economic modernization of the region seems to come to a standstill, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The adoption of a special federal programme for the development of the Northern Caucasus, scheduled for the current year, has been postponed until May 2012, as a minimum. Alexander Khloponin, special representative of the President in the North Caucasian Federal District, spoke about it in Makhachkala.
During his recent trip to the Northern Caucasus President Dmitry Medvedev, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, heard a report of Alexander Galkin, Commander of the Troops of the Southern Military District, about the completion of the rearmament of the army units and their equipment with the most up-to-date types of military hardware. The share of new and modernized types of weapons in the Russian Army units ranges from ten to twenty per cent, on the average, while the figure for the Southern Military District is 70 per cent. Special attention has been paid to the 58th Army. Its zone of responsibility includes all the hotbeds of tension in the Northern Caucasus.
This contrasts with the economic stagnation of the region, the newspaper continues. Rumours about delays with the adoption of the programme because of financial problems circulated before. Khloponin finally confirmed them several days ago. He gave other reasons for the delay with the adoption of the programme, however. According to Khloponin, every region should work out its own development strategy. “The state programme will be made up of those regional programmes, to be applied to each concrete territory,” he said. His statement sounded strange, because as early as in July 2011 the Ministry of Regional Development drafted a programme for the development of the Northern Caucasus for the period ending in 2025, whose value was about 4,000 billion roubles, with 2,600 billion coming from the federal budget. The figures would not look so impressive, if they were compared with some 5,000 billion roubles, to be spent on the rearmament of troops of the Southern Military District.
Sources in the government report that even the sum of 2,600 billion roubles, planned for the coming 14 years (less than 200 billion roubles a year) seemed to be too large for the Finance Ministry, although, according to the programme, the main social and economic indices of the Northern Caucasus will be lower than the average figures for the Russian Federation. For instance, the average nominal calculated wages in the Northern Caucasus are to grow from 10,000 roubles to 23,000 roubles. In other words, they will be smaller that the average wages in Russia today.