MOSCOW, December 21 (Itar-Tass) — RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the Chechen town of Gudermes on Tuesday held a meeting on the development of the North Caucasus District, at which praised the work of the Chechen leadership to rebuild the economy and social sphere of the republic. He also discussed issues of boosting employment, developing small and medium-sized businesses and implementing investment projects in the region.
Vladimir Putin arrived in Gudermes unexpectedly, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. A limited number of individuals were informed about the government head’s upcoming working trip to Chechnya. This was done for obvious reasons. The republic remains not the safest North Caucasus region in terms of the terrorist threat, the newspaper notes. It is not accidentally that in his speech Putin touched upon this topic. He emphasized that he believes that the idea to separate ··the North Caucasus from Russia is too dangerous. “There have also been such wild proposals as to separate the Caucasus from Russia. If this happens, right here this very second, not even an hour, but a second, those will appear who want to do the same with the other territorial entities of Russia,” the prime minister said.
He explained that if investments in the North Caucasus are stopped, then people who live here, failing to finding jobs, will be replenishing bandit groups – “and then the Russian guys will be coming here to fight and the fratricidal war will begin again,” Kommersant writes. The arguments have been ruthless and hit below the belt, according to the publication. The way out was, oddly enough, in the fair distribution of taxes, the development of small and medium-sized businesses, parks, etc., and, as Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said, this should be done right for the next three years.
“All of our projects in the North Caucasus must first of all be measured by such a criterion as creation of jobs,” Rossiiskaya Gazeta quoted Putin as saying. The government gives a major role in to small and medium-sized businesses, whose traditions are strong in the Caucasus. Things that do not allow people to conduct their business must be removed, Putin said, recalling that over the past few years, the funding of small businesses has increased. Over 620,000 people – 15 percent of the total workforce, are employed in the small and medium-sized businesses’ sector. However, the potential is much bigger, the prime minister is certain. At present, according to Nabiullina, every fourth person in Russia is engaged in a small or medium-sized business, and here (in the Caucasus) - only 14 percent.