MAKHACHKALA, September 19 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday congratulated the people of Dagestan on the 2,000th anniversary of Derbent, one of the oldest cities in the world and in Russia.
"For centuries, the city has been one of the key centres in the Caspian region. Lying on the crossroads of civilizations - Europe and Asia, the North and South - on the Great Silk Road, Derbent has seen many significant and truly epochal events and has played a special role in developing trade, science, culture and education," the president wrote in a message of greeting read out by presidential adviser Vladimir Tolstoy at a ceremony devoted to Derbent’s jubilee anniversary.
Putin emphasized that the people of Derbent had every right to be proud of the glorious pages in its history and of many generations of the natives of Derbent that include famous writers, scientists and composers.
"Derbent needs attention and special treatment. It is necessary to carefully restore old monuments and make your city to be more attractive to tourists. Naturally, to achieve this goal we need to have industrial potential, social and transport infrastructure," Putin said in his message.
Forty delegations from Russian regions and foreign countries - about 5,000 guests - had arrived in Derbent for the celebrations. A colossal festive programme is waiting for them.
Derbent is the only ancient city, which is still located in its original historical place. At various times in history it was claimed by the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, Parphia, the Khazar Khaganate and the Golden Horde. Derbent became part of the Russian Empire in 1806.
Derbent is Dagestan’s second largest city and a unique monument of ancient history.