Northern Caucasus is inseparable from Russia – Surkov
During a Friday appearance on a television program called Dialogues which is broadcast in the Republic of Chechnya, Surkov sharply criticized those who wanted to separate the troubled and poor region from the rest of the federation. “Even if, God forbid, someone from time to time makes such plans, they must know – the Northern Caucasus will be a part of Russia whether you like it or not! Because it is a part of a common historic territory,” Surkov said.
He said that Russia was a multi-ethnic state and each nationality added some special talents and genetic particularities to the common pool. “To get rid of it means to become poorer,” the top Kremlin official said.
Surkov said that ethnic tensions should not be considered as an important factor in this context. “Interethnic tensions exist everywhere. They exist in France, in Germany, everywhere in the world. It exists in all successful countries and it exists in less successful countries as well. And no one has ever solved this problem by putting a wall and a border between themselves and other peoples,” he said.
He also said that the rest of Russia would lose a lot if the Caucasus republics left the Russian Federation. “We must be numerous and there are millions of Russian citizens living in the Caucasus, so we cannot allow the loss of this multi-million army in the international competition. We need the Caucasus, I am sure of it. And if we have to pay for this, not only in the monetary sense – we have to pay for everything, that is life,” Surkov said.
He called those who supported the idea of separating the Caucasus republics from Russia “silly people, provocateurs, and silly provocateurs".
Surkov gave his interview on the eve of celebrations dedicated to what would be the 60th birthday of Akhmat Kadyrov – the first president of the Chechen Republic and the father of the incumbent Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov – who was assassinated by Islamist militants in 2004.
The deputy head of the presidential administration also said that in his view, Vladimir Putin and Akhmat Kadyrov were sent by God to the peoples of Russian Federation and Chechnya.
“In my opinion, if God has determined for the people to live for several more ages, during the hardest of times, he sends those who would lead the people from a dead end; from war, devastation, and disaster, and I think that Akhmat-Khadji [Kadyrov] is such a man, sent by God to the Chechen people to lead them out of the disaster they had gotten into,” Surkov said. “I honestly think that Putin is a man [who was] sent to Russia by God in these hardest of times, to our greater common nation,” he said. “Unquestionably, I think that Putin and Kadyrov had to find each other, because they were destined by fate to preserve our peoples – the great people of Russia and [one specific] part of those people – the Chechen people,” the official said.
Surkov’s interview came soon after several Russian bloggers and leaders of banned nationalist movements made a visit to Chechnya on invitation of the Chechen government. After taking a guided tour through the republic and meeting with the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the nationalists said that they wanted the same “perfect state” in the rest of Russia as the one built in Chechnya.