Putin proposes 'cutting off' something from N. Caucasus separatists

Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Yana Lapikova)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sharply criticized those politicians and political scientists who suggest that the Northern Caucasus should be isolated from European Russia.

“Those who say so need to have something cut off” Putin said during a Tuesday interview with media outlets from the Chechen Republic. “They do not understand what they are talking about. As soon as any country starts to reject some problematic territories, this means the beginning of the end for the whole country,” Putin said.

“Some small North Caucasus republics will not be able to exist as independent states.They will be de-facto occupied by some forces from the near-abroad and more distant foreign countries, both in the spiritual and in the economic sense, and later they will be used as a tool to rock Russia,” Putin said. “And in Russia this will lead to nothing good, just a disaster and a tragedy,” he added.“There are a number of very important and urgent problems for the whole Russia, not only for the Northern Caucasus and Chechnya, Putin went on. These include corruption and the importance of providing justice for the ordinary people regardless of their residence, religion or ethnic origin, the Prime Minister said. However, he noted that there were also problems with issues that had been raised previously.

“For the leaders of the Chechen Republic, just as any other part of the Russian Federation, to feel that they are properly fulfilling their duties before the country’s citizens, they must combat these negative events,” Putin said. He called upon the authorities to pay special attention to the problem of unemployment that has reached 38 per cent in Chechnya. “That’s a lot,” Putin said.

At the same time, the Prime Minister noted that the Chechen Republic has made many positive steps as well. He reminded the reporters that 16 new schools, nine hospitals and a maternity ward were put into service in 2011 alone, as well as a new building for the Grozny State University, among many other facilities.