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Meeting with Ramazan Abdulatipov

February 1, 2013, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with Acting President of the Republic of Daghestan Ramazan Abdulatipov.

The President noted at the meeting that Daghestan’s leadership has many tasks to address, including law enforcement problems, and wished Mr Abdulatipov success in his work.

Mr Putin signed Executive Order appointing Mr Abdulatipov Acting President of Daghestan on January 28.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Abdulatipov, we have known each other for a long time. I know that you are a patriotic man and that you love both Russia and your native region. You also have a great deal of personal life experience.

You have worked in the federal government agencies, held diplomatic posts, and you know how to work with young people. I am confident that you will use all this experience in your new job. I know that you have a great sense of responsibility toward this line of work, because you truly love Daghestan.

Currently, Daghestan faces some major challenges; the situation is difficult. That said, the previous administration nevertheless succeeded in getting things moving after a standstill. It was able to demonstrate some positive momentum in the economy and the social sector. But there are still more, far more, unresolved problems than recent achievements. So you have some major challenges before you.

The first step, of course, involves the formation of a competent, responsible and effective team that is balance in all respects, including the ethnic side of it, for Daghestan is a complex republic with diverse ethnic composition, and its people include a large variety of ethnic groups. When I talk about an effective team, I am referring to both the people and the economic potential.

”Currently, Daghestan faces some major challenges. The first step involves the formation of a competent, responsible and effective team that is balance in all respects, including the ethnic side of it.“

This is one of the key republics in the North Caucasus, and the people – members of different ethnic groups – need to feel that they are represented in all of the republic’s central government agencies. At the same time, these need to be worthy, professional people.

You face many challenges, including in law enforcement, but I am confident that by relying on your experience and public support, you will be able to achieve a great deal. I wish you success.

What can you say about the first days at your new job?

Acting President of the Republic of Daghestan Ramazan Abdulatipov: First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to you, Mr President, for your trust in me. And my main goal is to justify this trust. My next goal is to regain people’s trust toward the authorities at all levels, including the federal authorities working there and the regional authorities, as well as local government agencies.

We need to significantly change our personnel policy to make it modern. It so happened (I don’t want to blame anyone) that Russia under your leadership has moved toward a market economy, capitalism, democracy, but Daghestan in many ways slipped back into feudalism, and we need to get out of that state, including the manifestations of extremism, as our peoples’ moods and attitude largely depend on this.

Living here in Moscow and working with the federal authorities, I have said many times that the problems do not lie between the ethnic groups – this is a problem stemming from the contradictions between culture and ignorance. And we must overcome ignorance, which has probably penetrated into the local government agencies as well. Indeed, people have a great deal of hope, and I am ready.

To those who tell me, “Weren’t you afraid to take this post, do you really need this at your age?” and such, I always respond, “My homeland does not scare me,” because I am truly a patriot of Daghestan, I serve Daghestan. I am a patriot of Russia and serve Russia. And when somebody starts telling me something, I always say, “I will not allow anyone to state that I, my father, my brothers or my people are any less patriotic than anybody else.” Especially since my father was among the defenders of Sevastopol during the Great Patriotic War.

So it is true that I face major challenges, but these are the tasks that can be fulfilled. Especially since the people of Daghestan are a unique people. They are very enterprising; don’t interfere with their work – help them.

”The people – members of different ethnic groups – need to feel that they are represented in all of the republic’s central government agencies.“

And when I spoke before them and members of government bodies, I stated that the only person who gave the right answer to the “What are you doing?” question was Vladimir Putin who said, “I provide services to people.” That is our goal: not to boss people around, but to provide services to the public.

And I think that with your support, we can move forward in this direction and continue the positive trends that we already see in the Republic of Daghestan.

Vladimir Putin: Daghestan has given a great deal to the nation overall: culturally and in terms of increasing its defence capacity. You know about Daghestan’s defence companies. And it is enough to say that Derbent is the most ancient city on our nation’s territory. It is enough to recall Rasul Gamzatov [People’s Poet of Daghestan, 1923–2003], who was a great patriot of Russia and his own Republic of Daghestan.

I hope that by relying on all the positive things in the republic (and there are a great deal of them), you will be able to overcome all the difficulties faced today by the people of Daghestan, and move forward even faster than it was in recent years.

Ramazan Abdulatipov: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I wish you success.


February 1, 2013, The Kremlin, Moscow