View settings

Font size:
Site colours:


Official website of the President of Russia

News   /

President Vladimir Putin met with Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief

February 5, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow

Mr Putin instructed Mr Shoigu to establish contacts with Georgian authorities within the next seven days and to submit a plan for returning Chechen refugees from Pankisi Gorge.

President Putin said the Georgian leadership was ready to jointly facilitate the refugees’ return.

The Russian leader said this multi-faceted task comprised transport support, joint efforts to compile the lists of refugees wishing to return to Chechnya and the provision of housing to all displaced persons.

Although the Emergencies Ministry has no official refugee statistics, the Georgian side estimated the number of refugees at 6,000 to 7,000.

About 200,000 people returned to Chechnya in 2001; and the population of the Chechen Republic is now estimated to be at about 800,000.

Mr Putin and Mr Shoigu also discussed flood-prevention efforts. Sergei Shoigu said his Ministry was now conducting active clean-up operations after a flood which occurred in southern Russia, in particular in the Krasnodar Region. In all 25,000 to 30,000 hectares of farmland was flooded, and over 300 houses damaged beyond repair.

February 5, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow