Medvedev urges 'particular control' of situation in North Caucasus
MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday a special official should be appointed to coordinate efforts aimed at improving the standards of living in Russia's North Caucasus and assuring security in the region.
Speaking in a live broadcast on three national television channels, the president said Russia had made progress in fighting terrorism in the volatile North Caucasus republics.
"Though terrorism raises its ugly head from time to time... we have learned to react to it with dispatch," Medvedev said.
He said the "main centers of terrorism in the North Caucasus had been defeated," but "poor living standards still remain a problem."
The number of unemployed in the republic of Ingushetia is around 50%, the president said. In the republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, the figure stands at 30% and 10-15%, respectively.
Medvedev said job positions should be created in the republics to solve the problem, adding "when there is destruction around, the only way [for someone] to improve his material situation is to hang his head and commit crime" to make ends meet.
The president pointed out Russian authorities had recently approved a development program for Ingushetia. He added other North Caucasus republics are also on the agenda.
"A particular control of the situation is needed. I have said that there should be a special person to be responsible for this situation," Medvedev said, adding "such a person will be certainly appointed... soon."
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