President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kadyrov, we are here to discuss the situation in the Republic of Chechnya. What are the problems and issues that you see?
Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov: Mr President, thank you for taking the time for this meeting. There have been positive developments in the republic since I last reported to you.
Agricultural output increased by 13.6 percent, extra-budgetary investment was up by 19 percent, and revenue climbed 26 percent. Over the past year, unemployment dropped by almost three percentage points to 9.2 percent.
The implementation of the May 2012 executive orders is underway. Salaries are being paid out. Pre-school education for three to seven year olds is now available to 100 percent of children in this age group.
The first stage of the programme to relocate people from dilapidated housing has been completed ahead of schedule. We believe that these are positive results, especially considering the overall situation around Russia and, specifically, in the Republic of Chechnya.
Let me also report that the provocative articles about the Republic of Chechnya and its people, the events that reportedly take place, detentions…
Vladimir Putin: What are you referring to?
Ramzan Kadyrov: As embarrassing as it is for me to say, there are would-be well-wishers who publish articles saying that in our republic people are being arbitrarily detained and killed. They even named one such person, Khasu Tepsurkaev, who is, how should I put it, our chief ideologist, a Sufi. They said that he was killed, but he is actually at home.
So they started by offending him head-on, then moved on to accuse the authorities of killing him, and all this time he was at home, safe and sound. We get groundless reports of this kind about our republic two or three times per year. This is the first incident of this kind in 2017.
The security situation in the republic is quite positive. There is no street crime, and no major threats related to terrorism. It can be said that the republic is making steady progress.
Vladimir Putin: However, there was an attack against the National Guard, which means that some issues still remain unresolved. Of course, they can be resolved, and I can see that happening, which is a good thing. There is no doubt that these efforts should be underpinned by economic and social development.
It is very important that you are implementing the 2012 Presidential executive orders. As far as I know, the average educational standards in the republic have reached the mean level in the republican economy.
Ramzan Kadyrov: Yes, we are implementing all of the May executive orders in full and see absolutely no problems in this sphere. But there are unresolved issues in other areas, and unless we receive [federal] assistance, there will be difficulties and problems in these areas already next year.
Vladimir Putin: It is very good that you have reduced unemployment to 9 percent. How high was it two or three years ago?
Ramzan Kadyrov: When you appointed me head of the republic, unemployment was estimated at 76 percent. The last time I updated you, it was 12.2 percent, and some time before that, 19 percent. We are working to reduce it. We are creating new jobs, and we have investment agreements with all our main partners in Russia. I have recently been to the Persian Gulf, where I visited several countries and coordinated considerable assistance from them. I visited Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I saw their interest in cooperation with Russia, including the Chechen Republic. They have promised to increase their investments.
Vladimir Putin: Have you coordinated your relations with Rosneft?
Ramzan Kadyrov: Today I met with [Rosneft CEO and Management Board Chair] Igor Sechin. We have reached an agreement, although there was some misunderstanding. I think that the Rosneft management did not understand what we wanted. We have reached an agreement today, and we will continue to develop our relations with Rosneft. It is an issue of major importance to us, and we will continue to invest in the development of our oil sector and the republican economy as a whole.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent. I will meet with Mr Sechin in a few hours, and we will discuss this issue.
Ramzan Kadyrov: Thank you for your support.