President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Residents of the Republic of Adygea, the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, and the Republic of Karachayevo-Circassia,
Please accept my sincere and heartfelt congratulations on the 100th anniversary of your republics. This is a big and significant date for you and for our country, for all of Russia.
The creation of autonomous entities in 1922 was an important event in the history and life of the peoples of the three regions and a significant step forward in the history of our state as a common home for people of different ethnicities who are united by common values and aspirations and a common patriotic responsibility for the future of our great and vast Motherland.
The decades that followed convincingly proved that this decision was correct and far-sighted, as was another decision that had been made long before that; I am referring to the truly fateful choice of the peoples of modern Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cirkassia on rapprochement with the Russian state.
This new status contributed to the rise of the economy and the social sphere in the autonomous regions, the preservation and promotion of the distinctive traditions and the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of all the peoples who live here, and opened up broad opportunities to receive an education and to fulfill their professional potential.
The people of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia have made a priceless contribution to the strengthening and development of our enormous country. Shoulder to shoulder with people of other ethnicities, they were building and creating, reaching achievements in science and culture, overcoming together sharp turns of history and honestly and courageously sharing the difficulties and trials that befell them – together with other people in the Soviet Union.
Your fellow citizens fully displayed their courage and bravery in the harsh years of the Great Patriotic War. Thousands of fearless warriors – faithful sons and daughters of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia – volunteered to go to the front lines where they fought in guerrilla units. Valiantly fighting the Nazis, they ruined the enemy’s plans and proved that the freedom-loving Caucasus could not be conquered. They upheld the freedom and independence of our common and great Motherland.
The names and achievements of your fellow countrymen – Admiral Arseny Golovko, tank brigade commander Kharun Bogatyrev, political instructor Khusen Andrukhayev and many other heroes – have become striking examples of true patriotism and courage.
The grateful memory of our people will always hold close those who selflessly worked for victory on the home front, who denied themselves the basic necessities, instead, sending them to the front: food, animals, horses, clothes and shoes, who produced ammunition and took care of the wounded.
Today, we are addressing the warmest words of gratitude and a low bow to the generation of victors, to the veterans living in the republics. The sons and daughters of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia are now courageously, heroically fulfilling their military duty by protecting Russia. They are worthy of your achievements, dear veterans.
In the difficult 1990s, the peoples of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia strived to save peace and stability in their land, to ensure the necessary balance of national and regional interests, preserve inter-ethnic balance and inter-religious accord as the main foundation for stable development in the new, 21st century.
Today, Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia are also confidently resolving the challenges facing them and are demonstrating positive dynamics. All of Russia’s regions are increasing industrial and agricultural production and are building up their capacities for processing and storing agricultural products. They are increasing the use of advanced technology. The positions of small and medium-sized businesses are growing stronger. Naturally, all these successes are having a positive impact on regional incomes.
The measures to support businesses and economic sectors taken by the federal and regional government bodies have seriously encouraged economic growth in these three regions. The state will continue helping its own domestic producers.
Positive trends in your regions include active housing construction and good indicators for gas distribution. These figures have already reached almost 95 percent in the Republic of Adygea; 89 percent in Kabardino-Balkaria and over 70 percent in Karachay-Cherkessia.
I want to emphasise that today you have every opportunity to unlock the rich potential of your republics and ensure the growth of key economic indicators.
To achieve this, it is necessary to continue improving the quality and thus the competitiveness of manufactured products, encourage business activity and help create new, modern jobs.
It is important to attract additional investment to the regions for implementing large long-term projects, primarily in mining and processing of mineral resources, in energy, construction and agriculture.
The implementation of national and regional projects is giving a big boost to major changes in all areas of life in your regions. This year alone, the federal and republican budgets have allocated almost 12.5 billion rubles for these projects in Kabardino-Balkaria, about 9 billion rubles in Adygea and 7 billion in Karachay-Cherkessia. These funds are being spent to build and rebuild schools and kindergartens, upgrade transport facilities and healthcare institutions, and improve cities and villages.
The development of tourism in your regions is a promising areas. Majestic mountains with perpetual ice and the purest rivers, breathtakingly beautiful and diverse nature, ancient history and culture all inspire sincere admiration, and it is only natural that tourism is steadily on the rise in all three republics.
Indeed, much has been done to develop tourism in the past few years. For example, the Elbrus resort and the nearby tourist centres with excellent roads and paths for high-altitude tourism and mountaineering are being actively developed in Kabardino-Balkaria.
Karachay-Cherkessia has created the all-season resort Arkhyz, which has become one of Russia’s most popular alpine ski resorts, from scratch, while Adygea is carrying out a large investment project on building the Lagonaki all-season mountain eco-resort.
We need to continue creating cutting-edge tourist infrastructure in the republics and make vacations in your regions comfortable and affordable for people.
And, of course, developing the rich palette of folk culture and traditions is of special importance in Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. The people of your republics appreciate beauty and talent and are famous for great achievements in culture and creative endeavours. Just look at your regular concerts and art festivals, guest performances by theatre, folk singing and dance companies and exhibits of folk crafts.
They are always held with great success and contribute to the development and mutual enrichment of Russia’s cultural traditions. They give people a joy of communication and bring them together, educate young people in the spirit of respect for each other.
And, of course, it is necessary to devote priority attention to issues of civil order, stability and accord in your republics where people from the most diverse ethnic origins and religions have lived since ancient times. This is very important in general and in particular for such a complicated territory as yours.
It is important that regional authorities and political forces, religious associations and public organisations in your republics hold a firm and consistent position on this issue. They are doing much to develop the traditions of neighbourliness and friendship between people of different nationalities, the traditions that your ancient land – the land that its people and all of Russia are rightly proud of – has long been famous for.
There is a famous highland proverb: you are happy if you have a true friend. Loyalty, unity and friendship among the peoples of Russia are a source of power and the most durable foundation for common wellbeing in the future.
I would like to congratulate you and all the people of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia once again on your anniversary.
I am sure you will do your utmost for the effective socioeconomic development of your regions and for stronger stability and accord.
Allow me to wish you good health and success. Happy holiday!
Thank you very much for your attention.