President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Vasilyev, you know that when it comes to Dagestan, we always bear in mind that it is one of the most important regions of Russia, let alone the Caucasus. It is also a very beautiful region; its beauty is not only in nature, which is obvious, but above all in the people who live there. Although a lot is being done there, and some things are changing for the better, unfortunately, a great many problems remain.
I would very much like Dagestan to be headed by a person with experience in federal work, a politician at the federal level. I would like to ask you to serve as acting head of Dagestan until September 2018, and then much will depend on you and on what happens over the next 11 months. Because in the end, it is the people of Dagestan, represented by deputies of the State Council of Dagestan, who will decide, and Dagestan is a multiethnic region.
In general, I would very much like you to show your best qualities and all your vast experience in the Ministry of the Interior and the State Duma. These past years of service have certainly made you a political heavyweight, as we say. You are a politician of federal significance, of the federal level. And, in my opinion, Dagestan needs such a person today.
I would really like to hear your thoughts on what I have proposed to you.
Vladimir Vasilyev: First of all, it is an honour for me – the offer itself and to hear it from you.
I can imagine how difficult the task is, but I will do my best so that you will not regret it. The most important thing is for the local people to feel that it is possible and necessary to make life better.
I will try to do this sincerely, responsibly, relying on local officials, of course. I once worked there, and that was in difficult times. If you have trust in me and if the people of Dagestan do as well, I will honestly fulfil my duty, relying as much as possible on the very proud, very freedom-loving, gifted multiethnic residents of Dagestan, which I know firsthand.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Good luck.