Vladimir Putin: Russia is a unique place. As nowhere else in the world, people of different cultures and religions have lived here together for decades and centuries. They have been not just good neighbours for many hundreds of years but have been helping each other and felt like close relatives.
In this unique country, Christianity and Islam complement each other and live side by side in peace and accord to beneficially influence the young generation. Theirs is a harmonious coexistence. This is what makes Russia different from the rest of the world.
That is what makes the destructive influences from the outside so dangerous. They sever links between generations and undermine the moral foundations of our life. I would like to emphasise the extreme importance in this situation of elder people’s beneficial influence on the young.
This is all the more essential for the Caucasus. Kabardino-Balkaria is a great success in this sense thanks to your efforts, and the efforts of the republic’s leadership, mainly its President. I hope it will set a good example to other parts of the North Caucasus and to the entire country.
Question: Many Russian citizens are presently settling in Kabardino-Balkaria, which increases social tensions. Is it possible to restrict immigration to the republic for some time?
I wouldn’t like to restrict Russian nationals’ right to travel and choice of a place to live by imposing registration. Once officials in some place deem it possible to bar off settlers from certain other regions, we will see the very next day bans on leaving the place for any other, for some reason. I think we must choose a different way.
Unemployment is a bad problem, as we know, for the entire Russian South—in particular, for Kabardino-Balkaria. It is more acute here than anywhere else in the country except Chechnya. But then, its situation is very special. As I see it, we must deal with this problem by developing production to offer new jobs.
A Russian citizen of any ethnic background and religion must have the right to live wherever he wants. We have many problem-laden places, and people will be anxious to leave them for more comfortable areas. That will be so as long as problems persist. But despite the difficulties Kabardino-Balkaria might be experiencing, peace, order and kindness reign here thanks to your efforts and the efforts of the republic’s leadership. All that is essential for anyone’s normal life. That is why so many people are eager to settle here.
There is another factor here. That is a Constitutional Court verdict. Even I as President have no right to intrude in decisions of the Constitutional Court. Now, the Court has ruled it illegal to restrict resettlement through registration.