Alu Alkhanov: Residents of Chechnya, people from various sectors of society have appealed to me to take part in the presidential elections. I see this as a sign that people want a continuation of the policies pursued by the federal authorities and by Akhmat-hadji Kadyrov – a policy of continued stabilisation of society in Chechnya, continued overall stabilisation in the republic. I think that given that I know the situation and the circumstances in Chechnya today, and that I know the policies that were followed, I think I would be capable of pursuing these policies further. In this respect, I have already spoken with Vladimir Anatolyevich [Yakovlev] and I wanted to inform you of my position regarding this issue and my wish to take part in the presidential election.
Vladimir Putin: With respect to your decision, in accordance with the law you would have to take leave. Of course, I would like to know then how we are to decide the question of who will head the republic’s Interior Ministry. Do you have any proposals?
Alu Alkhanov: I think that in any situation, especially during the election period, public security in the republic is an important factor and I think that one of my deputies should take over the responsibilities of interior minister. I think I would decide exactly which of the deputies should take on these responsibilities and inform you as to who specifically could be named interior minister. My view is that Ruslan Shakhayevich Alkhanov, former Special Forces commander and my deputy for the city of Grozny, could take on these responsibilities. I think that this officer would be the right choice for this job.
Vladimir Putin: We will settle the question once you have spoken with him. There is one other matter. You mentioned the proposals made by representatives of various districts in Chechnya. We spoke about developing Chechnya, rebuilding the republic, and you, as Interior Minister, have done the necessary work to help bring order to the republic, and at the same time you have also shown an attitude of care towards people. We already discussed earlier the need for public control, not law enforcement control but precisely public control over work to rebuild Chechnya given that the state is to spend considerable funds in this area.
We also discussed the need for public control over the distribution of funds allocated by the federal authorities as monetary compensation for lost housing. Although your participation in the election will require you to take leave, I am not going to relieve you of these responsibilities and I ask you to continue this work. What is needed is to fully develop and put in place effective civilian organisations for controlling these funds so that people are protected not only by the law enforcement authorities but also can be sure that their financial and social rights are protected.
Alu Alkhanov: This question is indeed very important for the people in Chechnya and, taking into account the proposals you made, we have already begun our work in this direction and have already made some changes to the committee in charge of compensation payments. Steps are already being taken to settle the question of public control and it is completely correct to say that we must ensure the money goes to people who really have lost their homes and really do need this money.
So, despite the fact that I will be taking leave, the work on ensuring public and overall state control of the funds will continue and I am sure that the money will indeed go to the people who need it.