President Vladimir Putin: Today is a sad day for us and for all of Kabardino-Balkaria. We are saying farewell to Valery Mukhamedovich Kokov, a man who devoted his life to the service of his people and to strengthening Russian statehood.
It is partly for this reason that the bandits who recently attempted to destabilise the situation in the republic failed to achieve their criminal aims. They found themselves completely isolated and were practically all eliminated. This will be the fate that awaits anyone who takes up arms and directs them against their own people.
I am sure that, with the support of the people of Kabardino-Balkaria and through close cooperation with the republic’s parliament and its entire leadership, the new President will be able to restore the situation to normal within the shortest possible time, return things to how they were under Mr Kokov and restore stability, the greatest stability in the Caucasus and south of Russia. I have no doubt of this.
I would like to say that when Valery Mukhamedovich decided to take his retirement, he asked me to consider precisely your nomination, Arsen Bashirovich [Kanokov] as his successor to the post of President of Kabardino-Balkaria.
I wish you every success and we will provide all possible support for you and the people of Kabardino-Balkaria.
Let us now look at concrete matters in more detail.