Now for the exodus of Russians from the North Caucasus. You know that this is a problem for the North Caucasus, and not only for the Russians who live there; though it is a problem for them, too, but primarily, because this disrupts the way of life there. Russians have lived in these territories for centuries, and I can assure you that the leadership of the North Caucasian republics knows that this is a problem for the other nations and ethnic groups who remain in their territories.
The exodus of Russians means the loss of skilled labor, of whole industries and the production culture, and worse still, it means the breach of the culture of multiethnic coexistence in these territories, which has been a major achievement of the North Caucasus for centuries.
It was an achievement because that coexistence became a factor that made the North Caucasus a viable territory of the Russian Federation, which scored high results and achievements in all areas of life in a given republic. The leaders of the North Caucasian republics are aware of this. Many of them, as you noticed in the case of Ingushetia, are not only concerned with this problem, but are taking making attempts to encourage all refugees irrespective of their ethnicity, including Russians, to return to the republic.
I agree that something should be done at the federal level to encourage people, irrespective of their ethnicity, to return to their homes. The violations that you say were taking place in the process of repayments to refugees on the ethnicity grounds are inadmissible. We will certainly discuss this problem with the leadership of the North Caucasian republics, primarily the leaders of Chechnya and Ingushetia. I firmly believe that these violations are not the policy of the republican leaders. You know, the Chechens themselves do not always get the remuneration due to them without fail or in full. These violations are connected with the criminal redistribution of funds allocated by the state.
Now about the possible involvement of Cossacks in the solution of problems created by separatism, crime and terrorism. Cossack units can be used, to a degree, but restoration of order and the struggle against terrorism in Chechnya is the above all the task for the Chechens.
According to the Interior Ministry, the regiment made up of Chechens is acting increasingly effectively, as graphically proved by the latest results. They have taken prisoner five men who had been preparing terrorist attacks in Chechnya and outside it. They know whom to search for and where. They are acting effectively, sometimes daringly but productively.
I think we must not make the mistake of confronting the efforts of those Chechens, Circassians, Kabardinians and other people of the North Caucasus who really want to fight crime and terrorism with the actions by the Cossacks who have the same goal. Instead, we should rally their efforts.
I was pleased to hear you say that the revival of Cossack traditions includes recruiting not only Russians but also representatives of other ethnic groups of the North Caucasus into Cossack units. You mentioned Circassians, Kabardinians and other nationalities, which is very important. This can make the struggle against crime and terrorism effective. Yet this is above all the task of state agencies, while auxiliary units should have auxiliary functions. Our efforts will not be effective without this assistance from the local people. This is apparent. I think that we should act towards this end.