Dmitry Medvedev: Rashid Gumarovich, I have received information, and you have probably also heard this, that the Georgian authorities are forcibly detaining Russian citizens on Georgian territory. This is, of course, in complete violation of international law. I do not know why they are doing this. Maybe they think they can use these people as a human shield. This is a completely unacceptable situation.
I also want to say — and I want you to take this under your personal control – that all citizens of foreign states, who are legally in Russia, must not be subjected to any kind of discrimination and can remain in Russia in accordance with the agreements that our country has with the countries from which these people have come. Supervision of these matters is the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ responsibility and I ask you to ensure it is carried out.
Rashid Nurgaliev: Dmitry Anatolyevich, we issued just such instructions three days ago, when Georgia launched its aggression against South Ossetia. We immediately sent out precisely these instructions throughout the Southern Federal District, given that this is the part of the country where the biggest numbers of people from Georgia reside, and we also gave specific instructions to the Federal Migration Service to monitor these matters throughout the Russian Federation.
We understand that the people are not to blame for this aggression and we will therefore do everything we can to uphold the law and protect the rights and interests of citizens living in Russia or present on our territory.
We have ensured public order in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania over these last three days. Registered crimes have dropped two-fold and there has been a four-fold drop in the number of serious crimes.
All the necessary conditions are now in place for providing humanitarian assistance to the Republic of South Ossetia. In particular, a column set out directly for Tskhinvali at 5 a.m. this morning, and an extra 37 KAMAZ vehicles have been made available for transporting humanitarian aid — food, medicines and medical equipment – that will be used on the ground to help people.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good, keep working, keep it under your control and report to me periodically on the public order situation in North Ossetia, in the North Caucasus in general and in the country overall, of course.
Rashid Nurgaliev: I will.