President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Khloponin, I want to inform you and the media about a number of decisions I’ve made. First of all, I changed the current regime with regards to federal districts. From now on the North Caucasus Federal District, which includes the republics of Daghestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Circassia, North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya, and Stavropol Territory, will be distinguished from what used to be the Southern Federal District. The capital of the new federal district will be the city of Pyatigorsk.
And the second document which I signed today concerns your appointment as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and your resignation from the post of Governor of Krasnoyarsk Territory (as you and I discussed some time ago); the document simultaneously appoints you as Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District.
Thus we have created a new, unique position in which the same person is both Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy. You will have powers relating to economic decision-making, powers associated with the executive and administrative activities of the Russian Government and, on the other hand, powers associated with the performance of duties according to presidential decisions. That is the powers traditionally belonging to a presidential representative in a given federal district with regards to personnel, supervision over defence and law enforcement agencies, and all other matters that the President assigns to his authorised representatives. Given the fact that we have a special restriction provided for by the law on the Government [On the Government of the Russian Federation], the second part of my executive order will come into force when this federal constitutional law is amended. Therefore you will have additional authorities as Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy at that time, but I hope – I specifically discussed this with our colleagues in the State Duma – that this amendment will be introduced shortly, literally in the very near future.
I hope that you can use your experience gained as governor in Siberia while in the North Caucasus. You were twice governor of two different entities. In my opinion, your experience was successful and you did a great deal. First and foremost I am referring to the development of socio-economic projects, which are so essential in the North Caucasus.
We have learned over the past few years to accomplish a whole range of law enforcement tasks there and how to fight with the bandits, though unfortunately they’re still there.
But our economic projects are still proceeding with a great deal of difficulty resulting in mass unemployment, economic crime, cronyism and bribery. All of this must be eradicated. But not only by law enforcement procedures which do not always produce the desired effect, hence they should be used but only to a certain point. First and foremost we must use economic methods. And I hope that in this respect the experience you have gained as governor will be fully relevant. That is why I have made the unique decision to join the powers of Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy.
I expect you to effectively administer the powers in your charge and that after a little while we shall meet and discuss the visible results of your work. I hope that you will take up your duties immediately.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND PRESIDENTIAL PLENIPOTENTIARY ENVOY TO THE NORTH CAUCASUS FEDERAL DISTRICT ALEXANDER KHLOPONIN: Thank you, Mr President, for the high degree of confidence and trust you’ve shown in me today. I listened attentively to your Address [to the Federal Assembly] and understand that the development of the North Caucasus is one of Russia’s major priorities. I understand that many issues and problems that currently exist in this region await economic solutions and must be addressed via the socio-economic development of the territory. Of course, I will try to make use of the experience that I accumulated in the Krasnoyarsk Region in the Siberian Federal District and try to justify the confidence you’ve shown in me. Thank you very much.
Dmitry Medvedev: This really is a very difficult task. I’m sure that your colleagues in the Government Cabinet and the Presidential Executive Office will help you, and you can count on the fact that I will as well. I wish you success.
Alexander Khloponin: Thank you.