The meeting focused particularly on organising cooperation between the federal law enforcement agencies and the executive authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. I propose that we discuss today the range of matters concerning law and order in the Crimean Federal District.
We will look at how the federal law enforcement agencies and the executive authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol are working together, and what other steps and measures are needed here.
Let me say right away that overall, the crime rate in the region is under control. This is in part the direct result of decisions taken over the last 18 months to integrate Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia’s common legal and administrative space and strengthen the law enforcement agencies in the region, and it is also the result of the considerable help that the federal agencies are providing to their colleagues here in Crimea.
At the same time, the current situation requires maximum attention and vigilance, and effective preventive work in a range of areas.
First, we see clearly the continued threat that external forces could act in one way or another to destabilise the situation in the region. This could include attempts to play the nationalism card, or to take advantages of mistakes, oversights, or ineffective action on the part of the authorities and channel people’s just concerns onto a destructive path.
People talk frankly of these things in some capitals and speak of the need for subversive action. They are putting together the needed organisation, recruiting and training people to carry out acts of sabotage and diversion and spread radical propaganda. The aim is clear – to destabilise the situation and hinder people’s normal lives and the region’s socioeconomic development.
We need to take these risks into account and respond accordingly, at federal and local level. We must not exaggerate anything or stir up needless fears, but at the same time, we need to be aware of the situation and must be prepared and ready for a swift response.
Second, we have yet to see a drop in the level of corruption-related and economic crime. In 2014–2015, the law enforcement agencies registered more than 1,500 such crimes, of which more than 20 percent were corruption-related.
More than 60 senior officials have been fired recently because of corruption-related activity in Crimea. I ask you to make a much greater effort to rid state bodies and agencies of people involved in corruption and people who have compromised themselves with dubious connections. You must pay particular attention to putting an end to criminal schemes in the management of state and municipal property, spending of budget money, and public procurement.
Of course, decisions by the local authorities to allocate or appropriate land are very sensitive. We know that there are people who want to bypass the law and use corruption schemes to get their hands on a good bit of real estate. This is nothing new. Unfortunately, this sort of thing goes on not just in the Crimean Federal District but in other parts of Russia too. We fight this everywhere, and we must fight it consistently here too. You must not lose time in setting up a thorough and transparent regional database of real estate objects.
Finally, I ask you to take measures to bolster customs and other types of control at checkpoints in order to prevent drug trafficking and attempts to import potentially harmful or prohibited goods into Crimea. You must also pay greater attention to ensuring compliance with the law in passenger and freight transport.
Let us now begin the discussion. We have our agenda. Let’s begin.