Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
The region you live in is very interesting and complex. I would say that it seems to follow the pattern of Russia as a whole. If you remember, the Russian Constitution begins with the words “We, the multi-national people of the Russian Federation.” These words have been very carefully selected to describe who we are – a multi-national but united people.
The North Caucasus is a multi-ethnic region reflecting, like a droplet of water, the situation in the country, only on a smaller scale. This area has more refugees, the so-called displaced persons, both legal and illegal migrants than anywhere else in Russia.
Generally speaking, I don’t even think those migrants can be labeled “illegal” because people cannot be blamed for what happened to this country ten years ago. They used to live in a single country, and they never asked to be separated by all sorts of borders. It is not their fault that they ended up outside the area which they had considered their homeland.
Therefore, we must make a wise decision here in managing this resource, this great potential. We have a better chance to do it than any other country because those people who wish to live here adapt more easily to the local environment than those who wish to live in other places and regions with different cultures.
Adaptation is a very complicated process for migrants. It often takes them a long time to adjust to the local cultural environment. We do not have this problem here because people who come to Russia, many of them highly qualified professionals, are well-educated and ready to work.
Thanks for your attention.