Dagestan: a summary of 2013
By Vestnik Kavkaza
The main event of the year for Dagestan was the appointment/election to the presidency of the republic of Ramazan Abdulatipov.
Twenty years ago, he was the deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on Federal Affairs and Nationalities. A year later, he became Deputy Minister of Nationalities and Regional Policy. Then he served as a member of the Committee on Federation Affairs and Regional Policy, Chairman of the Commission to assist in the release of forcibly detained soldiers, civilians and finding missing in action during the armed conflict in Chechnya, was a member of the PACE and the CIS IPA .
In 1997, Abdulatipov was appointed deputy chairman of the government of Viktor Chernomyrdin on national issues, as well as the development of the Federation and local self-government issues. In the government of Yevgeny Primakov he served as Minister of National Policy. After the resignation of Primakov he became a minister without a portfolio, overseeing policy in the North Caucasus .
In the 2000s, he was a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Information Policy, the Commission on the methodology of the constitutional powers of the Federation Council, the Commission to oversee the activities of the Federation Council. He headed the working group to finalize the proposals of the Federation Council on Chechnya; he also was ambassador to Tajikistan.
In the 2010s he was deputy chair of the Duma committee for the federal structure and local government issues.
In late January 2013, Vladimir Putin signed a decree appointing Abdulatipov acting head of the most multiethnic republic - Dagestan, and on September 8 he was elected president of the republic: 86 of 88 deputies of the Dagestani parliament voted for his candidacy.
Ramazan Abdulatipov told VK about the results of his work in a new post. "A lot of events have occurred this year. First of all, the republic is finally manageable. Second, we were able to regain the trust of the people. Certainly one thing is to regain the trust of the people, and another thing is how we can hold it at the proper level", the head of Dagestan said.
"This year we finish building and hand over about 80 educational institutions; we finish building, build, put in order and reconstruct 40 hospitals. Actually, for the first time this year we have managed to build and complete more than 20 kindergartens. Maybe these figures seem boring, but it is our work. For the first time this year we were able to get more than 100 000 tonnes of harvest. Next year, this work will continue. We remodeled and brought to normal state about 500 km of roads, especially mountain roads. We will soon sign an agreement with Rosneft, which we highly appreciate. Our work is quite active", Abdulatipov said.
At the same time he mentioned: "The more you work, the more you manage to do something, the more requirements you should follow. This is the law of increasing needs. Each need creates a new level of needs. This also applies to the needs of the people. And they're right. We do a lot, and we fix a lot. We actually pull the republic out of the Middle Ages. Such work will be conducted in the future".
Commenting on the demand by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to strengthen control over the consumption of gas (see "Gas and North Caucasus" – VK), Abdulatipov said: "At the meeting I suggested that the agreements should be signed with IDCs and with "Gazprom" on what everyone does. Because no matter who made all these debt , it turns out that this was Dagestan. But let's see whose debts they are, who is to blame and who should fix that and pay these debts. It seems that a very good proposal was produced by Dmitry Medvedev, who said that we should sit down and carry out the restructuring of these debts. Ramzan Kadyrov said correctly that the debts which existed during the war in Chechnya should not be paid by Ramzan Kadyrov himself. All the debts of Dagestan existed before I came into the country. Why should I think that they are mine? We must either look for the responsible people or write off these debts and move on without dooming ourselves to a standstill.
We discussed the development of the energy complex in the Northern Caucasus. I said in my speech that, unfortunately, we reduce everything to the debts. And this is a complex problem. In particular, I said: "Why in the last 20 years did the oil production in Dagestan decrease 10 times? You should either let us do this or let us develop together". Secondly - why do we buy gas from Azerbaijan or somewhere else when we have about 800 billion gas reserves? So it is necessary to mine gas. I met with Tokarev (Nikolai Tokarev - Chairman of the Board of "Transneft" - Ed.) . We agreed to prepare and sign an agreement so that "Transneft" could work fine, without illegal connections to these pipes. They give figures that more than 100,000 tons this year were looted. We must fight against this together. This is the main idea, which I brought to the very first meeting with the president – we need to coordinate the efforts of all authorities to address a range of issues. This idea remains, and it is being implemented".
In conclusion, Ramazan Abdulatipov congratulated the readers of VK on New Year. "Good luck! This year, there have been a lot of decent events, but there was a lot of disadvantages. However, as we like to say, all the bad things should remain in the old year, and all the good, creative things should come next year. But they will not come without our efforts, because we are people, and we must build creative, moral power of our people as a whole. The leaders themselves, whoever they are, will not do anything if there is no understanding and support of the people. So we need to work together to get out of this situation and build a secure prosperous republic for all of us, for our children and grandchildren”.