Russia to see positive Caucasus
Russia's authorities intend to develop a positive image of the North Caucasus, highlighting it in the media, which will solve many of the socio-economic problems, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities Igor Barinov said, speaking at the 5th International Political Science Forum 'Russian Caucasus' in Grozny.
"The formation of a positive image of the peoples of the North Caucasus in the Russian information space will help to solve a number of problems in the region. The solution of social and economic problems of the region will depend on how this problem will be solved,as well as it will help to prevent interethnic conflicts," TASS cited Barinov as saying.
As an example, the head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities cited the Chechen Republic, which has a zero crime rate, but the regions do not know about it, although this is an essential factor in the development of tourism in the republic.
The editor-in-Chief of the North Ossetia newspaper Alan Kasayev, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted the opportunity to popularize the NCFD as a tourist destination through the creation of a positive image of the Caucasus in public opinion. "But it should be noted that there is a maximal number of tourists in the Caucasus, it is equal to recreational opportunities of the North Caucasian regions. If there is a good hotel in a good location somewhere in the Caucasus, which offers good service and has good tourist infrastructure, it is usually full. "The same applies to ski resorts. Even the most expensive or not the most high-quality resorts are in demand," he said.
Alan Kasayev noted that the positive image has already been created for most regions of the North Caucasus. "One could assume that Igor Barinov's words are relevant with new opportunities to attract business - but investment activity in the North Caucasus depends primarily not on its image. From the perspective of today, it seems to me that the topic raised by Igor Barinov is a bit outdated," the editor-in-Chief of the North Ossetia newspaper drew attention.
The political scientist Andrei Yepifantsev, in turn, noted that a positive image of the Caucasus will help solve a number of problems of the modern North Caucasus Federal District. "In particular, we can talk about a whole range of problems linked to interethnic relations. In the 1990s and in the first half of the 2000s, the public opinion on the Caucasus was sharply negative. So I support this initiative of the ministry, although it should have been one of the directions of the agency's work since its inception," he said.
The positive image of the Caucasus will also help increase its investment attractiveness. "The region needs investments. We see that private investors do not particularly seek to invest in the Caucasus. These representations need to be changed. But they not just need to build a bright image of the Caucasus in Russia, but also to do everything to make it real," Yepifantsev warned.
An appropriate information policy is needed to change the image of the Caucasus in public opinion. "All the positive aspects linked to the Caucasus, as well as to those from the Caucasus, need to be covered in media. We need forums and other events where people of different nationalities and from different republics discus common problems and then cover these successes, which would contribute to a positive image of the Caucasus," the political scientist concluded.