Dagestani, Chechen leaders hopeful about new presidential envoy

The governors of the southern Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya have voiced their hopes that the newly-appointed Russian presidential envoy will be able to resolve problems facing the North Caucasus.

"The North Caucasus needs to shift gradually from the use of force to stabilize the situation to economic and cultural methods… I think that the presidential envoy and the minister [North Caucasus affairs] have potential for this. The Caucasus is ready for a new stage of its revival. I believe that the president appointed the new leader of the NCFD [North Caucasus Federal District] and set up the new ministry with the aim to cope with these tasks," the state-run local news agency RIA Dagestan quoted Dagestani governor Ramazan Abdulatipov as saying.

President Vladimir Putin recently appointed Sergey Melikov as presidential envoy to the North Caucasus and Lev Kuznetsov as minister for North Caucasus affairs. The official event to introduced Melikov and Kuznetsov to the North Caucasus governors was held in Pyatigorsk on 20 May.

"We know Melikov well. This war general had earlier commanded the combined group of forces [engaged in counterterrorist operations] in the North Caucasus. I am sure that he will be of benefit to the North Caucasus in the new position. We wish Melikov great success! We also wished [previous presidential envoy to the North Caucasus] Aleksandr Khloponin success and wellbeing, he did a lot for the development of the region and for attracting investments!" Kadyrov wrote on Instagram on 20 May.

Sources: RIA Dagestan, Makhachkala, in Russian 1517 gmt 20 May 14; Instagram in Russian 0518 gmt 20 May 14



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