Kremlin cannot resolve North Caucasus problems - experts

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MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Experts do not believe the federal center is effectively tackling the situation in the North Caucasus, the socio-political daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

In an interview with the daily, Dmitry Oreshkin, director of the Merkator analytical group, said, "The measures being implemented by the federal center to stabilize the situation in the North Caucasus will not change the situation. Russia cannot make the people in Dagestan see that they are citizens just like everyone else, that this is their country. As the center is not just sending money but also troops to the North Caucasus it is clear that the plan to use Chechens and Dagestanis to resolve the conflicts in the region has fallen by the wayside."

Lieutenant General Yuri Netkachev, former army commander in the North Caucasus, said, "Like everywhere else in the North Caucasus, there is no unified security system in Dagestan. There are many troops there but they do not carry out preemptive strikes against terrorist bases. Besides, the problem of terrorism cannot be solved by military means alone. We should create jobs for the local people and then many of them would not want to work for the militants."

Enver Kisriyev, head of the Caucasus section at the Center for Civilization and Regional Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said, "Deliberations about the need to strengthen the southern border clash with decisions on building two military bases in Dagestan and Karachayevo-Cherkessia. The bases have no connection with the protection of the border. In my opinion, the growing military presence in the two republics can be explained by the rapid growth of public discontent there. The Kremlin seems to have decided that it would be better to spend huge sums of money on military resistance to potential illegal actions by the impoverished people than to try to resolve the acute problems of the region."

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