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    YAKOVLEV: IT'S NECESSARY TO MORE ACTIVELY DEVELOP ECONOMY IN SOUTHERN FEDERAL DISTRICT

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    MOSCOW, March 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Plenipotentiary representative of the Russian President in the Southern Federal District, Vladimir Yakovlev believes that his main task on the new post is to ensure a more active development of the economy in the district's regions.

    "The President has set a clear task: to preserve everything that is good in Chechnya, the Caucasus and in the areas of the Southern Federal District and at the same time to try, as far as I work there, to more actively develop the economy in these regions," said Vladimir Yakovlev on Wednesday, answering the question of RIA Novosti.

    He reminded the audience that one of the main tasks for the next ten years is to double the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and expressed confidence that this is possible only through increasing the volumes of production, construction, the development of transport and through the creation of conditions for the development of agriculture.

    Vladimir Yakovlev admitted that the President's proposal about the work in the Southern Federal District was somewhat unexpected for him. "But I have agreed to do this work, because it is very important and necessary," Mr. Yakovlev said.

    He expressed confidence that the experience he had accumulated during his work as the governor of St Petersburg and the Russian Vice Premier would give good results.

    Vladimir Yakovlev noted that the previous stage in the development of Chechnya and Ingushetia was "semi-military or military." "Very much was connected with the elimination of bandit formations, with military operations. Much has been destroyed during those years," he said.

    Today, in the opinion of the plenipotentiary representative, a new stage begins - the restoration of the economy in Chechnya, Ingushetia and other territories of the Southern Federal District. "Perhaps it was the reason for the choice," said Mr. Yakovlev, answering the question why the President has chosen him for this work.

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