"People in Dagestan remember that it was Russian workers, engineers, teachers, agronomists and culture activists who brought modern education, sciences and culture to our republic. That is why we decided to erect a monument honoring representatives of Russian people who dedicated their lives to Dagestan," Amirov said.
"Leaders of bandit groups that attacked Dagestan in 1999 made a mistake. All people of Dagestan stood up to defend common interests of Russian and Dagestani peoples," he pointed out.
The mayor of Makhachkala emphasized that at present Dagestan does everything possible to stop the outflow of Russian-speaking population from the republic. "Today, the situation has improved. Those Russians who left the republic in the beginning of the 1990s, are gradually coming back," Amirov noted.
"We have established close ties with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in Dagestan and the Caspian Sea region," he stressed.
In his turn, Patriarch Alexy II pointed out, "authorities in Makhachkala and in entire Dagestan have done a lot to prevent ethnic and religious conflicts." He awarded the Mayor of Makhachkala with an order of the Russian Orthodox Church (the Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, 2nd degree).
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Erdogan will continue to help consolidate Islam’s influence in public life and use Islam as a political issue. It is hard to say what Turkey will do in the Muslim world, but Erdogan obviously does not need any more turmoil in neighboring countries.