MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti)
- Russian official says North Caucasus ski resorts pay off militants
- Khloponin tells tourists to stay away from Mt. Elbrus after shooting
- Chechen leader harbors hopes for World Cup match in Grozny
- Russia to build 5 ski resorts in North Caucasus
Russia and France are set to undertake an ambitious joint project to build resorts in the volatile North Caucasus region, which includes both Chechnya and Dagestan.
North Caucasus Resorts and Caisse des Depots et Consignations holding signed an agreement on June 17 during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy adopted a declaration on the development of the North Caucasus during the G8 summit in Deauville.
The resorts will be located in the republics of Dagestan, North Ossetia, Karachai-Circassia, Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Chechnya, which borders Dagestan, saw two brutal separatist wars in the early 1990s and 2000s. Dagestan saw over 50% of all terrorist attacks in Russia last year. North Ossetia witnessed the Beslan school siege in 2004.
Medvedev insists that improvement of the social and economic situation in the region is the key to the solution of its problems.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.