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Acting Ingushetian President Meets With Putin

Ingushetian Prime Minister and acting President Rashid Gaysanov met on July 27 in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and briefed him on the political and economic situation in Ingushetia.

It was Gaysanov's first reported meeting with Putin since he took over the presidential duties last month following the car-bomb attack that failed to kill President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with Gaysanov near Sochi two weeks ago.

Of all the federation subjects, Ingushetia is the most dependent on federal subsidies, which account for over 90 percent of annual budget spending. It also has one of the highest unemployment rates in Russia. Those problems have been compounded in recent years by the ongoing violence between the North Caucasus resistance and the police and security forces.

Gaysanov admitted that the 20 percent increase in industrial output registered during the first six months of this year does not balance out the 20 percent decline last year and the 30 percent drop in 2007. He said improvements in management have resulted in better performance in the oil sector, which remains an attractive investment prospect. He also singled out as offering potential for growth the construction and food-processing sectors.

Gaysanov said the level of federal subsidies is adequate to cover current expenditures, and he thanked Putin for the recent Russian government decision to allocate additional funds, presumably from the 29 billion rubles ($877.8 million) in economic aid that Medvedev pledged when he visited Magas in late January.

Gaysanov repeated his prediction of January 2009 that it will prove possible to reduce by 30 percent Ingushetia's dependence on federal subsidies, but again did not offer a time frame for doing so. He also said that the government has managed to pay off almost all the salary arrears owed to government employees.

Gaysanov also met in Moscow on July 27 with State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov, who said the Duma fully supports the federal program for the social and economic development of Ingushetia.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.