Vladimir Putin discussed preparation for a referendum in Chechnya with his special envoy

On Monday, the Russian president met in the Kremlin with his special envoy to Chechnya on human rights issues Abdul Akim Sultygov. During the meeting they discussed the preparation for a referendum in this North Caucasian republic.

According to Vladimir Putin, "in response to the demands of the Chechen community", the authorities started the preparation for a referendum on the Chechen Constitution. The president asked the envoy about the preparation and "what additional measures could be taken".

In Sultygov's opinion, the referendum is "the key factor for creating a peaceful situation in the republic", because "for the first time in the last 150 years Chechen people are going to be able to elect their own authorities, and "they welcome this opportunity" to realize their legitimate right to do so.

Sultygov also believes that it's very important to form efficient local government bodies, "in order to see the results on a district level".

The envoy has highly regarded the decision to create the Chechen Interior Ministry and the fact that it's going to be staffed with local people. Apart from terrorists, there are many ordinary criminals in the republic and they have to be dealt with, as well. The present situation in Chechnya, when "there is no elected government and the normal conditions are absent", is ideal for the criminal underworld," Putin's envoy stated.