Russia's participation in the work of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference is aimed at achieving domestic political, international and economic aims, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists at an OIC summit in Malaysia.
"As regards domestic political issues, I think they are understandable," he said. In particular, Putin remarked, "we know that domestic conflicts still occur in Russia - we encounter them precisely in Moslem regions".
In the Russian president's view, "participation of our opposite numbers from such representative organisations in resolving conflicts of this kind is very beneficial".
Representatives of major and prestigious Muslim organisations regularly send their observers to elections in Chechnya, and did so to a referendum on the constitution for that republic, Putin noted. "They keep a close eye on everything that happens in this sphere, in the sphere of political settlement, make assessments and give recommendations," he said.
According to Putin, for the Russian leadership "it is essential to know the requirements of Islamic organisations and the Islamic world in order to comply with these requests so that we could have a moral basis to pursue the political process in the positive key as we are doing now".
Besides, the president indicated, Russia has about 20 million Muslims living in it. "And they are entitled to feel like a part of the Islamic world," he said. "We can and must create for them a channel of communication with that Muslim world within the framework of universally recognised organisations," Putin emphasised.
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