Dagestan’s Leader Wants New City, Touristic Hub

The head of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, Magomedsalam Magomedov, on Tuesday presented a project stipulating the establishment of a new city and a touristic hub to the south of the town of Kaspiisk in the republic’s coastal zone.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Magomedov emphasized that the project may bring about “economic breakthrough” in the region as it will create about 150,000-200,000 additional jobs.

The city’s architectural plan has been drafted by a leading British bureau, he added. The city is designed for about 150,000 residents but this number could rise to 500,000.

Magomedov asked Putin for support in the implementation of his ambitious plan. In response, the Russian president emphasized that investment should come both from the budget and private companies.

The North Caucasus has been plagued by militant violence for years, with attacks on police, soldiers and officials a daily occurrence. It has also seen two brutal separatist wars in Chechnya.

In 2010, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said the republic intends to build a large ski resort in its southeastern Argun Gorge, a former militant stronghold.

In early 2011, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged that a development program will continue for the Caucasus republics, including a focus on tourism.


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