Botlikh, September 12, Interfax - The common moral and ethical values of all religions represented in Russia guarantee the stability of the Russian state, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"We have a multi-religious country, but if you look closely, all our religions have the same values. As regards the moral and ethical component, they are practically the same," Putin said in the village of Botlikh on Thursday during a meeting with the Dagestani militia who fought against terrorists in August-September 1999.
"The fact that our peoples retain such an attitude to those values is the main guarantee of our state stability," he said.
Putin also said that 2,000 mosques were built in Dagestan over the past few years. "Those who came here with weapons in their hands under the banner of Islam would never have built so many mosques here," he said.
The president thanked the people of Dagestan who had told him they and their grown children "will stand where necessary" to defend their homeland.
"Thank you for these words. When bandits came here, they made a lot of demagogic statements. But what kind of people were they? I remember when I visited in 1999 you told me they robbed people when they left, took the very last things from people, they put old TV sets and old fridges on their trucks and took them away," Putin said.
"What kind of people were they? Who are they? Bandits, that's who," he said.