Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "Do not hold the leopard by the tail, but once you grab it do not let it go"

 - Kirsan Nikolaevich, what would you say about geopolitics in the South of Russia? Is it possible to unite some regions to achieve an economic breakthrough?

The Russian regions need, first of all, the disclosure of their development potential. Today, the main task for the regions and republics of our federation is creating an attractive image of their region, finding reliable and serious economic partners, increasing regional and local budgets and changing people's lives for the better. If interregional cooperation and integration contributes to the achievement of these goals, then they are certainly justified. Unification for the sake of unification is pointless.

- What is the result of chess promotion in Kalmykia?

Owing to chess projects, Kalmykia and Kalmyks became known to the entire world. Moreover, chess changed the image of our steppe republic in Russia. The chess changed the image of Kalmykia; tens of thousands of tourists visit us. Chess in School programme is successfully implemented in our republic and that is why all our students play chess today.
Because of chess, not only the outstanding masters of this game such as Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Nonna Gaprindashvili, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Magnus Carlsen, but also the Hollywood stars, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris and others have repeatedly visited Kalmykia. Serious businessmen show interest in our republic. Here is just one example. A few days ago, my friend, a well-known Russian entrepreneur, oligarch David Yakobashvili, at my request, agreed to become a tax payer in Kalmykia. His decision brought about 2.3 billion roubles to the republic's budget. It became a demonstration of confidence in the tax system of Kalmykia, which, of course, will positively affect both the image of the republic and its budget. I hope that more wealthy people of Russia will follow David's example.
- You have repeatedly quoted the Kalmyk proverb: "Do not hold the leopard by the tail, but once you grab it do not let it go." What does it mean for you personally?
Politics and business, same as playing chess, assume a certain amount of risk. One cannot avoid it. But any risk must be reasonable and calculated. Only then it will lead one to success.


13 April 2012