Putin links criminalization of Gypsy villages with ineffective police

Putin links criminalization of Gypsy villages with ineffective police
Photo: Alexey Nikolsky / RIA News

Gypsies in Russia are often involved in selling drugs.

The marginalization of Gypsy settlements which often contribute to the development of drug trafficking in Russia is a problem for the whole society, as well as a problem of police efficiency, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at a meeting of the Council on Interethnic Relations.

“I can’t say that here we have to blame the Gypsies for everything, this is a problem of the whole society, the problem of the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies’ work,” RIA Novosti quotes the president.

The “Gypsy question” was raised by the head of the Federal National-Cultural Autonomy of Russian Gypsies, Nadezhda Demeter. According to her, complaints about the demolition of houses come from Gypsies from different parts of Russia. Their housing is recognized unauthorized, as a result of which their residents get evicted. The situation in Tula, where illegally erected housing was demolished after Gypsies illegally connected to the gas pipeline and left several neighboring houses without gas, evolved into a cause celebre.

Putin noted that in Tula the Gypsies had indeed committed illegal actions but he agreed that there were flaws in this area and the problem was tackled late. “We need to act extremely carefully and respect the citizens’ interests,” the president stressed.

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