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Question: What measures are being taken to ensure the safety of foreigners [in Russia]?

Prime Minister: That is a big problem. Unfortunately, we have all heard of very sad cases, even tragedies, that happened to foreign students in our country in the past. I think the authorities have shown a response that is commensurate with the threat. As a result, in 2009 interethnic and interfaith crimes were halved compared with 2008. Crimes against foreign students fell by 34%. We have set up an interdepartmental group at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other regional bodies.

Question: I would like to ask a question as an investor. My family has invested in equity construction, where the situation is very complex. Are there plans to change the relevant legislation in investors’ favour? Right now a company raises funds and then gets bankrupt in no time, leaving investors with nothing. Will the new law increase management’s criminal liability for such acts?

Prime Minister: There is a difference between people involved in equity construction to get accommodation for themselves and people investing in the construction of five to fifteen flats to make a profit. This situation is quite different. It’s just business. When such investors are swindled, they have largely themselves to blame. They should have checked the company thoroughly before they entrusted their money to it instead of leaving the project unattended. But then, the state, too, should not have overlooked rampant fraud in this area, of which we see many instances to this day. Relevant laws certainly will be amended in the interests of the public.

— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with students of the Chuvash State University, Cheboksary, 25 January, 20105

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