On October 11, 2019, Irina Starodubrovskaya, Head of the Center for Political Economy and Regional Development  took the floor at the Development of Mountain Territories” Research and Practice Conference which was held at the Dagestanian State University of National Economy  in the city of Makhachkala.
Within the frameworks of the conference, the expert expressed her opinion on the development of the mountain territories. "This conference is not the first meeting dedicated to this issue. In mountains, there is a competitive advantage, but one should not assign to the geographic notion of “the mountains” an economic meaning, but at the same time in mountain territories there are locations with different economic conditions”, Irina Starodubrovskaya noted.  

According to Irina Starodubrovskaya, within the frameworks of the strategy of development of the Republic of Dagestan it is proposed to divide the geographic mountain zone into two ranges: the middle altitude mountain region and the high mountain one.  "However, we are not prepared to say until what altitude the region should be attributed either to the middle altitude mountain range or the high mountain one, but it is necessary to understand that at present the centers of development are the cities which have competitive advantages as regards attraction of the youth. This process can be managed and the advantages of the mountain territories should be realized, but it is required first to create comfortable living conditions”, the expert said. 

Participants in the conference included Vladimir Vasilyev, Head of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergei Chebotarev, RF Minister on North Caucasus, representatives of the regional government, the People’s Assembly and the Republic’s government departments and agencies, as well as federal and regional experts on territorial development.