The Government’s demographic and social policy priorities for 2017 and the upcoming three-year period were the main items on the agenda.
The President gave a brief evaluation of the State Duma election’s results and outlined the parliament and Government’s main economic, social and foreign policy tasks.
Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov reported at the start of the meeting on the flood relief efforts in Primorye Territory. Mr Puchkov said that the preliminary repairs will be completed by October 15. The needed resources and materials have been made available for this work. The plan is to complete all reconstruction of housing, social sector facilities and infrastructure by September 2017. The Emergency Situations Ministry is also keeping watch on the situation with preparations for the winter in the region.
The meeting heard several reports on preparations for the winter season. Construction and Housing and Utilities Minister Mikhail Men briefed the meeting on preparations for the winter heating season. Overall, 98 percent of housing stock around the country is ready now for the winter, as are 94 percent of boilers and 96 percent of heating stations. Regarding fuel supplies, a total 3.4 million tonnes of coal have been delivered to the warehouses – 81.7 percent of the planned total. More than 2 million tonnes of liquid fuel are also ready. This is around 102 percent of planned reserves.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak reported on work at electricity facilities, in particular thermal electricity stations and the grid network. The needed reserve capacity is in place. Particular attention has gone to high-risk regions, and in particular, close watch is being kept on preparations for the autumn and winter period in Crimea, given that the holiday season continues there.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets spoke about flu prevention and vaccination work. The number of people vaccinated at public expense increased by 20 percent compared to 2015 and came to 48 million. The vaccination campaign uses Russian-made vaccinations that take into account the WHO recommendations regarding flu strains expected to appear in Russia.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Before we start our work today, I would like to say a few words about the results of the State Duma election, which took place yesterday, September 18. First of all, I want to thank our citizens who came to the polling stations, expressed their view on the developments in our country, and showed a responsible approach to affairs by coming to vote in the election.
United Russia, the ruling party and Russia’s leading political force, obtained a good result. Of course, we can ask ourselves, how is this possible given the big economic and social sector difficulties we have been facing and the drop in people’s real incomes? I think there are several factors here that merit our attention.
First, at a time of difficulties and many uncertainties and risks, people certainly choose stability and trust the country’s leading political force and the Government, which relies on United Russia’s support in the parliament. They are confident that we will act professionally in the interests of our country’s people.
The election result was also an expression of people’s reaction to attempts to exert foreign pressure on Russia, and to the threats, sanctions, and attempts to destabilise the situation in Russia from within.
What conclusions should we draw from this parliamentary election? First, in domestic policy, we must listen to all political parties and hear their message, including the parties that did not make it into the parliament. We must and will develop our country’s multi-party system and support civil society, including patriotically-inclined non-governmental organisations. In the economy and social policy, we must pursue a carefully considered and balanced policy of transformation that will raise effectiveness, change the economy’s structure, and increase the results of support we provide to people who genuinely need state assistance.
At the same time, we must under no circumstances heap the entire burden on ordinary people’s shoulders during these transformations. Our actions must not have even a hint of shock therapy. We must take into account not the average statistical figures, but the real circumstances and income levels of Russian families.
In foreign policy, we must follow a balanced policy of cooperation with all partners, without a shadow of aggression, but with unquestioned respect for our national interests and ensuring our country’s defence capability.
Let me say again that this election result is good, but it is without question an advance on the part of our people, and we now must live up to their expectations. I hope very much that the Government and the new parliament will act in consolidated fashion, combine their efforts and work towards the goals I just mentioned, above all in the interests of Russia’s people.