The discussion focused on the socioeconomic situation in the region and measures being taken to deal with the problems created in healthcare and the economy by the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Natalya Komarova reported that as of June 3, 2,847 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the region, 936 people had recovered and 18 died. The transmission ratio is 1.2 percent, and the testing ratio is 240.9 per 100,000 of the population. According to the Governor, the outbreak is manageable.
As many as 93 percent of the region’s enterprises continue working with due regard for Rospotrebnadzor recommendations.
The federal government has provided financial support to the region in terms of equipping hospital beds, providing medical personnel with personal protective equipment, medicine, as well as incentive and insurance payments to medical workers. Decisions were taken to provide additional support to the population. The total number of recipients of one-off benefits already exceeds 341,000.
Regarding the economy, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area maintained positive economic growth in 2019. The gross regional product rose above 4.5 trillion rubles, mostly thanks to the local extractive sector companies.
Total investment by the region’s major oil companies constitutes approximately 700 billion rubles annually. The Governor mentioned two projects. One is a joint project of Gazprom Neft with federal ministries launched to create high-tech equipment for the development of the Bazhen Formation, with investment estimated at 75 billion rubles. The other is the largest investment project in Yugra’s manufacturing industry: a joint venture between Tenaris and Severstal to build a welded pipe factory with an investment exceeding 13 billion rubles.
Living standards in the region are among the highest in the country in nominal terms. Yugra also has one of the country’s highest birth rates.
The Governor pointed out that the recent problems on the global oil markets, stock market strains and restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus infection had affected economic growth in the region and hence the labour market, where registered unemployment reached 1.8 percent. Seeking to stabilise the situation, the local authorities have adopted an action plan to ensure sustainable economic development and have coordinated it with the federal plan.
Natalya Komarova added that the region was working to improve the research, industrial and social infrastructure and then asked for support of one of the region’s key projects, the establishment of a research and technology complex in Surgut. The complex will incorporate a centre for high biomedical technology, which will focus, among other things, on the study of the genetics of the health of small Northern ethnic groups. Vladimir Putin expressed support for the project, especially considering that the region has a sufficient budget for supporting such projects at the regional level.
The President pointed out several things in the region’s economic development, namely, a falling agricultural output and a large amount of dilapidated housing. At the same time, he noted that the volume of construction and foreign trade in the region were higher than the country’s average. He also mentioned the growth of the region’s population and incomes.
Natalya Komarova reminded the President that her term would expire in September, but added that she was ready to continue working and, if the President supported her, would start consultations with the political parties that may nominate candidates for the post of the governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra.
The President noted that the positive socioeconomic development in the region was a good reason to aspire for re-election and wished Natalya Komarova every success in September elections.
At the close of the meeting, the Governor conveyed an invitation from the region’s residents and government, as well as the heads of Russia’s major oil and gas companies working in the region, to visit Yugra and hold an event there on comfortable urban environment for Russia’s small towns and on ensuring environmental safety by mineral users, including in the interests of the indigenous Northern people. The President thanked the Governor for the invitation and promised to take advantage of the offer.