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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: When I think back to my recent visit to the Chechen Republic, I remember that I liked the way everything looks now, in Grozny and in other places, even judging from what I could see from the helicopter. That means that the republic is developing and a great deal has been achieved. Of course, there is a lot of work ahead, so let's talk about the instructions I issued during my visit to the republic. We discussed various issues back then, and we should return to the most pressing items, as well as review the plans for the future. Go ahead, please.
President of The Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov: Thank you, Mr President. Indeed, the priority in our republic is the social sphere, where we expect to see a considerable improvement this year. We plan to commission a republican hospital with 600 inpatient beds. The Sernovodsk spa resort will also accommodate up to 600 people. We look forward to opening a new stadium with a 30,000 seat capacity. It is a sports complex with sports halls, swimming pools and two hotels.
Dmitry Medvedev: 30,000 seats — is that at the stadium itself?
Ramzan Kadyrov: That’s right.
Dmitry Medvedev: Will you get full occupancy?
Ramzan Kadyrov: I’m sure we will when our players play, no question about it. We have a good team. We had a match with Rubin the day before yesterday, and the score was 1–1.
In the education sector, too, we plan to inaugurate over 30 schools with 9,836 pupil places available in total.
In agriculture we are expecting to launch two canning factories and a sugar factory.
But there is another issue that was raised at the meeting you chaired in Grozny: mine clearance. To date, we are still at the consultation stage on this issue. We have not found a solution and it is not clear where the funding will come from. But we are working on it and I think that in the near future…
“We are actively participating in mine clearance abroad, so it is absolutely vital that we put our own regions in order.”
Dmitry Medvedev: It is essential to bring this to conclusion. I said this in Grozny and I wish to stress it once again: all the outstanding issues from the previous period must be resolved. I will tell again the Defence Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry and other agencies involved in this, that this issue must be closed, especially since we are actively participating in mine clearance abroad, so it is absolutely vital that we put our own regions in order. That is obvious.
Ramzan Kadyrov: We have been reconstructing the private sector in Grozny, and a week ago we found explosives there, some aerial shells, and two people were killed. Our residents find so many mines and shells, even though we have more than half a million people working on this.
And yet we just cannot demine Grozny, to say nothing of other areas. This is a very serious matter.
Dmitry Medvedev: I would request a report in the nearest future on what has been done and the future plans, because this problem needs to be tackled.
What else is there of the issues we discussed?
Ramzan Kadyrov: We have a serious problem in agriculture. We have raised this issue in the past: we are still unable to buy new equipment. But that is not the main issue. The main thing is the question of reclamation. 144,000 hectares have been reclaimed, and volunteers have cleared further 18,000 hectares. We do not have the resources to take this any further. The federal targeted programme stipulates 600 million rubles for reclamation, but we need much more. And it would create tens of thousands of new jobs.
Dmitry Medvedev: It would also mean putting the land into operation.
Ramzan Kadyrov: We spend money, but the harvest is not sufficient to yield a desired percentage.
Dmitry Medvedev: We need to do this in stages. It is impossible to reclaim all the land at the same time. Incidentally, this summer, which has been very hard for our country, has shown that we cannot do without reclamation, not only in Chechnya but also in other regions, we simply cannot survive, especially during abnormal heatwaves, when it is very hot and there are wildfires everywhere.
When you and I flew by helicopter, I looked around: some of the fields look good, but not many. Of course, you need to revive agriculture in its entirety. Let's discuss these issues and some others too.