The main subject of the meeting was the development of air transportation and aircraft manufacturing.
In addition, a number of pressing current issues were discussed.
In particular, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov presented a report on new production capacity for the gas necessary in radio electronics development.
Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko spoke about medical aid for oncological patients.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov reported on programmes to restore the populations of rare animals in Russia, as well as on efforts to fight the fires in the Khabarovsk Territory. Emergencies Minister Alexander Kurenkov also commented on developments in Yakutsk and the Dzhugdzhursky Nature Reserve.
Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova spoke about the tour and exhibition activities of various institutions and national groups, including theatres and the Russian State Circus, this summer.
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Excerpts from transcript of meeting with Government members
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.
The development of the aviation industry is our main topic today. Here we have many important and interesting issues, not only for the Government, but for several sectors.
First, I would like to raise several other current issues.
In recent years, we have been working to restore and develop the radio-electronic industry. In this regard, one aspect is important, without which it is difficult to develop this industry. I mean the production of high-purity neon. We account for about 30 percent of the global reserves, but only about 1 percent of the international market for this gas.
I know the Government is working to comprehensively change the situation, and I would like Mr Manturov to report on this progress.
Please, Mr Manturov.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: We launched a complex to produce high-purity neon just this morning at Bauman Moscow State Technical University. This gas is essential to the world’s microelectronic plants that produce chips with a topological size of less than 180 nanometres. I would like to note that the university team carried out our assignment in only three and a half months.
This new production capacity will use Russian raw materials that are produced with air separation units at metallurgical plants. These units are where we got the liquid oxygen that helped us during the pandemic, and now we are using them for our needs in microelectronics.
Today, Russia accounts for over 30 percent of the global production of neon-helium gas. To begin with, we plan to generate about 70,000 cubic metres of neon a year at the Bauman University facility. This will be about 10 percent of the global market.
Next year, we will build up this production to 180,000 cubic metres and will be able to meet almost a quarter of the world’s demand. In effect, we will replace the amounts that were produced earlier by two Ukrainian plants that are not operating now.
There is also a demand in global electronics and in aerospace for high-purity gases like krypton and xenon. Russia produces 16 percent of the raw materials for processing these gases, and in the past, about half used to be sent abroad for further processing. Meanwhile, Russia’s share of pure krypton and xenon did not exceed 30 percent.
Now we will process everything domestically in line with the restrictions on the export of raw materials and inert gases as such. Under a Government resolution, we will supply other markets with end products only after considering the relevant requests from our foreign partners. So, we are looking forward to their proposals and will be ready to review them promptly.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Fine.
What share of the world market can we fill in the near future?
Denis Manturov: Ten percent for neon through the end of this year and 25 percent next year. About 30 percent for xenon and krypton as well.
Vladimir Putin: I see; all right. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: As I said, the main theme of today’s meeting is the development of the aircraft industry and air service generally. We will discuss the current situation in these industries, the efficiency of already adopted measures and the long-term plans to 2030.
Our air services have come under attack with the sanctions, which I would call inappropriate decisions by our former partners – former partners because they refuse to work with us now – and due to the overt political pressure on our commercial companies.
Obviously, the aviation industry is of strategic importance to the country. It encourages the development of high-tech industries and provides work and, hence, jobs for the entire complex of related sectors. It also plays a very important role in ensuring transport accessibility and connections between the regions, which is particularly vital for a big country like Russia.
I would like to remind you that we agreed on priority measures to support air transportation at a meeting on this sector in late March. In part, we decided to compensate airlines for part of the cost of airfares for domestic flights. We did this primarily to support our people, to prevent airlines from shifting the burden of arising difficulties on to the passengers, from resolving these problems at their expense. By now, the Government has allocated 100 billion rubles for implementing this measure – a decent sum.
Of course, we are seeing a certain reduction in air transportation compared to 2021. However, if we look at the dynamics of the situation over the past four months we will also see a clear growth trend. This was achieved, in part, by our decisions to support the industry and stabilise airfares.
I would like to emphasise that the task of building up the scale of domestic air traffic and making it accessible to people will certainly remain a priority this year and beyond. Importantly, we should focus on local, interregional traffic, paying special attention to remote and hard of access areas.
I suggest discussing today in what conditions our aviation industry will operate, starting from the low winter season, and considering the fact that our current support programme runs through October 31. We must think about what we will do after this date. Let’s discuss this today and, if necessary, determine the areas that require additional, comprehensive support, including airports.
I would like to stress that we must make sure that long-term guidelines are closely linked with a remote planning horizon. They should meet the current challenges, as well as our important large-scale tasks aimed at strengthening the country’s economic and technological sovereignty.
I would like to repeat that, despite the obvious difficulties, the current situation (I have already discussed this with regard to other sectors) gives us a unique opportunity to attain an entirely new level of development and to fully realise our potential in science, technology and research. We certainly have this potential; we have great achievements from the past, even Soviet-era achievements, and we have wonderful scientific schools. Now we must ensure sustainable economic growth in this sector for years to come.
I know that the Government has already approved a programme for developing the air transport sector until 2030. Today, I would like to ask you to dwell on its parameters in greater detail. It is also obvious that the aviation sector should be prepared to reinstate the volume of its services quickly. Domestic consumer demand is now recovering actively. As before, the demand for air transportation on the part of Russian citizens will outpace this process.
An agreed-upon schedule for delivering new Russian-manufactured aviation technology that meets the declared high specifications is another key issue.
Today, it is also necessary to determine an economic model that would heed the interests of Russian citizens, as regards cheap, affordable, comfortable and convenient flights. It should also balance the interests of aircraft manufacturers and airlines in order to create competitive conditions for purchasing and operating Russian-made aircraft.
When I spoke about people’s interests, we, of course, realise the cost of Russian-made aircraft, we know what prices air carriers will have to pay, and, of course, we have to do our best so that passengers would not bear the substantial costs during the initial stage.
I hope to hear specific proposals on these issues today.
Mr Savelyev, let us begin with your report. You have the floor.