The meeting was held following the Presidential Commission for Strategic Development of the Fuel and Energy Sector and Environmental Security session.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening. Please excuse us for being late; we had a meeting that was somewhat boisterous and lengthy.
We have gathered here in Kuzbass to discuss the sector’s problems. Some time ago, we adopted a development programme, and today, we gathered to examine how it is being implemented, what has been done and how, and what else needs to be done in order for the industry to advance, particularly under modern conditions. You certainly know about the problems as well; you know that global market prices have dropped. But global market conditions change, and a significant proportion of what is currently being extracted in this sector is being implemented in our domestic market.
Today we discussed our need to develop the domestic market; we discussed problems in ensuring safety, social issues, pensions, medicine, and so on. We had representatives from several regions involved in nearly every issue related to the sector: we talked with colleagues from Yakutia, Tuva and Buryatia. Colleagues from different regions told us about the state of affairs in their areas.
But naturally, it would be wrong to come to Kuzbass, which could be referred to as the sector’s capital, and fail to talk with the people who are working here. So I have asked the Governor to organise this meeting. Thus, I hope we will have a few minutes to talk, to discuss current issues that you deal with in your current, day-to-day work. Let’s begin our meeting in a simple, open, informal atmosphere.