President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, colleagues,
As you know, tomorrow a regular, essentially traditional meeting between regions of Russia and Kazakhstan will take place in Astana. Being here in Orenburg, I would certainly like to meet with people who are doing this work on the practical level.
It is important to note that these meetings are almost always constructive, substantive and detail-oriented. However, it goes without saying that I’m interested in hearing from you. After all, you share a long border with Kazakhstan and surely there are some joint projects, joint activities. Or, if there are none, why is that?
If you see that some things need support at the government level, the level of governments in both countries, at the interstate level, please tell me about that. Or, conversely, if you see some problems that are hindering the development of cooperation and must be taken care of, I would also ask you to tell me about that today.
The second part, and maybe it is the main one in importance – I would like to hear about your dealings with administrative bodies and whether the efforts taken by the Government to support business – small- and medium-sized, as well as business in general – trickle down to you; whether there are corresponding support programmes in Orenburg, how they work and what your relations are with administrative agencies, I mean antimonopoly and tax agencies, as well as various oversight bodies.
Generally, it would be very interesting and useful for me to hear directly from you about your practical work and life.
That actually concludes my opening remarks. Let us simply begin our meeting. Yes, you can see my colleagues from the Government on the left and on the right: the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Economic Development, and the Finance Minister. We are all at your disposal and we will listen to you very attentively.
This is an absolutely informal meeting; it is not some kind of prearranged and staged formality. I would very much like this to be a lively conversation.