Meeting with Saratov Region Governor Valery Radayev 2021-04-12 21:10:00 Engels, Saratov Region During his trip to Engels, Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Saratov Region Governor Valery Radayev. The discussion of the socioeconomic situation in the region began with an update on the coronavirus response efforts. The Governor thanked Vladimir Putin for his support from the very beginning of the pandemic and noted the Government’s quick response to all issues that needed to be resolved. According to Valery Radayev, the disease is weakening and the vaccination campaign is underway. Speaking about the economy, Valery Radayev said that in 2020 the gross regional product accounted for about 99 percent of the 2019 level. The industrial production index grew by two percent. The grain harvest was 5.5 million tonnes. For the third year in a row, the region has been the leader in Russia in sunflower harvesting; last year, 1.7 million tonnes were harvested, and the processing capacities make it possible to not only meet the demand on the domestic market, but also to export. There was practically no decline in investments. In particular, the Governor noted the restoration of the famous Trolza plant and the release of a new trolleybus. Valery Radayev named demography among the key problems: the region has a high mortality rate and a low birth rate. The focus is on supporting primary healthcare and improving the quality of ambulance services. The salaries of novice doctors, middle-rank and junior specialists have been raised in the region; the problem of providing young specialists with housing is being addressed. In 2022, a new oncology centre will open, and construction of an anti-tuberculosis centre is underway. According to the Governor, the current agenda includes spring fieldwork. While last year the harvest of grain stood at 5.5 million tonnes, the expected figure for this is six million tonnes. Valery Radayev asked the President to make the Space Conquerors Park a federal-level site because it should be a very strong cluster, where large research and educational processes could be organised. Vladimir Putin promised to support this idea, noting that it would become the 72nd federal museum. The Governor made another request regarding the problem of dilapidated housing in Letny Gorodok in the city of Engels. The President asked to specify the cost of construction of 76 blocks of flats and promised to provide assistance.