Working meeting with Head of North Ossetia-Alania Vyacheslav Bitarov 2018-08-09 13:45:00 Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Head of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Vyacheslav Bitarov to discuss the region’s socioeconomic development. Vyacheslav Bitarov said that the execution of last year’s Presidential instructions issued jointly to the regional and federal governments, had a positive bearing on the social and political climate in the republic, as well as its socioeconomic development. According to Mr Bitarov, the revenue generated by the regional budget increased 40 percent over a period of the past two years. Having analysed the internal resources available to the Republic, the local government devised a socioeconomic development strategy through 2030, by which time it is expected that the region will no longer be subsidised from the federal budget. Positive trends are already beginning to materialise, since the dependence on federal subsidies declined by 5 percent. The republic moved up ten points in the regional investment ranking made by the Agency of Strategic Initiatives. Not only are international companies coming to the republic but new jobs are being created as well. The Zaramagskaya HPP is expected to be launched by early 2019. Started in the 1980s, its construction was later suspended and required about 49 billion rubles in investment. This will be Europe’s largest hydropower plant in terms of water drop. It will cover more than 70 percent of the republic’s energy needs. This project can be further expanded by creating an extension within a chain of power plants. An Agency for the Development of the Republic has been created, with its industry-specific working groups drafting development programmes that will come into effect as of 2019. The President also discussed with the head of the republic salaries in the region, readiness of schools for the academic year, repairs and construction of healthcare facilities and other social infrastructure sites. The President also inquired about the relations with the Republic of South Ossetia. Vyacheslav Bitarov responded by saying that the governments of the two republics helped each other, working in a spirit of mutual understanding and assistance, considering that they are home to the same people with a shared culture as well as language.