President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good morning, Mr Minnikhanov,
I believe you wanted to talk about the investment component of economic development.
Head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov: Yes, I wanted to give you an update.
Vladimir Putin: Generally, I believe, the situation is fine.
Rustam Minnikhanov: It is. First, I would like to thank you – we are part of all the federal investment programmes.
Last year capital investment amounted to 520 billion rubles [about $15 billion]. That is a 5.5 percent increase.
We have good results in the oil refining industry. With the use of hydrocracking technology refining will reach 98 percent by 2016. This year we are launching hydrocracking and lubricant production.
We have good projects underway in the special economic zone. There are currently 41 residents there. Of the total investment of 100 billion [rubles] investors have already provided over 50 billion.
A number of large facilities are currently in the commissioning stage: one timber-processing facility (some $200–300 million investment), a glass-making facility, the Ford Sollers project, a stamping facility and a number of others.
We are making headway on creating industrial parks. Apart from large ones, we are setting up industrial parks in every municipality to develop small and medium-size business.
The overall share of small and medium-size business is currently 25 percent; however, we are aiming at 30–35 percent, up to 40 percent. A lot remains to be done here.
Projects in the countryside, family farms are doing well. Currently we have more than 800 family farms, all created in a period of two to three years. 400 of these are high-technology farms. Another 230 family farms are in the development stage.
I would like to thank you for your support in developing a major project – Innopolis. We will be ready to commission the first stage by the end of this year. Early next year we will have a technopark, a university and a residential area there. This will be a major IT centre. We are working hard on this project, already selecting experts and residents.
I would also like to thank you for the Student Games. We have maintained the infrastructure.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you for having organised everything so well.
Rustam Minnikhanov: We are ready to organise another event like that.
Vladimir Putin: This was a very good rehearsal before the Olympics.
Rustam Minnikhanov: I would like to congratulate you on the wonderful results of the Olympics. I went there myself to have a look: Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana have changed beyond recognition. It was like a completely different country, a different atmosphere. And the results were very good. We are happy for our country.
Vladimir Putin: How did the athletes from Tatarstan do?
Rustam Minnikhanov: They did not meet all the expectations at the Olympic Games. Our ice hockey team did not do very well either. However, we won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the Paralympics. We will draw the necessary conclusions and will try to do better at the next Olympics.
Vladimir Putin: You said you have maintained the infrastructure. You have to put it to good use – both the sports facilities and the transportation infrastructure.
Rustam Minnikhanov: Everything created for the University Games is working at full capacity and there are no issues with any of the facilities. We have a wonderful campus in the Village, an information centre, an excellent Sports Academy. We are expanding the transportation system – all the metro stations, the intermodular line, the airport. This year we had a 25–30 percent growth in the number of passengers, which means that we are also attracting more tourists as well. I believe we need to do things for the whole world to learn about this country. After the athletes, we get tourists, and then the business moves in as well.
(Further Mr Minnikhanov answered questions from the President regarding the implementation of the programme to resettle residents of emergency and derelict housing, and also touched upon the programmes in the republic to develop pre-schools and to renovate schools.)
Rustam Minnikhanov: Mr President, I would like to brief you on my visit to Crimea. I made three trips to the republic. First, I met with our brothers – the Crimean Tatars, and we had an opportunity to discuss their view of the situation and their problems. There are a few burning issues that I would like to share with you and get your support on.
Crimean Tatars became victims of political repressions 70 years ago. Now, despite the fact that a resolution was passed regarding guarantees for these people, and you made this very clear in your Address, it would be good if the acting law of 1991 [Law On the Rehabilitation of Repressed Ethnic Groups passed by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on April 26, 1991] be extended to include Crimean Tatars as well. This would give Crimean Tatars significant moral support.
Second, Mr President, they are very eager to share their plans, their view of the situation, and activists from among the Crimean Tatars would like to meet with you, if possible.
Third, something I would like to draw your attention to. We need to legalise their places of residence, those settlements. Then there has to be some programme to provide them with infrastructural support. We have discussed this with our colleagues from the Crimean Government and we need your support here as well.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Minnikhanov, I will issue instructions to consider all three issues. As for the social infrastructure – schools, pre-schools and so forth – we will undoubtedly work on it, and I hope Tatarstan will take part as well.
Rustam Minnikhanov: We will be happy to join you in these efforts.
Vladimir Putin: Good. As for the legislation, I would like you to get involved in the work of our legal services, the Presidential Executive Office and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Rustam Minnikhanov: I see. We will become an active participant.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.