Taking part in the event were Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, Acting Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin, St Petersburg Vice-Governor and Head of the St Petersburg Governor Administration Valery Pikalyov, Mariupol Mayor Oleg Morgun, Director of Mariupoltrans Konstantin Nekhayev, employees of Mariupol tram maintenance depot No 3, and veterans of the Great Patriotic War.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.
Today, tram service resumes in Mariupol. This is an important event for the city and its residents.
Let me remind you that the first tram route was opened here almost exactly 90 years ago, on May 1, 1933 to be exact, and that this type of transport has been very popular for many years.
In March, during my trip to Mariupol, my colleagues and I talked about the city’s main problems, including the need to restore tram service.
Today, over ten kilometres of track are being put into operation. Of course, this is only a small section because there were almost a hundred kilometres of tram lines in the city in total. But this is only the beginning, the first step in this work. In the future, we will develop the transport infrastructure in the city, including the efforts to increase the number of routes and update the long-obsolete public transport rolling stock; there is a lot to do, in general, to create an advanced system of public transit.
All this is just a part of a large number of projects, as I have said, which, despite all the difficulties, is already being carried out both in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, and in Donbass: roads, housing, education, healthcare and energy facilities are being built and repaired; industrial and agricultural production is being established. We will, of course, continue to consistently and systematically address all these issues and ensure that life in the cities and towns of these regions returns to normal.
I would like to note that the tram repair project in Mariupol is being implemented with support from the St Petersburg Government. We are here in St Petersburg; we are taking part in this event along with the governor. Alexander Beglov will report on this in more detail, as well as on other assistance provided to the city.
I would like to thank all the Russian regions that are supporting the new constituent entities. And, of course, I would like to thank the builders, engineers, and various specialists who are involved in the restoration process, for their hard work. I know that it is being carried out at a high pace, and there are already tangible results.
There is still a lot of work to be done to resume normal operations and improve living conditions in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. For this purpose, a programme of socioeconomic development of these territories until 2025, developed in cooperation with regional officials and the Government, was approved in late April. I will certainly discuss the current state of affairs and development prospects for specific sectors of the economy with Government members at the upcoming meetings and receive reports from competent agencies. It is important to clearly determine the targets and deadlines of this programme so that the public can see specific prospects.
I have no doubt that everything planned will certainly be fulfilled through our joint efforts. We have the resources, experience and competencies necessary for this.
I congratulate everyone on today’s event and wish you further success.
Let us get down to the main part of why we are here today.