The President said that he will sign an Executive Order appointing Mr Aksyonov Acting Governor of Crimea.
Mr Putin and Mr Aksyonov also discussed the social and economic situation in the region.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Aksyonov, the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea has been adopted. In accordance with the Russian Federation’s current legislation, it is imperative to appoint an Acting Head of the Republic, and today I will be signing such an executive order. I am asking you to accept this proposal.
Sergei Aksyonov: Thank you. I will not let you down.
Vladimir Putin: I have no doubt; you and I have already discussed this. I also received your request to hold elections for the Crimean parliament and the subsequent election of the Head of the Republic. Corresponding documents will also be signed.
Today, I would like to hear your opinion on how ready Crimea is to hold elections in September, on the same day as the Russian Federation’s voting day – September 14.
Sergei Aksyonov: Mr President, Crimea is ready. Currently, 20,000 passports are being issued daily to our residents. We will include all these parameters in the budget. There are no grounds for concern. We feel that the elections will be held normally. Per your instructions, all of this will occur in accordance with the Russian Federation’s legislation.
Vladimir Putin: How do things stand in Crimea now? I am especially interested in the socioeconomic situation.
Sergei Aksyonov: We are working out the wrinkles in the banking sector. According to our data, 88 branches opened on Friday, and 30 more opened today. We will have 130 branches operating in Crimea by the end of the week. In just another ten days or so, we expect things to be fully taken care of: 200 to 220 branches will be opened – in other words, the minimum number necessary for the public not to experience difficulties with getting money and monetary circulation.
However, we do have problems with the water supply. Kiev has reduced the supply to the North Crimean canal: it is currently receiving about 5.5 cubic metres per second, instead of the usual 70 or so. Bear in mind that it is imperative to ensure irrigation at the farms.
Naturally, there are certain problems, but we are working on them. We are engaged in negotiations, there is a delegation working in Kiev, which includes members of the Crimean Tatar Majlis. Standard work is underway and various reserve options are being prepared. I think we will pull through this situation.
Vladimir Putin: We have discussed issues pertaining to the deported peoples. Now, let’s talk about it in more detail. We are preparing corresponding documents and I would also like to speak with you about it. How are the preparations for the holiday season going?
Sergei Aksyonov: We are taking a full inventory of the health resorts; we will have the stock of resorts fully presented by the end of the week. We are maintaining communication with all agencies in accordance with your instructions. The Presidential Executive Office is helping, as are all the federal agencies, and we are getting assistance from the federal regions in fulfilling your orders.
Today, work is under way to fill our health resort complex. We expect an influx of tourists, and we want the large number of visitors to have a high-quality experience. Thus, we are doing everything possible to ensure that tourists will not be disappointed that they came to Crimea. We will try to satisfy all the needs of the Russians first and foremost.
Vladimir Putin: How are your relations developing with colleagues from Russia’s federal authorities?
Sergei Aksyonov: We are working together and I think everything will be fine. Following your instructions, we will try to completely avoid bureaucratising the process. Based on our staffing structure, we should have about 39,000 federal civil servants for this region.
Fortunately, you gave instructions in this case to limit the appetites of federal authorities. We are fulfilling those instructions. We have a setup where our departments fully replicate the functions of federal authorities. Based on your instructions, we will reduce this to a minimum. I think that out of 93 existing agencies, only 12 will remain in the autonomous region.
Vladimir Putin: You will need to do this work with Crimeans who will fulfil federal functions locally, organise their preparation and their training in Moscow, educate them about our educational institutions for training administrative agency workers.
Sergei Aksyonov: This work is being carried out according to your instructions: we have identified a mentor in nearly every ministry from the federal departments, and they are now training the personnel.
We are also sending people to regions of the Russian Federation for training; tomorrow, we have a delegation leaving for Kazan, where they will gain experience.
Nearly every region in the Russian Federation has an agency it is fostering in the Republic of Crimea, providing assistance on a local level to all the managers.
Tomorrow, we will have a meeting on this topic under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, and we will fully build the process of cooperation. Plans are in place and the roadmap for cooperation between the regions has been signed. I am confident that we will carry out your instructions fully.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Aksyonov, you have done a great deal of work in reunifying Crimea with Russia; for that, you deserve special gratitude from Crimeans and the entire nation.
Sergei Aksyonov: Thank you, Mr President. It is to your credit first and foremost, so we are grateful to you.
Vladimir Putin: But even more remains to be done as Head of the Republic, because the economy is in a state of neglect. Crimea was artificially turned into a subsidised territory, and in order to reverse this situation, you will need to do a great deal and work just as persistently as you have been up until now – with great dedication and professionalism.
I want to congratulate you on your appointment as Acting Head. I am confident that the elections will be held in accordance with the time frame we just discussed, and you will be elected Head of the Republic. A great deal of work remains. I want to wish you success in carrying it out.
Sergei Aksyonov: Thank you very much. I will justify your trust; I will not let down the country, you, or the Crimeans. So we will work hard.