The situation in the Siberian Federal District following the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Station was the first subject on the agenda at a meeting on the district’s social and economic development that Dmitry Medvedev held in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia.
The irreplaceable loss of human lives is the accident’s most tragic result, the President said. Mr Medvedev expressed once more his condolences to the families of those killed and missing, and said that the priority now is to give them the help they need.
Whatever the accident’s causes, it is a tragic reminder of the critical importance of the systems controlling the safety and general state of Russian industry’s infrastructure. In a number of cases this infrastructure is no longer effective and requires urgent modernisation.
The President also noted the need to step up oversight of the technical state of power stations and energy systems. The Russian Technical Supervision Agency and the Ministry of Energy have already received instructions to carry out a review of technical equipment at all of Russia’s hydroelectric stations.
The accident has also brought to the fore issues of workplace discipline and the professional level of personnel – areas in which there are shortcomings to work on.
Looking at the current priority tasks, the President said it is important to ensure that there is no unjustified rise in electricity price. The Russian Federation Government has already received instructions on this issue, Mr Medvedev said
During his visit, President Medvedev held a working meeting with President of Buryatia Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn to discuss the social and economic situation in the republic.
Mr Medvedev also visited the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, saw the workshops and got an overview of the production process and the aircraft the plant manufactures.
OAO Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is the only aircraft maker and defence industry enterprise in Russia that makes both planes and helicopters. It manufactures Mi-8 and Mi-171 helicopters for transport, passenger, search and rescue, and representation needs. It also produces various versions of the Su-25 aircraft, and the Su-39 attack aircraft.
Earlier in the day, Mr Medvedev visited the Ivolga Datsan Buddhist monastery. Accompanied by the head of Russia’s Buddhists, the Bandida Khambo-lama, Damba Ayusheyev, Mr Medvedev visited the Monastery’s main temple (dugan) Sogchen, and then visited the palace of the XII Bandida Khambo-lama, Dashi Dorzho Itigilov. The President then had a cup of tea with the Buddhist lamas.
During his conversation with the Bandida Khambo-lama, Mr Medvedev said that Russia’s Buddhists are making an important contribution to strengthening interethnic dialogue and social concord.
The Ivolga Datsan, located in the village of Verkhnyaya Ivolga, is the Russian Buddhist Central Spiritual Board’s (Buddhist traditional Sangkha) biggest and most important monastery. It is also home to the residence of the Bandida Khambo-lama, Damba Ayusheyev, the head of the Buddhist traditional Sangkha.