President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Alikhanov, you are probably aware that Acting Governor of Kaliningrad Region Yevgeny Zinichev has asked to return to Moscow for family reasons. In this situation, I can but fulfil his request.
You are currently head of the region’s government. You are young but already have sufficient experience and a good load of knowledge. You were a department head at the Ministry of Industry and Trade here in Moscow, worked in the federal government, and have headed Kaliningrad Region’s government for more than 18 months now.
I appoint you Acting Governor of Kaliningrad Region and I hope that you will do everything possible to ensure that this region of strategic importance for our country continues developing at the required pace.
You were one of the authors of the medium-term strategic development plan currently being prepared for the region. You must work with the Government to complete this effort and implement the relevant decisions. This alone is not enough though and you will need to make an energetic effort to develop and implement this strategic development plan in the region.
Anton Alikhanov: Thank you very much, Mr President, for your trust.
We in the Kaliningrad Region Government will do our utmost and I will personally do all I can to carry out your instructions in full.
The time I have spent in Kaliningrad has already given me a general idea of the main problems there. And as you rightly observed, there is already an understanding of how these problems should be dealt with. We will move forward together with our colleagues from the Federal Government. I hope that all the tasks will be fulfilled in the near future.
Vladimir Putin: There is a whole year before September 2017, the next election campaign. During this time, you will need to demonstrate your work and depending on that, decide whether or not to run in the election campaign. However, I hope that you will work efficiently, at full capacity.
Anton Alikhanov: Thank you for your support, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: What do you see as a priority for Kaliningrad and the Kaliningrad Region today?
Anton Alikhanov: Mr President, as you said, the drafting of a law, a package of amendments on the socio-economic development of Kaliningrad Region is entering its final stages. We are actively collaborating with our colleagues from the Ministry of Economic Development, and before the end of the year we will submit everything to the Government and in the first quarter of next year, I hope, all of this will be in parliament and will then be submitted to you as a federal law to be signed. This is probably one of the main priorities.
Of course, the region’s access to the transport system is very important, including ferry services and subsidised airfares.
Naturally, there is energy security. Mr Kozak [Deputy Prime Minister] recently chaired a corresponding meeting concerning, among other things, the construction of new generating capacity in the region. Another priority of course is natural gas supply to the region. However, we can see no problems there, as we are moving forward in line with the course that has been set. There is a little lag but it is insignificant and all directives will be carried out in time.
Then, of course, we have the 2018 World Cup. There were some difficulties with regard to the stadium but they were successfully resolved. We are a little behind on the construction of a runway, its modernisation, and the air terminal. I hope that we will be able to address this with you separately.
Vladimir Putin: Of course.
The draft federal law regulating the special regime for entrepreneurial activity in Kaliningrad Region should be finalised. It is a broad-range document. All positions that have not been coordinated yet – and there are practically none left: trifles, as the Minister of Economic Development told me – should be coordinated, and it should be submitted to the State Duma.
Anton Alikhanov: Very well. Will do.