President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I gathered you to discuss a very specific matter, which seemingly does not concern everyone here. While this is an issue on the current agenda in the shipbuilding industry, it is not a routine matter. It concerns the development of shipbuilding in the Russian Far East, a region that is critical to us. That is my first point.
Second, it concerns developing the Arctic, the Northern Sea Route, and expanding the capacity of the domestic fuel and energy complex and other industries. I am referring to developing construction and further developing the Zvezda shipyard.
As you are aware (almost all of you visited this enterprise), the first production facilities were put into operation in September 2016. The construction of four reinforced ice-class ships, ordered by Rosneft, began this autumn. The pace of construction and the pace of work in general should be maintained at current levels.
This is a nationwide task to develop production facilities and to create modern jobs in the Russian Far East.
As we have already discussed, the successful operation of the enterprise depends on effective utilisation of its capacities and steady long-term demand for its output. I am aware of a long-term plan for loading Zvezda up with orders to 2035. We talked about this at the enterprise during my most recent visit there. Of course, this plan must be strictly followed not only by Rosneft, but by other customers as well.
Today, I would like to hear how the signing of contracts is progressing, whether the customers submit technical specifications for the construction of ships and marine equipment in a timely manner, and what is planned additionally to ensure steady work load for enterprises. With that in mind, I would like to remind you about the mutual responsibility of shipbuilders and customers. When placing orders, the customers should be confident that the contract will be followed to the letter and they will receive products of proper quality at an economically reasonable price within the agreed timeframe. The shipyard owners must provide clear financial guarantees on this account.
I would like to end my opening remarks by saying that Rosneft is involved in this at my instruction. This is not just the task of Rosneft, but the entire Russian shipbuilding industry. In fact, this is a nationwide task to develop production facilities and to create modern jobs in the Russian Far East. So, I am asking you to not look at it as a departmental, industry-specific task, or a task which only one enterprise is accountable for. This is our shared responsibility. We will talk more about it later.
The second issue that I would like to raise is providing the ships that sail under the Russian flag with an exclusive right to transport and store hydrocarbons in the waters of the Northern Sea Route. This step will allow us to increase the volume of maritime shipping, to strengthen the position of domestic shipping companies, and to create additional opportunities for upgrading their fleets.
The corresponding draft law is being considered by the State Duma. I hope it will be adopted soon. However, I also know that there are proposals to extend this rule to other marine areas of our country. Let us analyse all these matters to make sure all of our steps are properly balanced and thought through.
Let us get to work.