Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the Krasnoyarsk Territory authorities and business leaders.
The meeting participants discussed most pressing regional issues, in particular the environmental situation, about which local residents have complained, and ways to improve it, as well as the programme for the relocation of people from dilapidated housing and the possibility of building a metro in Krasnoyarsk.
Acting Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss also updated the President on the socioeconomic situation in the region.
Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo, Acting Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss, Norilsk Nickel CEO Vladimir Potanin, SUEK CEO Vladimir Rashevsky, and RUSAL CEO Vladislav Solovyov took part in the meeting.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: We started talking about preparations for the Student Games, Universiade, with environmental issues. The Governor also mentioned this issue, since not mentioning it is inconceivable, because it is one of the genuinely important issues for the region in general and especially important for Krasnoyarsk.
A city with over one million people is in a fairly difficult situation due to its geographical location and the fact that major industrial enterprises operate here as well.
I am aware of how things are in general. The ever-growing vehicle fleet is the main source of pollution accounting for 36 percent of emissions followed by 29 percent from the aluminium plant. Next comes the heat and power plant, the households that use coal for heating – these are normally not taken into account. For sure, especially in winter, they also contribute to the black colour of the sky and snow. So, we must take immediate action in several areas.
The first thing we need to do is switch to natural gas-powered engines. This is important, and we are introducing them throughout the country. This is particularly important for the agglomerations such as Krasnoyarsk with its challenging environmental situation. We need to talk to Gazprom (they have an entire programme to deal with this) in a calm and delicate manner. Of course, we must do this without causing any damage to anyone and minimising the burden on car enthusiasts. However, clearly, the municipal economy, the city vehicles and large companies can safely switch to natural gas and do so gradually and without incurring particularly large costs.
Second, I am aware that large industrial enterprises have already done much in this regard. They are in the process of introducing legal standards. The transition to the best available environmental technology is underway. It is important to continue this, and I am asking you to implement these strategies and use this equipment in your development programmes.
Indeed, it will cost a certain amount of money, but it will pay off in the long run, and be beneficial for the health of the local workers and their families. Also, it will improve productivity, because the modern technology available not only helps resolve environmental issues, but also clearly has a positive impact on increasing productivity, the main driver of economic growth.
We need a separate programme for the heat and power plant, just like for other industrial companies.
With regard to households, it is imperative to connect them to gas lines which is, of course, primarily a task for the cities and regional authorities. This may not be cheap for the regional budgets, but it has to be done under a separate plan. It should not be done haphazardly, not just when possible; there has to be a plan. This work must be done in conjunction with resource suppliers and concurrently with building distribution mainlines. Natural gas must be made available to all end users.
Let’s go over these issues in more detail.