President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Morozov, you worked as an aide to the Defence Minister and have recently been Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service that is part of the Ministry of Finance.
Sergei Morozov: Exactly.
Vladimir Putin: Your job performance has been good, you have taken the responsibility seriously. And so I would like to offer you a chance to continue your work in one of the regions of the Russian Federation.
Governor of the Astrakhan Region Alexander Zhilkin, who served there for a long time, requested to be transferred to another job.
The Astrakhan Region is very involved in foreign economic activity. About 13 percent of its GRP, gross regional product, come directly from foreign trade. If we take into account the indirect effect, it is at least 25 percent.
Many industries in the region are involved in foreign economic activity in different ways. Beyond the production of hydrocarbons, ship building was essentially built up there recently as a cluster specifically to support production projects, say, in the Caspian Sea.
There are many other things directly or indirectly related to foreign economic ties with our neighbours – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan – and to international trade in general.
This is far from everything the Astrakhan Region has to offer. The region has so much to offer, primarily its people, their talents, as well as natural resources. Industry is fairly well developed there.
As for the future, we will see. It will depend on your ability to bring your best qualities to this job.
Sergei Morozov: Mr President, thank you for your confidence. I understand how serious this task is. I am ready.
Vladimir Putin: Good.