President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Russkikh, good afternoon.
Alexei Russkikh: Good afternoon, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Hello!
Mr Russkikh, I see you are from Izhevsk, is that right?
Alexei Russkikh: Exactly.
Vladimir Putin: Geographically, it is very close to the Ulyanovsk Region, so I think you generally know the region.
You are still dealing with economic policy in government agencies.
Mr Russkikh, what are, in your view, the peculiarities of the region’s development in general? I mean, the Ulyanovsk Region. Obviously, you have learned about the situation there. I also think you can tell me about your vision of the region’s future partly because you work in the Federation Council now. What needs to be done and how? What areas do you consider a priority and how would you achieve the region’s goals today?
Alexei Ruskikh: The Ulyanovsk Region is the centre of Russia. It has vast industrial, agricultural and research potential. Its main wealth is its residents. They are very industrious, patriotic and warm-hearted.
The administration has recently accomplished a lot: it has preserved an auto plant and an aircraft-building plant. It has attracted much investment. Actually, huge work has been done, and we will follow in these footsteps.
I think the main yardstick for the performance of a governor is the wellbeing of the people, the living standards. Of course, this is an uphill road. Thankfully, we have the energy for this, my team and me. I believe we will justify your trust.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Russkikh, you talked about your willingness and your team’s willingness to work hard. At the same time, you said that the outgoing governor, who was there for a long time, did much for the region’s development. This is indeed the case.
Of course, there are problems everywhere, and in the Ulyanovsk Region as well. However, much has been done, too. Credit for this goes not only to the governor but also to the people who worked with him. Therefore, I would like to ask you to act with care and respect with regard to the people you will now meet and start your work with.
From my point of view, I hope there will be some continuity in the administration’s personnel, that you will keep the backbone, the potential that’s there. In this way, you will be able to rely on those who know the situation in the region and who have achieved good results over the past few years. At the same time, new personnel can also help you resolve the tasks facing the region from a fresh perspective.
This is indeed a key region. It is large and industrially advanced. You mentioned the car manufacturing. They have well developed clusters there created in conjunction with our foreign partners. I will not go into detail now but this work is going well there.
I would like to wish success to you and all those who will be working on your team. I hope we will see this success. You should get started immediately, without delay. Based on your previous experience I hope you will have a quick start.
I wish you success.
Alexei Ruskikh: Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: All the best.