At the start of the meeting, the President noted a number of positive aspects in St Petersburg, including Russia’s lowest unemployment rates and higher incomes, as compared to other regions. The gross regional product (GRP) continues to grow, and this is a good foundation for subsequent development. At the same time, Vladimir Putin suggested focusing on various matters that should be prioritised by municipal and federal authorities and discussing various problems.
During the conversation, they touched upon healthcare, transport services and housing construction.
Alexander Beglov discussed the construction of new hospitals during the pandemic. Later, they will be converted to treat regular patients. He also noted efforts to support primary care outpatient clinics and to provide medications, personal protective equipment and other essentials.
The development of the city’s transport system and that of the Leningrad Region are two inter-linked matters because both entities form one metropolitan area. According to the Governor, 950 up-to-date carriages will be purchased for the local metro system, and 339 new trams will start operating on various routes later this year and in 2023. Moreover, 389 new trolleybuses will be purchased during the same period. A large bus depot that can accommodate 400 buses fuelled with natural gas was upgraded. From July 15, 2,800 such buses will start operating in the city. Next year, the city will also launch construction of a depot for 400 electric buses.
Mr Beglov also discussed the reform of the local construction sector that, among other things, aims to overcome the tremendous disproportion between social and housing infrastructure. A newly-approved resolution notes that residential buildings will be open for occupancy only if social facilities are simultaneously built and commissioned in accordance with current standards.
Vladimir Putin noted that it was correct to address the issue in this manner, but that additional work had to be done, although the per-capita availability of local social facilities exceeded that in many other Russian regions. This position should not be lost, the President stressed, the situation should only get better in the future, and decisions that have been approved will help bring about improvements.