At the beginning of the conversation, the President noted that the situation in the Vladimir Region was on the whole stable and satisfactory, with the main indices in a decent state. Industrial production, agriculture, and the construction sector were on the rise. The level of dilapidated housing and unemployment was lower than the national average. But, of course, there were matters that required special attention, specifically the functioning of the special economic zone and the priority social and economic development areas.
Alexander Avdeyev reported that various residents had launched construction projects in those areas as well as at several industrial parks. The reference was to food processing and electronic components plants, greenhouse complexes, and aquaculture producers. His region has applied for a licence to establish yet another economic zone. There are about ten potential residents planning to deploy facilities producing climate control equipment and electronic components there. It is intended to create at least 5,000 new jobs.
The acting governor said that his priorities were promoting investment, assisting industries, and, as a consequence, furthering population income growth. The region was implementing about 60 investment projects and 20 new contracts had been signed over the past few months. He stressed that the construction of the M12 motorway, a portion of the East-West transport corridor, was of special economic significance for his region. The work was proceeding ahead of schedule and would contribute to the placement of new productive forces and to tapping the local tourist potential.
The region places emphasis on the tourism industry and tapping the potential of old tourist towns such as Murom or Gorokhovets. Two of them – Murom and Suzdal – have won the competition and will receive support from the Federal Agency for Tourism for the development of their historical centres. Gorokhovets receives support from the BRICS Fund. Suzdal is preparing for its 1,000th anniversary celebrations in 2024. Taking the opportunity, Mr Avdeyev invited the President to visit Suzdal in the year of its 1000th anniversary.
The acting governor also spoke about a number of problem issues that were on the agenda, including healthcare and public transit issues, the need for considerable investment in the local utilities infrastructure, and the demolition of dilapidated housing. All the issues are being addressed using money from the National Wealth Fund, and infrastructure loans from the federal budget. Mr Avdeyev assured the President that the problems would be addressed continuously and without delay, although some of them were difficult to resolve without federal support.
The President promised to forward the region’s requests to the Government, including those concerning the northern bypass of Vladimir, the building of the Vladimir Academic Regional Drama Theatre, the Torpedo stadium, and the purchase of buses and trolleybuses.
Noting that the region’s main performance indicators were acceptable and the trends were good, Vladimir Putin pointed out that alcoholism and alcoholic psychosis incidence in the region was 122.6 cases per 100,000 in 2021, which exceeds the average across the country 2.6 times. Stressing that Avdeyev is a very experienced person with a brilliant education in many areas, and extensive expertise, the President said this problem needed to be dealt with in ways other than by raising alcohol prices, excise taxes and so on. There are simpler but equally effective options, such as promoting a healthy lifestyle, developing infrastructure for sports and cultural activities, creating the right conditions for people to visit them, and fostering interest in culture. There was work to do here, the President said, especially with the region being one of the citadels of Russian culture in the literal sense of the word.
The President promised not only to forward all of the region's requests to the relevant federal bodies, but also to talk to them about this matter, because there were things that were quite costly, but, in his opinion, important. Vladimir Putin recommended that Mr Avdeyev contact the relevant ministries and agencies directly, through the Presidential Executive Office, and wished him success.