President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, hello.
Today, we will address social issues in great detail. At our meeting with the Government, we will discuss the wages of certain categories of public sector workers.
Right now, we will see how they are commissioning social facilities. This concerns school and hospital buildings, cultural institutions, as well as residential buildings and utility mains that have been built or overhauled. People, our citizens and families with children need all this in every region of our large country.
First of all, I would like to thank the regions, construction industry specialists and everyone who is implementing these significant projects and making a contribution to addressing topical social development tasks and improving the quality of life.
I would like to note that, despite all current complicated issues and current challenges, we are consistently fulfilling our plans to commission key social facilities and infrastructure and to build housing. National projects and development programmes provide substantial resources for comprehensive modernisation and for renewing the entire social sector.
At the same time, the state is continuing to spend more on the entire social sphere. The draft federal budget for the next three years formalises precisely this approach. I would therefore like to thank the State Duma deputies for working intensively on this highly important document.
However, we are saying all the time that statistics and specific items of expenditure are not the most important thing. The real changes that are taking place and the opportunities that are opening up for people are the most important aspect. Of course, healthcare remains a priority area. People should obtain high-quality medical services where they live. We have repeatedly discussed this issue, and we are talking about this all the time. For this purpose, we are implementing comprehensive programmes for modernising primary healthcare in the regions, and we are improving medical services for patients with oncological and other serious diseases.
Every year, there are more and more modern and well-equipped schools in Russia. The pupils of the oldest school in Tulun, a town hit by a devastating flash flood in 2019, relocated to a new building at the beginning of this academic year. As far as I know, the school was founded and opened almost 100 years ago, in 1918. The children can use classrooms equipped to the latest standards, and they have been provided with opportunities for an interesting and packed school life, studies and leisure.
We will certainly continue working to create the best educational environment for children in all Russian regions.
It is impossible to bring up future generations, to preserve our entire nation, our identity and our roots without accessible theatres, museums and libraries. Russia will build and renovate over 2,000 cultural facilities before the year is out, and over 4,700 organisations will obtain modern equipment, musical instruments, books, study guides, and they will be able to make better use of digital resources. I am confident that this will expedite their work and will help fill it with interesting events and initiatives.
We are expecting to set a new housing construction record this year. We have already completed over 87 million square metres of housing, and three million Russian families have improved their living conditions. On the whole, we are relocating residents of dilapidated housing nationwide faster than planned. We are talking about this all the time, we need to relocate people from slums, and I have already drawn the attention of my colleagues to this issue. Today, we will see what blocks of flats have been built for them in the Arkhangelsk Region. This concerns people who have lived and many others who, unfortunately, continue to live in such unacceptable conditions.
Apart from housing, the regions are now opening essential utility facilities and improving cities and towns. These issues are also quite sensitive. People can see positive changes with their own eyes. I hope that this is really so, and that facilities that we will see today will serve as a good example and a good illustration of these changes. This concerns people living in the regions that we are discussing. People will see these changes in their own streets, courtyards, public gardens, parks and on embankments. We need to expand and expedite these projects.
Once again, I would like to thank Russian builders and the leadership of this vital, core sector for the lively pace of their work, for working closely with colleagues from the education, healthcare and cultural spheres and regional teams, and for achieving such significant social results.
Let us discuss specific achievements and future tasks in greater detail today. I now give the floor to Mr Khusnullin.
Vladimir Putin: In conclusion, I would like to say a few words. We have just looked at what social facilities have opened in different regions of Russia. But these are just examples. This is only a small part of the extensive work done this year. I think that it also demonstrates quite clearly that our basic, strategic social priorities remain unchanged. The focus, as we have said and continue to say, will always be on the family, children, people, their health and education, their needs and ample opportunities for self-realisation. The confident development of Russia means, above all, a new quality of life in the regions.
Of course, after your presentations on the results of our work, I want to thank the heads of Russian regions, representatives of the social sphere, and our builders for such important facilities and wish all of us and all of you further success.
Thank you very much. All the best.