President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Mironov, generally, we are in constant contact, but no one has cancelled in-person meetings, they always make sense. I suggest discussing the current situation. But I know, you have a number of issues that you would like to discuss in greater detail.
Leader of the A Just Russia – For the Truth party Sergei Mironov: Thank you, Mr President. Thank you for the opportunity to meet. It is a very good tradition to meet with the leaders of the State Duma party factions.
Indeed, there are several proposals.
Firstly, I want to say thank you: at the beginning of the year you issued an instruction to address the issue of giving the fighters of the people’s militia of the LPR and DPR, which has been fighting since May 2014, the status of combat veterans with all the corresponding social benefits. But there is another category of volunteers. And I have prepared a letter addressed to you, which I will give to you later: I would also like to ask you not to forget that some were not part of the people’s militia of the LPR and DPR but have fought since May 2014.
Thank you for the fact that you (and here I must say, only you) track and draw attention to a vexing problem: the demographic problem. All decisions that are made in the country in this area have always been your initiative. Because you understand perfectly well the role that preserving our people plays.
In this regard, our faction, our socialist party, the A Just Russia – Patriots – For the Truth, has several proposals.
First, I would like to ask you on behalf of a huge number of families with many children to think about whether to declare next year, 2024, the year of large families. The fact is that we need large families, when three children become the norm. Because even maternity capital now incentivizes the birth of the first child. And in this regard, our second proposal is to make a kind of maternity capital progression. That is, to leave the same amount that is now given for the birth of the first child, but give more for the second one, somewhere around a million, and a little more than a million for the third child. Because it is the third child in the family, as we understand it, that gives a boost to population growth.
And another request. The fact is, as it turns out, only 5,959 families in Russia have eight or more children: either biological or adopted. Less than six thousand families throughout Russia. I think that if, say, two minimum wages for one of the parents, if this form of one-time social assistance were given out, it would be fitting and useful. It is very good that you restored the title of Mother Heroine, the badge of Maternal Valour, but I think that material assistance would be very useful.
Another topic concerns the special military operation. People send parcels to their husbands, sons, brothers, acquaintances. I think it would be right for the federal budget to help the Russian Post by subsidising the shipping of one parcel a month weighing up to ten kilograms to each serviceman from relatives and friends, from anyone, so that there would be compensation for the Russian Post, because the fighters really want and wait for such news, such a parcel from home.
And another request also related to the special military operation. Now, when a soldier is wounded and is undergoing treatment, the relatives who come to visit him in the hospital, the cost of their trip to the place where he is being treated is paid for by the Defence Ministry. But this is about military personnel, and the volunteers who are fighting now have no such category. I have also prepared a letter for you and would like to ask you to consider it.
And in conclusion, recently, a month ago, I was in our new territories, I was in the Zaporozhye Region and in the Kherson Region. As you know, our Government has decided to increase tariffs for housing and utility services by nine percent from December 1. As soon as these regions are part of Russia, this applies to them. It is very difficult for them now; they are practically at the forefront. And I am asking you to consider the possibility of giving them a benefit for this year: to freeze the rates for housing and utility services at the level that they were before December 1. Because it is very difficult for them, and it would be right and fair to provide them with such assistance.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you for your proposals. Let us elaborate on each of them.
Sergei Mironov: Thank you.