President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Anohkin.
Vasily Anokhin: Good afternoon, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Anokhin, you are not a stranger to the Smolensk Region – you held a high post there not so long ago. How do you assess the current situation in the region? You also have extensive work experience in central executive bodies, in the Government of the Russian Federation. What do you think are the top priorities for the region at present?
Vasily Anokhin: Mr President, indeed I am well aware of the issues and the situation in the region, I did live and work there and had a family in the Smolensk Region. I was responsible for such crucial matters as finance, the budget and economic development and I made every effort to ensure a good quality of life and decent living conditions for the region’s residents.
I realise that very many issues need to be addressed. The most urgent concerns for the region’s residents are healthcare, education, environmental issues, the utilities sector, as well as social security, especially for mobilised citizens and their families. Those are the issues that will be topmost on my agenda.
I understand all the steps that I need to make and I am ready to draft, within a month, a detailed plan for the region’s development, in particular with a view to the measures and instruments adopted by you, Mr President, concerning infrastructure development. I am ready to incorporate all those mechanisms, and the knowledge I acquired in my current work, into the region’s development plan, and report to you, if you agree.
Mr President, the region has many opportunities. I used to work there and I know that it has a favourable geography, all the necessary resources and the key is the high quality of human resources, the people. I worked with them, and I understand and know them well. Therefore, I am confident that I will not let you down, and we will achieve all the objectives set for the region’s development.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Anokhin, it is true that you have positive experience of working in the Government of the Russian Federation in such crucial areas as utilities and construction. In the recent period you worked as director of the Regional Development Department at the Government of the Russian Federation. To be frank, I am counting on using your contacts with your colleagues in the Government to effectively resolve the issues the region is facing.
You have named all the competitive advantages of the Smolensk Region. Indeed, the most important advantage is the people, who are devoted to their home region, who love it, and these are good and well-trained people. The region is located on the western border of the Russian Federation, and this is also of special importance. Therefore, I hope that you will take into account these factors in your new job with a higher level of responsibility and realise your best qualities for the benefit of Smolensk Region residents. I would like to wish you every success.
Vasily Anokhin: I am grateful for your support. This is a huge responsibility for me and a huge challenge. I will do everything in my power, I will make every effort and use all my knowledge and experience to help develop the region and improve the quality of life and well-being of the people who live there. I will try to implement this and do everything that is needed.
Vladimir Putin: Good luck.
At the first opportunity – and you will get one – as soon as you have taken the first steps in this work, we will talk in person and discuss what needs to be done additionally in order to ensure that all the objectives that have been set in terms of the region’s development are achieved.
All the best.