At the start of the conversation, the President noted that there were many issues to discuss, including highly sensitive and pointed ones in line with the current situation. However, he suggested that they begin by considering the situation in Togliatti and the performance of the AvtoVAZ car manufacturer.
Dmitry Azarov reported on the 2022 performance of the region’s biggest work team, which produced 220,000 SKD kits, or noticeably less than in 2021, when 431,000 SKD kits were manufactured. The most difficult situation was in the second quarter, and the forecasts were even more pessimistic. However, on June 8, thanks to the effective solutions proposed by the new management team and support measures extended at the President’s instructions, the car manufacturer resumed its operations. In the second half of the year, it operated at the previous year’s level. Next year, the factory is planning to produce no less than 400,000 cars and SKD kits. AvtoVAZ is hiring additional personnel.
The Governor also spoke about how the region was implementing national projects and presidential instructions issued earlier. He recalled that in 2022, the Samara Region, like the whole of Russia, faced unprecedented Western sanctions but demonstrated high adaptability and is finding new opportunities for development.
The President noted a very big increase in funding in the region. Dmitry Azarov explained that as the region proved its ability to implement large-scale tasks, the federal centre provided support to it.
In all, the region participates in 14 national projects. Specifically, the Environment national project will help the region to resolve, within three years, the problem of the large volume of effluents not treated to standard quality. Before January 1, 2023, seven wastewater treatment facilities with a total capacity of over 59 million cubic metres of untreated wastewater were put into operation. Another 11 facilities are planned for 2023. The total capacity will be 268 million cubic metres of untreated wastewater.
The healthcare sector is undergoing large-scale modernisation. For example, almost 14,000 units of medical equipment have been delivered under the Healthcare national project. The ambulance fleet has been completely renewed.
Vladimir Putin drew attention to the need to combat HIV infection. Dmitry Azarov confirmed the fact that regional morbidity rates exceeded average nationwide rates, although over the past 10 years there had been a tendency towards a reduction. The problem is acute in Togliatti, in the first place, the authorities are focusing their efforts there and are planning to take additional measures in 2023.
The discussion also touched upon the development in the field of education, culture and sport, as well as positive results in the construction sector, the relocation of people from dilapidated housing and the improvement of public spaces. For example, in the past years, an embankment has been built in every city in the Samara Region, located on the Volga River. Sweeping changes are taking place in transport infrastructure. Work is underway to build bridges across all the main regional water arteries, including the Volga River. The investment climate is improving. According to the Governor, these results exceed the national average.
Mr Azarov also reported on measures to support Snezhnoye, a twin city in the Donetsk People’s Republic. All 82 facilities scheduled for 2022, are complete. This includes schools, kindergartens, boiler houses, buildings, utility mains and road structures. The Samara Region will continue to assist the twin city.
The Governor also touched upon the events of early 2023 when service personnel, conscripted from the Samara Region, were killed in Makeyevka during a missile strike on January 1. This came as a heavy blow for the entire region. A regional command centre was established on January 2, and on January 3, a Deputy Defence Minister chaired a special meeting at the Defence Ministry. The meeting participants specified the procedure for interaction between the Ministry and the Samara Region, in relation to treating wounded service personnel at the Samara military hospital and at specialised hospitals in St Petersburg and Moscow, with expertise in treating specific injuries.
According to the Governor, the region devotes special attention to the families of service personnel who have been killed in action. The region also provides support to the military units where region’s residents serve and to their families.
The region has a large defence industry sector, the President noted. The Governor mentioned that the sector consists of 27 leading enterprises, and it posted 18 percent growth in 2022. There are even more ambitious plans for 2023. The Governor expressed confidence that all the tasks set will be accomplished.
Following his report to the President on the situation in the Samara Region, Dmitry Azarov also informed Vladimir Putin that, with account taken of the large-scale tasks facing the region and the expiry of his term of office in 2023, he intended to run for governor in the upcoming elections. Vladimir Putin wished Dmitry Azarov success.