At the beginning of the meeting, Vladimir Putin said that the region demonstrated good construction rates and continued to make investments, but that there were also issues of concern, which he suggested discussing.
Andrei Nikitin reported that last year, thanks to industrial sector’s development, real income of the population had increased and poverty levels had significantly fallen. 2023 has been declared the year of social support in the region, and additional support measures are being taken for those in need. Among the challenges the Governor named the low level of gas supply provision, only 55 percent. With the help of Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, a programme was drafted under which in the next five years access to gas infrastructure will be providing to as many settlements as in the previous 50 years.
The Governor also reported a low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent, which was the cause of another problem: lack of personnel for radio electronics, chemistry and mechanical engineering. The Governor talked about the establishment of modern laboratories. Five years ago there were only two, while now there are 99 of them. A new medical college opened in Staraya Russa, and a national high-tech championship is being held in the region. Today, about 80 percent of Novgorod Region students choose local colleges and technical schools, and 85 percent of them then go to work at regional enterprises.
The third objective, according to the Governor, is to deal with challenges in healthcare, to reduce the number of heart disease deaths. Additional regional funds in the amount of 1.5 billion rubles have been invested to purchase sophisticated equipment, such as angiography and MRI machines. As a result the mortality rate is going down at a good pace. Andrei Nikitin thanked the President for his instruction to build a cardiology centre. A single cardiac service is being created.
The Governor also reported on the progress in implementing the programme for the restoration of war graves, an effort very warmly welcomed by the residents. The first monument in Russia to the victims of genocide during the Nazi occupation, i.e. a monument to civilian population, has been erected, and the first court hearing to recognise this genocide was also held in the Novgorod Region.
The Governor also touched on the current tasks related to the special military operation. There are three of them: to support new regions (the Novgorod Region is helping the Zaporozhye Region), to support the fighters participating in the SMO, and to support veterans.
Vladimir Putin drew the Governor's attention to the problems that still need attention, in particular, the quality of water, and also reminded him that 63 percent of schools are in need of repairs and renovation. Andrei Nikitin said that around 30 schools are already being repaired, while only a few new schools are needed – the population is not growing that fast.
The President also drew the Governor’s attention to the high traffic death rate and asked about the reasons for that. Mr Nikitin replied that, unfortunately, it was connected with the federal roads. He said that a lot of works are in the plans on the M10 federal highway, which is being widened, and that the region would render support and, of course, carry out safety measures.