At the beginning of the conversation, Alexander Brechalov noted that Votkinsk had recently received the honorary title, City of Labour Glory, for its great contribution to the victory in the Great Patriotic War, and he spoke about the Votkinsk Plant, one of the oldest enterprises in Russia. Next year, this strategic enterprise with its unique history will celebrate its 265th anniversary. Today, the plant is carrying out important work related to state defence procurement and also developing civil and dual-use products.
Alexander Brechalov said industry was developing at a good pace. The industrial production index is higher than 107 percent, which is above average in Russia. The industrial manufacturing index, which employs 143,000 people, or 33 percent of the working population, is more than 120 percent. He also recalled that Udmurtia is becoming a center for the production of autonomous aerial systems not only for military use but also for civilian purposes.
They also discussed assistance for a district in the Lugansk People’s Republic, where a permanent team is helping to prepare for the heating season and has prepared schools for the school year.
The head of Udmurtia also talked about gas distribution, the overhaul of schools, housing construction, the military and patriotic education of youth, directing young people towards entrepreneurship, and the current programme for the socioeconomic development of the republic until 2030.
As for the problems with exports that arose in the republic in 2022, Mr Brechalov said that entrepreneurs in Udmurtia were reorienting themselves to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa thanks to the Russian Export Center. Uva-Moloko, a leading milk processing company in Russia, began supplying powdered milk to Tunisia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, and Oman. Another leader, which is in the top-five in milk production and processing, is the Komos group of companies, which works with China, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. According to Alexander Brechalov, these new consumer markets are many times bigger than the European market, which now refuses Udmurt products.
The head of the republic also talked about the restoration of the Annunciation Cathedral in Votkinsk, which is one of the largest churches in the Volga Federal District. The original construction began in 1815, and was completed by Ilya Tchaikovsky, father of the famous composer, who headed the Votkinsk plant at the time. On May 7, 1840, the future composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky was baptised in the cathedral. Large businesses are supporting the painting of the church, which has already begun, and on January 7, 2024, the first Christmas service after the restoration will be held. Alexander Brechalov invited the President to this event.
Vladimir Putin asked what problems in the region required special attention. Alexander Brechalov said the biggest problem is the budget deficit, which has persisted for many years, and it is necessary to deal with public debt. This issue needs to be resolved with the Ministry of Finance. The President agreed that this problem must be addressed.
Vladimir Putin also noted the lack of medical workers for ambulances. Alexander Brechalov confirmed that this was still an issue, specifically, at the 118 paramedic and obstetric centres built under the national project, but that healthcare personnel issues were in the focus of his attention.
The President also pointed out the state of medical facilities, especially in rural areas, which require special attention and need to be put in order.