Andrei Nikitin thanked the President for his decision to visit the Defenders of the Fatherland foundation’s centre, and went on to emphasise that the Novgorod Region, just like the country as a whole, was working on multiple fronts to bring the victory within reach. These efforts include supporting veterans, working with those deployed in the combat zone, as well as facilitating the return to civilian life and the rebuilding effort. The Novgorod Region is in charge of helping the Zaporozhye Region and the city of Energodar restore their infrastructure.
The Governor also expressed his gratitude for the President’s decision in 2018 to support the creation of a special economic zone in the region. Seven companies have registered there so far, attracting investment, and the first building has been finished. All this has had a positive impact in terms of private investment and helped increase real wages.
Andrei Nikitin also pointed out that last year the region lagged behind in timber processing, but support measures for this sector helped launch all the plants. The sector now posts above-average growth rates and is about to make up lost ground.
The Governor talked about working with major corporations in various sectors. There are plans to build a plant for producing chemical sources of electric energy and solar batteries in cooperation with Roscosmos, as well as to offer cosmonaut training courses, since people from the region have been eager to apply for cosmonaut selection competitions. The Novgorod Region is in talks with Sberbank for making the so-called Sber Devices. The Governor noted that the region was building a new veterans’ house and designed it as a digital facility so that not only young people, but the elderly too could use the latest devices.
The meeting’s agenda also covered school renovation, a programme to ensure that half of the region’s population gets access to quality water, expanding the gas distribution network, including facilitating household connections, as well as road repairs and the procurement of buses.
Vladimir Putin asked the Governor about the most urgent issues in the healthcare sector. Andrei Nikitin singled out heart diseases, saying that the region established a cardiac service. Last year, it emerged as a top region in terms of reducing the incidence of cardiac diseases. Borovichi and Staraya Russa received new equipment – this way people no longer have to travel to Novgorod in case of an emergency and can undergo surgery right away closer to their homes. The region is also working with the Government on another programme at the President’s instructions, and intends to build a cardiac centre within the next few years.
Vladimir Putin pointed out that the region lacked specialist doctors.
Andrei Nikitin confirmed that the region was facing this challenge, saying that it has already started to address it. First, it sought to retain specialists in the region by helping them resolve their housing issues and providing apartments. This helped stop the drain. In addition, the region increased the number of students enrolled in the corresponding degree programmes and expects graduates from the local medical institute to play their part. According to the Governor, doctors who decide to stay and work in the region can now benefit from advantageous and rather favourable terms of employment.