President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov: Good afternoon, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Krasnov, you have an update on your agency’s performance, correct? Please, go ahead.
Igor Krasnov: Mr President, the prosecution agencies continue to work in a consistent manner on the tasks you identified as priorities for us at the expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General's Office Board earlier this year.
As a result of our work in the first six months of the year, many prosecutors were given additional specific assignments such as to conduct supervisory activities and address violations with account taken of the specifics and the circumstances in each particular region of our country.
In anticipation of the upcoming single election days, we ensured strict compliance with electoral and other legislation to prevent possible violations and to promptly address them, if any.
At the same time, we responded to acute social issues which, as you know, can destabilise the situation during this time. We monitored compliance with the law regarding pensioners, children, orphans, people with disabilities, Great Patriotic War veterans, and large families.
In the first six months of the year alone, following the results of our work, courts satisfied over 6,000 of our claims in defence of socially vulnerable population groups. This includes creating a barrier-free environment, providing assistance to large families as mandated by legislation, and other matters.
Due to the increasing number of instances where people with disabilities were denied the provision of rehabilitation equipment due to its cost, I immediately addressed the Prime Minister [Mikhail Mishustin] with a proposal to take response measures. As of today, all necessary measures have been taken, and the situation is improving.
We monitor the situation around the clock regarding compliance with legislation concerning military and mobilised personnel and their families in terms of providing state support. We responded to cases of denial of or low-quality medical care to the wounded, denial of rehabilitation aids, and denial of medical insurance pay-outs in cases of the deaths of military and mobilised personnel to their family members. Thousands of enforcement proceedings against mobilised personnel have been suspended, and a grace period has been provided to everyone who has taken out a loan. We will continue this work, Mr President.
Currently, the prosecution agencies have about four million complaints from citizens. As I have reported in the past, we are reviewing all of them in a comprehensive manner in order to identify systemic problems, so we can quickly resolve them, and reduce social tensions.
What issues interest people the most? Violations in the housing and utilities sector and overstated utility tariffs continue to top the list. Each year, prosecution agencies receive hundreds of thousands of such complaints. We respond quickly to each of them, take supervisory action and restore justice. Some supervisory measures are a lengthy process, for example, the provision of water for specific communities or issues pertaining to the heating season.
Mr President, as per your instructions, this year we carried out a comprehensive statutory compliance audit in the sphere of electric power industry, gas distribution and high-quality power supply. Following the inspection, this year, we eliminated unjustified expenses worth over five billion rubles from utility company rates. The people were basically paying these costs.
In addition, the supervisory measures made it possible to reduce tariff rates for the next two years by over four billion rubles. Electricity bills for individuals have been recalculated in 23 Russian regions, due to substandard electricity distribution.
Vladimir Putin: What does “substandard electricity” mean?
Igor Krasnov: This means irregular power supply.
Vladimir Putin: This is a substandard service.
Igor Krasnov: Yes, substandard service.
Additionally, prosecutors in all regions responded to the failure of officials to meet deadlines to repair utility systems. We are recording a slow response of the concessions to maintain the utilities infrastructure. So all prosecutors are auditing concession agreements, especially long-term agreements, including until 2050, as well as the specific terms for signing concession agreements. For example, certain concession agreements do not aim to repair or renovate utilities infrastructure before 2042. This is why prosecutors are looking into these issues, and we will respond accordingly.
Vladimir Putin: No repairs are stipulated before 2042?
Igor Krasnov: Unfortunately, no repairs were planned in many cases.
We continued providing supervising support for national priority projects. Unfortunately, in as many as 80 Russian regions cases of embezzlement and concurrent misconduct have been recorded. Hundreds of criminal cases were initiated based on our investigations; we will continue this work.
With the help of supervisory measures, repair and construction works have been completed on more than 50 socially important facilities in the country. In addition, it helped to put expensive equipment into service in schools and hospitals.
Mr President, to reduce the burden on doctors, 34 regions have transitioned from using many information systems to an integrated regional information system following our proposal. This helped increase the time a doctor spends with a patient by reducing the time needed for completing reports and doing other paperwork.
During the preparations for and the holding of the children’s summer health promotion campaign, over 12,000 violations were eliminated by prosecutors. They were mostly related to sanitary-epidemiological and fire safety requirements; there also have been violations related to catering service, and the transportation of children to resorts and back. We used harsh measures in response to cases of infections and mass food poisoning of children at health resorts. This effort will also be continued.
On September 1, this month, many prosecutors attended ceremony events at schools and universities. This was preceded by a lot of work on control over the timely completion of repairs, construction and commissioning of new schools.
Our constant attention was devoted to the issues of reducing administrative pressure on business. We have already begun drafting a plan of inspections for 2024. Naturally, we will do everything in our power to keep the number of inspections as low as possible. The main, key criteria is the policy to not conduct inspections at low-risk facilities. We understand that each inspection should be considered with regard to the existing risks.
Mr President, a lot has also been done in transport oversight. During the special military operation, the issue of security, as well as the reliable functioning of transport infrastructure, has been under the control of prosecutors.
In addition, we continued to monitor the implementation of projects to construct seaports and related infrastructure. We made sure that budget funds were spent as intended, and that infrastructure was commissioned according to the schedule and within the deadlines stipulated by the law and contractual obligations.
As part of the deoffshorisation of the Russian economy, and within the efforts to protect the interests of state property, the courts have satisfied over 24,000 of our claims relating to the illegal loss of state property, valued at more than 187 billion rubles. By using supervision measures, we also managed to release a number of key strategic enterprises, that are essential to Russia’s economy and security, from foreign control.
In general, prosecutors are focused on responding to Russia’s social and economic development tracks, while considering the geopolitical and external situation.
We also looked into issues of compliance with housing, labour and pension law, as well as compliance with legislation in the field of environment and information security. We continue to coordinate the work of law enforcement agencies to combat crime, corruption, extremism and terrorism.
Of course, Mr President, all these issues cannot be resolved without the professionals working in the prosecution agencies, including in the new regions.
Starting from September 1, a branch of the Russian Prosecutor's Office University opened in Lugansk, where specialists are already being trained under higher education programmes, and also advanced training programmes are available for prosecution officers from the new regions.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Krasnov, I know that you do a lot to maintain the rule of law in the defence industry sector, for which I would like to thank you separately. I hope that this work, like the work in other areas, including on the observance of the citizens’ lawful rights and interests in the social sphere, will continue.
Thank you very much.
Igor Krasnov: Thank you, Mr President. Of course.