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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: We are currently going through difficult times in our nation; unfortunately, we are dealing with abnormally hot weather and a large number of fires. The Government is dealing with these problems, and following my instructions, considerable funding was allotted toward rebuilding housing for those who lost their homes. You personally took several trips to see how things stand and talk with people. I hope that we have covered social issues within the scope of our budget possibilities. If we need to do anything else then we will make further decisions, since people cannot choose their weather.
But a thing just as important, which I talked about several times with Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, concerns material and technical equipment for our fire-fighting services. Under normal circumstances, our fire fighters generally work quite well. We have a well-trained department with traditions of its own. Right now, these people are acting like heroes. They are working extremely hard, putting out all the fires. But on the other hand, it is clear that their capabilities are not up to these weather conditions. Thus, I have instructed Mr Shoigu to come up with proposals regarding additional material and technical re-equipment of the Emergency Situations Ministry, and I would like the Government Cabinet to work on this matter as well.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: We have already discussed this today: we talked about motor and air transport and the list of important facilities that require special protection. We have agreed that by Monday, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, along with the Finance Ministry, will coordinate and finalize certain documents and numbers, including financial resources and additional staffing.
As for social issues, I must say that the work on-site is being done very quickly – I saw how it’s being done in several regions, not all, of course. I think that we must all continue to analyse and monitor everything. I would like to request, as we discussed earlier, that you engage the Presidential Executive Offices as well.
Dmitry Medvedev: We will certainly do that; they are working on it already. This is truly a large-scale disaster, and everyone needs to be involved: the Government and the Presidential Executive Office, including plenipotentiary representatives in the regions and districts, and naturally, the regional and municipal authorities. That is the only way that we will be able to cope with this problem. As for the necessary decisions, we will make them all.