President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Alexey Alexeyevich! On 1 January 2008 the transition period overseeing the formation of a new subject of the Russian Federation – the Kamchatka Region – will end. Work has been going on for a long time and much has been done. I would like you to tell me what its results are and how you perceive the major problems associated with the formation of a new system of governance in the region. Please go ahead.
Governor of Kamchatka Region Alexey Kuzmitsky: Yes Dmitry Anatolyevich, this is a young Federation subject; it was only about a year ago, just over a year ago, that the Kamchatka Region was established. During this transitional period we first addressed the issues surrounding the formation of a system of executive authority in the region. I want to say that as January 1st approaches we are seeing good results. We have increased the pace of industrial production and reduced unemployment. In general, there were more investments into the region this year. <…> The main problem today is bringing social guarantees to a common level. There were more of guarantees in the former Koryak District. In the former Kamchatka region certain safeguards did not exist. We need a longer transition period to amalgamate these social guarantees.
Dmitry Medvedev: If we are talking about bringing social guarantees to a common level, we both understand that we are not able to reduce social security provisions. Therefore, it is obvious — even though it may be difficult — that we have to reach the goal that has been achieved. Maybe this will require a separate transition period. Fine, work on this.
There is one more question that I wanted to ask. Some time ago after the earthquake in the Koryak Region, we issued a number of orders. I myself visited a number of settlements including Tilichiki and Korf. How is reconstruction proceeding? Was every thing that was planned carried out? Are new homes and schools functional? Please give us the details.
Alexey Kuzmitsky: A new housing complex has been built in Tilichiki. Houses, a cultural centre, administration, a hospital, a school. On 1 September 2008 we opened a new school in Khailino were residential houses also have been built. The settlement is well-built and in a new location.
Dmitry Medvedev: A new location? At the time we said that it was better to build in a new location, even taking into account seismic and other issues.
Alexey Kuzmitsky: All work has been completed and implemented. Hospitals are open. Residents are satisfied.
Dmitry Medvedev: And there was a local hospital in Tilichiki?
Alexey Kuzmitsky: There was one, though it was in very poor condition.
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, we visited it; it was in very poor condition.
Alexey Kuzmitsky: A new hospital has been built with modern equipment. A cultural centre has also been built. Houses are quite comfortable. Residents are really happy with the living conditions and recreation opportunities.
Dmitry Medvedev: I remember the words of the chief physician when I visited the hospital. I asked him what additional measures would help and he said: “If possible, it would be good to carry out everything that is planned.” And in general he said that this wasn’t even the most important thing – the most important thing is that they not suffer from another earthquake.
This fortitude struck me at the time: people live and work in the most dire conditions but they are willing to continue working. They are brave people.
It is good that we completed all this. You need to ensure that these facilities do not become dilapidated. And of course to work on developing other places. Alexey Alexeyevich, you have lots of work throughout Kamchatka.