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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
Mr Kholmanskikh, we have not been acquainted for very long. I know that your life has been bound up with industry, with the Urals, Nizhny Tagil, and the Uralvagonzavod plant. It is there that you began your career and have spent your working life so far. As I was told, you began your career at a very difficult time, what’s more, during the early and mid-1990s.
I saw how active you were in getting involved in political activities and public life. You have been quite busy in these areas over recent months and even established a public movement and are now in the process of setting up a public organisation, In Defence of Workers. I had the opportunity of meeting with your young colleagues, young men and women, when I visited the plant in Nizhny Tagil.
We talked about ways of continuing our work together. I would like to make you the following offer: I propose that you become Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Urals Federal District.
Igor Kholmanskikh: This would be a great honour for me, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: This is a high position. Given the work you have already done, in your new office you could make use of the people you have been working with lately on your public initiatives, get them involved as volunteers, or have them join your team at the presidential envoy’s office.
The presidential envoy’s job gives the chance to help shape the work of the various administrative organisations and law enforcement agencies, monitor their activity, and make adjustments and corrections if needed. I think that in this context, you, as someone who has spent your working life in industry and knows how ordinary people live, would be the right person for this job and will be able to defend people’s interests.
Igor Kholmanskikh: I hope I will be up to the task.
Vladimir Putin: Good, then let’s give it a try.