On the agenda for today are issues of developing the transport infrastructure of eastern Russia.
We discussed issues of this nature in a similar group in Blagoveshchensk in 2000. Today, let us analyse what has already been done in this area, and what remains to be done.
For the Far East and the Trans-Baikal region, an efficient and highly effective transport complex is of enormous importance. In many ways, it determines the development of those territories that are quite remote from the centre of Russia, along with the economy as a whole, and successful cooperation with foreign partners. This primarily concerns the development of our contacts with the dynamically developing countries of the Asian and Pacific region.
Increased attention has been given to the transport complex in recent years. We have made fundamental decisions concerning long-term plans for the development of this industry, and the perspectives of development for the Trans-Baikal and Amur regions. The Transport Strategy of Russia has been approved by the State Council and the Government of the Russian Federation. Essentially, a long-term programme of development for the national transport system has been passed. One of its priorities is the modernisation of the Far Eastern transport complex. Furthermore, specific tasks have been set for creating new objects of the transport infrastructure.
We expect that these measures will significantly increase the country's competitive position, and will help to develop a strong transport network, and on this basis to create an effective internal market of transport services, and expand our transit resources.
At the same time, the current situation in the transport complex of eastern Russia is of course far from ideal. Transport expenses make up over 20% of the gross regional product. The national figure is only about 9%. The state of the regional air fleet is justified cause for concern. A large part of the fleet is still flying on extended periods of performance specifications.
The problem of updating railway locomotives is no less important. Over 60% of freight turnover through this territory is transported by rail. I would like to remind you that significant budget funds from both the federal budget and territorial sources are spent on modernising the regional transport system. An automated system of air traffic control has been introduced in five airports. The electrification of the Trans-Siberian Railway has been completed. Today, Viktor Ishayev and I visited the Chita-Khabarovsk highway. Through traffic has been opened on this road. The Lena highway has been reconstructed in the Bolshoi Never-Yakutsk section.
However, the fundamental task – to create an efficient transport network in the region that is convenient for citizens and freighters – has yet to be solved.
In connection with this, I would like to outline our priority tasks.
We must above all modernise the transport infrastructure of the region. And this needs to be done comprehensively, taking into account the development of different types of transport, and also communications, energy and connections. The most modern technical and ecological safety norms need to be introduced, and of course deadlines and quality must be observed in building new objects.
Special attention should be given to ports. As you know, the programme for modernising the transport system of Russia stipulates the operation of modern transfer complexes, including the construction of oil terminals and terminals for transfer of liquefied natural gas. And I would ask everyone responsible for implementing these decisions to observe the schedule deadlines for putting these objects into operation.
It is extremely important to balance the port industry with the infrastructures of railway transport and the pipeline system. This will make it possible to increase the export potential of the east of Russia and solve a number of tactical tasks on the capacity of the main regional transport routes.
The main departments are currently preparing their proposals on developing pipeline transportation in Russia. Yesterday I signed an order to the Government, and I hope that despite all the administrative processes, which are currently taking place, the Government will soon give a full formulation of its plan for the development of pipeline transportation in Russia as a whole, and in the east of the country in particular.
It is necessary to modernise the Sakhalin railway, and also border crossing and pre-port stations. There also needs to be faster reconstruction of airports and renewal of the air fleet. Additionally, diversified forms of cooperation with foreign partners need to be created. And above all their intellectual and resource potential should be used to increase the quality of projects and introduction of innovative technology.
This is only a very general summary of what I considered it necessary to discuss, and to draw your attention to at today's meeting. We will talk about these issues and also about other problems you consider important in the context of the topic under discussion.