President Vladimir Putin: Thank you to the State Council’s working group and the Governor of Krasnoyarsk Region, who heads the working group, for preparing all the necessary documents. As in the past, the results of today’s work will serve as the basis for drawing up a list of presidential instructions that will include practically all the recommendations made during today’s discussions in one form or another.
These recommendations include drafting and approving amendments to the federal targeted program for modernising the country’s transport system. They also include drafting proposals on state tariff policy for transport services in the aim of stimulating an increase in passenger and freight traffic in the Siberian and Far East regions, as [First Deputy Prime Minister] Sergei Borisovich Ivanov said just now.
Another recommendation I particularly want to emphasise is the need to take a decision on differentiated reductions of customs import duties on aircraft, simulators and spare parts that take into account production of these items in Russia itself. But despite the appeal by [President of the Volga-Dnieper Group] Alexei Ivanovich Isaykin, I would not include this proposal on the list for now for the simple reason that we do not yet manufacture Boeing 847 aircraft here in Russia and nor will we be doing so.
I am not against the purchase of foreign technology and equipment. I understand that our carriers need modern technology in order to be competitive on the international and domestic markets. But we need to take a well-planned and balanced approach that takes into account what First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Borisovich Ivanov said just now.
Our policy in this area needs to take into account our plans for production within the Russian Federation. We need to sit down once more with our manufacturers, examine their development plans and possibilities and support them with financial resources, organisational help and administrative resources where it makes sense to do so. We need to ensure that they are able to produce particular technology. But this does not mean that this recommendation is being dismissed entirely, rather, we need to work on it further.
We need to carry out our own production plans. But as you know, and as I have already seen on numerous past occasions, it is easy to write everything down and issue instructions only to see later that production has not actually gone ahead. These are important issues and each word can have a great cost. But as I said, I am not opposed, I am simply saying that we need to work through these issues further.
We also need to draw up the procedures for transferring regional and local airports to the regional authorities in order to develop the regional air transport system, as has already been done in Krasnoyarsk, in St Petersburg and in other places. I ask the Transport Ministry and the Economic Development and Trade Ministry not to hold fast to assets that we are not able to manage efficiently. This process has happened all around the world and it needs to happen here too. Of course, the decisions need to be properly prepared and weigh up all the possibilities and the likelihood of positive results, but there is no need to keep hold of assets just for the sake of it.
We have also discussed the need to implement a series of measures to establish a network of major air transport hubs throughout the Russian Federation, such as the one we plan to develop in Krasnoyarsk. This network will include Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk. It is realistic to carry out these projects in all of these major centres. Finally, it has also been recommended that the regional authorities draft and approve a comprehensive program for urban and suburban transport that would integrate different types of transport and offer a higher quality of service. There are also recommendations to take the needed decisions on providing state support for regional and local air transport, equipping airport infrastructure and so on.
I want to draw your attention to the fact that what we are talking about today is not the issue of survival. We are talking about development. It is very evident to all of us that our country and economy are in a highly neglected state in terms of transport infrastructure development. Transport infrastructure insufficiencies and the problems in the energy sector are real factors holding back our economic growth today. This is what makes the issues we have been discussing today so very important. We must adopt a transport development strategy for the period through to 2030. This strategy needs to be planned in conjunction with the national economic development strategy for the period through to 2020, of course. This strategy needs to be worked on further and adopted, and this will be the first of my instructions.
Thank you very much for your work.