First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on an upcoming final meeting of the Roskosmos collegium and a planned visit to Lipetsk
Sergei Ivanov: Roskosmos will hold its final collegium meeting on January 23. I plan to take part in this meeting because 2008 is in a certain sense a decisive year for the Russian space sector’s development outlook. The Russian Security Council will hold a meeting during the first half of the year to work out the development outlook for the space sector through to 2020 and beyond.
We will be paying particularly close attention to the GLONASS project, looking at both the space-based component, that is, improving the quality of our satellites and spacecraft, and also the ground-based component, including the ground-based user equipment and the three-dimensional electronic maps that will cover first the Russian Federation and eventually the entire world.
Financing for the space sector will increase by 13 percent in 2008, not counting the state arms procurement programme. This is a sizeable increase. Individual programmes in the space sector will be assessed from the point of view of making them as effective as possible and ensuring that we get the best returns on the funds we spend.
Furthermore, Roskosmos is set to begin practical work this year on carrying out your instruction to establish a new Russian space launch centre in the Far East region. This issue will also be on the collegium’s agenda.
Aside from this, I plan this Friday to make a one-day visit to Lipetsk together with Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina to take part in the opening of the first section of our second industrial zone, which is located in Lipetsk. The first industrial zone was opened last year in Yelabuga in Tatarstan, and now the second zone is opening in Lipetsk. Two resident companies have already registered and begun production activities in Lipetsk. One company is producing household electronics goods, and the other is producing construction materials, something for which there is huge demand right now on the Russian market, which faces a real shortage in construction materials. We hope very much that the Lipetsk industrial zone will become a second growth centre, a cluster of high-technology and science-intensive production. We will keep watch on developments and report on the results later. Thank you.
First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the results of a visit to Chelyabinsk
Dmitry Medvedev: I visited Chelyabinsk, a city with well-known environmental problems. Strong economic growth in the country is seeing new production facilities opening, while old facilities are now running at design capacity (this is the case at the big steelworks). Although company owners are investing in purification and waste treatment equipment, this is nonetheless a situation that we need to keep watch on.
We had quite a good and productive discussion with the environmental protection movements. We discussed environmental protection standards and the need for technological modernisation in the sector. This is all part of the preparations for the Security Council meeting that will take place at the end of the month and is set to draft a series of proposals. These proposals are both technological and organisational in nature. I think that we also need to examine the issue of which agency is responsible for these matters, because we have a fair number of organisations with similar responsibilities. Looking to the future, we need to decide which agency will be the main federal agency responsible for environmental issues.
Vladimir Putin: The big companies in the sector have indeed been doing much of late to improve the environmental situation though. The Magnitogorsk Steelworks is investing considerable money in this work.