Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, Roman Valentinovich,
Congratulations on your inauguration as governor of Chukotka Autonomous District.
A lot has been accomplished in Chukotka over recent years to bring rapid development to this northern region. I think it is essential to not only consolidate but also multiply these achievements.
I would like to hear your proposals for the region’s social and economic development.
Roman Kopin: Dmitry Anatolyevich,
As far as a brief overview of the social and economic situation in Chukotka Autonomous District is concerned, the district’s government has written up a report on the current situation and our development plans, and I would like to mention a few points in particular.
The region’s social and economic development over the first half of the year saw the main macroeconomic indicators up on results for the same period last year. In particular, production of gold, silver, coal and electricity all increased. Average monthly wages are now 3,000–4,900 roubles – up by 25 percent compared to the same period last year, and real wages have increased by 16.7 percent.
As a result, the district’s consolidated budget revenue has now increased by 10.7 percent. The district’s government hopes to maintain these positive trends.
Dmitry Medvedev: Do you think the district has a sufficient revenue base?
Roman Kopin: Unfortunately, although the district now has a balanced budget, and the government is managing to maintain it this way, the situation cannot be called stable because the district’s budget is very dependent on money from the federal budget, which accounts for 73–75 percent of revenue. In other words, only a quarter of budget revenue comes from the district’s own resources.
Our main task then, as I see it, is to optimise the district’s spending in the public sector and other areas, and our other big task is to increase revenue.
Dmitry Medvedev: How?
Roman Kopin: Above all, I propose developing production and industry in the district.
Dmitry Medvedev: What kinds of industry?
Roman Kopin: Given the region’s geological specificities, I am convinced that the mining industry is the area to develop: mining of precious metals and coal, fossils fuels and oil production.
A number of successful gold mining projects are underway today. Gold production increased over the first half of the year. Last year, Chukotka Autonomous District produced just 4.5 tons of gold, but this year it has already produced four tons of gold. We hope to increase this figure and bring output up to 14–15 tons by the end of the year. And this is just the beginning.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good. Keep working on developing investment and industry. But at the same time, of course, you need to do everything to ensure that the social sector also continues to develop as it has been of late. You must do everything within your power in this respect.