President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: The government cabinet has approved a transport strategy through to 2030. The document is important, fundamental, and has been developed over a long time. Naturally, it contains different sections, but I would like to know more about the situation related to my instructions to create a public company to develop road networks.
This is an eternal challenge for our country. Whoever was in power, whatever the social order, they always worked on Russian roads and, to put it mildly, did so very badly.
We agreed some time ago to create special tools to tackle this truly daunting challenge for our country. What has been done? What are the proposals?
Transport Minister Igor Levitin: According to your instruction we developed the idea of a public company in the form of a non-profit organisation, and this is what will be established. This company will oversee overburdened road networks and determine the conditions and criteria to make them toll roads.
This is being done to attract extra-budgetary investment to ensure that these roads can accommodate traffic as needed. There will be a special list of roads. International transport corridors will make up its core.
All documents to establish this company have been agreed on, we have had a meeting with the Prime Minister, and this week at the governmental commission on transport and communications these documents will be looked at one final time. Documents on a law for this company will then be prepared to be sent to the State Duma.
Dmitry Medvedev: We really do need to finish all of this as we agreed, and then determine how the company will work because it is very important that it has trained personnel to quickly set up its charter capital. How will the roads be overseen by the company?
Igor Levitin: It will manage them.
Dmitry Medvedev: In other words, the roads will, of course, remain public but the company will manage them.
Igor Levitin: Yes, they will be managed by the company and the areas bordering the roads will be as well, and this is very important because we need to organise better services on these roads. And fees for services and the passage of heavy trucks will be invested in developing roads. One of the important conditions is that we will then be able to reduce the share of federal funds required for the maintenance of roads and can invest more money in roads that are not toll roads.
Dmitry Medvedev: This sounds wise. But we should still think about how we can improve legislation on toll roads.