The discussion focused on the socioeconomic situatio in the region, environmental matters, and efforts to help defrauded homebuyers.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Degtyarev, I am aware that you have many questions, including the one concerning the environment. You want to talk about the Amur River.
Acting Governor of Khabarovsk Territory Mikhail Degtyarev: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: Let us begin with that, before moving on to other subjects.
Mikhail Degtyarev: Mr President, I would like to submit our presentation to you. It includes a proposal for adding the Amur River to the Environment National Project. We propose creating a separate federal project to prepare an action plan to save the Amur, similar to that of the Volga and Baikal projects.
The Amur River feeds millions of people in our country, as well as in neighbouring countries. There are some environmental problems, primarily those related to the spring floods and, secondly, pollution, including by industrial effluents, plus fish stock replenishment, considering that so many people work in the fishing industry. This is why we have formulated our proposal to the Government and you for creating a separate federal Amur project.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Degtyarev, this is a very important, relevant and extremely noble cause. You have mentioned the Volga and Baikal. Everything regarding them, including the sources of pollution, is quite clear to us. What about the Amur?
Mikhail Degtyarev: Mr President, some of the sources of pollution are located beyond Russia, and so we propose creating a cross-border project together with our neighbours, because there are sources of pollution in the People’s Republic of China as well.
Vladimir Putin: In this case, we should discuss the matter with our neighbours and friends, so as to be able to launch a joint project. I am emphasising this deliberately.
Mikhail Degtyarev: This is exactly what we planned to propose.
And the second project – keeping in mind that the Khabarovsk Territory is a border region – concerns the development of Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island. There have been initiatives from our Chinese partners and neighbours. We, in turn, have built a bridge to the island, and suspended further work for now. We have reviewed all your instructions and propose returning to this matter later this year, but starting with a smaller one – a freight-and-passenger crossing to Bolshoi Ussuriysky – in order to step up trade and passenger traffic. Until now, we did not have a single freight-and-passenger crossing. We have only one border checkpoint at the Khabarovsk airport, one at the river port and in one of the districts of the Khabarovsk Territory.
Therefore, we propose and we ask you to support this project and start small, at least open checkpoints for passengers and cargo with room for future development, including, perhaps, duty-free zones and, possibly, a dry port. Traffic with our neighbours is growing. And Khabarovsk residents are a little jealous of the neighbouring regions.
Vladimir Putin: This can certainly be done. But both in the first and in the second case, we will need documents, proposals drawn up, design estimates. Which of those do you have now?
Mikhail Degtyarev: We have prepared letters; the project is being reviewed by the Russian-Chinese commission. Well, we would also like your approval to intensify this work.
Vladimir Putin: Ok. Let’s look at them now.
How is the overall situation?
Mikhail Degtyarev: Mr President, I would like to personally thank you for your trust and for sending me to the Khabarovsk Territory, as you said then, a region with very active people, and this has been confirmed.
(Further on, Mikhail Degtyarev spoke about economic issues; payment of benefits for children under the April and May Presidential executive orders; reducing the transport tax in the region; supporting talented schoolchildren, cultural figures and young scientists; the unresolved problem with defrauded homebuyers; flood relief efforts; the need to increase spending on territorial public self-government; support for local initiatives; and socially-oriented public organisations.)
Mikhail Degtyarev: Mr President, allow me to address you regarding Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the industrial centre of the entire Russian Far East. We responded to a request made by the residents of Komsomolsk-on-Amur who had collected signatures and sent a petition to you according to the law, asking for the city to be granted the honorary title of the City of Labour Glory. On behalf of all city residents, I would like to ask you to personally support this initiative and grant the title to that glorious city.
Vladimir Putin: Ok, we need to think about it, we will most certainly consider it. Komsomolsk-on-Amur is indeed the industrial centre of the Far East and a city of distinguished people who work hard to perform tasks of national importance in various essential areas such as improving Russia’s defence capability, and industrial production. So, I do understand what you mean, there is no question about it. We will review this matter in the most favourable manner.
Mikhail Degtyarev: Mr President, also on behalf of all the people living in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, I would like to personally thank you as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief for placing additional orders with the city’s companies. I am referring to the six corvettes for the Navy and an additional order for Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft. The only manufacturer of the fifth-generation Su-57 is also based in Komsomolsk, of course. Thank you on behalf of all the workers at these factories.
Vladimir Putin: Please pass my best regards and words of gratitude to the workers at these factories for the results that they bring. The entire country is proud of these companies’ products. Not only are they our pride but also a significant contributor to Russia’s defence capability. So please pass on my best wishes to them.
I can see that you are quite well informed about the main issues and problems in the major areas of work. So keep your eyes on the ball. Now let’s discuss each of these matters in more detail and try to find solutions.
Mikhail Degtyarev: Thank you, Mr President.