Taking part in the meeting wqere Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Deputy Prime Ministers Viktoria Abramchenko, Yury Borisov, Tatyana Golikova, Alexander Novak, Alexei Overchuk, Marat Khusnullin, Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of Staff of the Government Dmitry Grigorenko, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Yevgeny Zinichev, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Minister of Healthcare Mikhail Murashko, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin, Head of the Republic of Karelia Artur Parfenchikov, Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Aisen Nikolayev, Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Alexei Teksler and Head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service Maxim Shaskolsky.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
We have recently been talking about our national development goals, about fundamental things. But today, I have gathered you here to discuss current issues; this does not mean they are less important.
Of course, we discuss these things almost every day, but I believe we need to do it today in an expanded format with a view to reaching the necessary decisions and, certainly, to implementing them. These issues have been urgent throughout this abnormally hot summer. Almost all of our regions have faced this inclement weather and the worst thing is that people are suffering.
Heat waves, so-called dry thunderstorms and a lack of rain always provoke wildfires. This year we could hardly have avoided this problem altogether, but some regions still responded promptly to the start of a fire and they managed to eliminate most of them. It was impossible to do this everywhere, no matter how much we would like to, due to access challenges in forests, the hard-to-access, remote locations of the wildfires.
High heat has kept the emergency services busy. Reports and updates on these issues arrive every day. Other regions have been suffering from river floods. Now forests are on fire in Yakutia, Karelia and Chelyabinsk Region.
The heads [of these regions] are with us today, and I would like them to report on the situation with wildfires and the efforts of firefighting units in these regions, and tell us whether they have everything they need.
This summer has also seen the continuing challenge of countering the coronavirus. Everything is very complicated, as we are seeing, and of course, it is clear that people are tired. Almost nobody has escaped this disaster and I realise that you certainly know what is happening not only in our country but also in the overwhelming majority of countries.
Of course, it is difficult to understand many of our colleagues who continue to divide the pandemic into their own problem and a foreign problem and who impede the registration of our vaccines that are obviously safe and effective. I hope we will still be able to organize this work together because trying to counter the pandemic separately makes no sense.
Our main job today is to expedite vaccination rates in the country. It is extremely important to convince people of the need to get vaccinated because this is the only way to end the epidemic. In the process, we need to answer in detail and professionally the complicated questions that people ask about vaccination.
Importantly, the majority of people understand: vaccines are required for saving themselves, their families and friends. Nobody can impose anything in this respect, but it is necessary to explain the issues people have regarding vaccines.
Colleagues, I would like you to give clear-cut, detailed reports about these issues. First, on the course of the vaccination effort; second, on vaccine production; third, on the situation taking shape in the various regions; as you know, it is very different from one region to another. and fourth, tell us about the efforts of the healthcare system in general and how it is faring in these difficult times.
I would like you to tell us about the current situation, not from the very beginning but about the current state of affairs. What additional decisions are probably needed in this area, including support for medical workers?
I would like to emphasise that people feel discouraged about this epidemic. The authorities involved in countering it bear special responsibility.
We have a separate issue, which we have discussed many times for different reasons and in different aspects. I am referring to retail prices of basic goods, primarily food products. The problem of price increases on vegetables, the so-called beetroot soup set, is particularly urgent. We talked about this recently. I would like you to report on the situation in this area.
Preparing children for school is another pressing issue. Please report on your plans to pay 10,000 rubles for every pupil. The decisions have been made, and we have discussed this as well, but I would like to hear what you think about it now.
Let us move on. Mr Zinichev, you have the floor, please.