According to the President, Sergei Sobyanin is an experienced manager with the necessary qualities to be the mayor of Moscow.
Among the challenges the city’s new mayor will have to tackle are social issues, the fight against corruption, and transportation-related problems.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Sobyanin, the media have been impatient so let's not hold them in suspense any further. I would like to inform you and everyone present of my decision to submit your candidacy for the position of Moscow mayor to the Moscow City Duma. I am confident that you will succeed in this demanding and responsible position.
Moscow is a special place for all of us, for those who live here, like us, for Muscovites, and for the capital’s visitors. It is a huge metropolis, the country’s capital, a city that has been developing dynamically over the past years, and one that has numerous merits and equally numerous problems. Its problems stem from congestion and a whole set of unresolved social issues, despite the great efforts that have been made to address them.
The new Moscow mayor will have to concentrate on tackling social issues, specifically on raising the standard of living in the city, which is not too low in Moscow compared to the rest of the country but, nevertheless, a lot is still to be done: there are the issues of the elderly and children, and in general the situation must be kept under control.
Unfortunately, there are also problems in Moscow caused by its capital status and by its over-population, such as traffic jams. There is a lot of talk about it, it’s very hard to move around the city, and despite the growing population and an increasing number of cars I am certain that given determination and a competent approach the city’s traffic problem can be greatly improved, if not completely resolved.
There are many opportunities in Moscow for doing business and for implementing various projects but not all of them go smoothly. One reason for that, and we should talk about it openly and frankly, is corruption. Unfortunately, little has been done in this sphere in recent years and in some cases mechanisms have been used that raised questions regarding their compliance with the law.
As Moscow mayor, if you are vested with the power by the Moscow City Duma, you will have to focus very carefully on these aspects and make Moscow’s economic life more open, more competitive, and strictly in compliance with existing legislation.
I am confident that you have the required experience to tackle all these challenges. One of your past positions was Governor of the Tyumen Region, and you were successful in that post and achieved a great deal. Later you worked in the Presidential Executive Office, and your current position is Deputy Prime Minister. We have worked together at all of these stages. You even headed my election campaign headquarters.
Therefore, as I know you from personal experience to be a modern and competent manager, I believe you have the right expertise to become the mayor of our nation’s capital.
Deputy Prime Mnister and Government Chief of Staff Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you, Mr President. This is a great responsibility and I will do everything in my power to justify your trust if I am vested with the powers of Moscow mayor.
I have been living in Moscow for many years and I am very familiar with its troubles and challenges. A great deal has been achieved in recent years but at the same time important issues remain that require immediate action. As you have said, those include social issues, transport-related problems, integration in federal programmes, joint efforts with the federal government, corruption – all of these must become priorities for Moscow City Government.
I think we can tackle all of these issues more successfully if we do it together, jointly with the Government of the Russian Federation, with Presidential Executive Office and the Moscow Region. These are all major challenges but I am confident that they can be addressed successfully.
Dmitry Medvedev: I am also confident that they can be addressed successfully. You were absolutely right to emphasise another important point: although Moscow is Russia’s biggest region and our nation’s capital, it is part of our country and must not be treated as a separate entity. It is a city that lives in accordance with Russian laws with all their merits and problems. Therefore, the Moscow authorities must be fully integrated with the federal government bodies to retain confidence and to be efficient.
Sergei Sobyanin: I think this will benefit Moscow and the entire nation. Such integration will strengthen the synergy of our major projects, national projects and federal programmes, and everything we have been working on.
Dmitry Medvedev: I wish you every success.
Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you very much.