Opening Remarks at Meeting of the State Commission Organising Celebrations of the 1000th Anniversary of Yaroslavl 2008-10-03 17:33:17 The Kremlin, Moscow President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, We have gathered to discuss a good event, an important event: this is the first meeting of the state commission organising celebrations of the 1000th anniversary of Yaroslavl. We saw this jubilee from the start as an event of national significance. This is not without reason, for Yaroslavl was a stronghold of Russian statehood over the course of centuries, and a prominent trade and economic, cultural and political centre that played an important part in the emergence of the Russian state. Yaroslavl is today one of the towns forming Russia’s famed Golden Ring. In July 2005, the town’s historic centre was included on the list of heritage sites protected by UNESCO. This gives Yaroslavl advantages that we should use to the full in our preparations for this celebration, for this anniversary we will all mark. This anniversary offers the opportunity to make Yaroslavl not just a tourism destination offering the highest standards, but also make it a city that offers a comfortable living environment for its own residents, and this is something I discussed with the Governor just recently. It is also a good opportunity to promote the city as well, at the international level too. Less than two years remain before the anniversary, and this is not long. Over this time we need to complete the projects outlined and lay the foundations for the city’s development in the coming decades. Yaroslavl is one of Russia’s leading industrial centres today in terms of production volumes. It is home to growing machine-building, chemicals, food-processing and oil refinery industries. The city is undertaking active construction work, building sports and exhibition centres, and carrying out infrastructure projects. The organisational decisions have all been taken now. First, an organising committee was set up and it was later transformed into a state commission. The development priorities have been set now and plan for the main events drawn up. Today we need to clarify the plan’s main stages and deadlines. We need to decide what interim results we expect and what results we expect to see in the nearest future. And we also need to examine the problems that exist and reflect on what additional measures should be taken at federal and regional level to resolve them. We will, of course, discuss all of these issues, and I am sure that our joint work will help to make Yaroslavl one of the symbols of Russia’s great history and its rich culture will get a new development impetus. This is truly an affair of state importance. I am sure that we will be able to celebrate this anniversary in the most worthy fashion.