The working group includes 70 specialists from various sectors and is headed by Governor of Astrakhan Region Alexander Zhilkin.
Participants in the meeting, which took place at the Moscow State Academy of Water Transport, included Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, Governor of Volgograd Region Andrei Bocharov, federal and regional executive officials, and representatives of public organisations and the expert community.
Deputy Transport Minister and Director of the Federal Agency for Sea and River Transport Viktor Olersky outlined the structure of the report the working group is preparing for the State Council Presidium meeting. The participants proposed adding to the report sections on developing an effective state system for managing Russia’s internal waterways and making more effective use of water resources.
The participants noted that freight traffic volume on the internal waterways dropped by 3 percent in 2015 and came to 120.7 million tonnes. Freight handling volumes at river ports have also dropped by 6.7 percent and came to 143.6 million tonnes. The participants noted that the regions with internal waterways in active operation account for around 90 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product, and development of these waterways must take into account the interests of various economic sectors in order to find a comprehensive solution to the problems at hand.