17 september 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with President Aslan Tkhakushinov of the Republic of Adygea

At the meeting, they discussed the social and economic situation in the region. According to President Tkhakushinov, Adygea more than doubled its consolidated budget from 5.1 billion roubles to 12.5 billion roubles in a matter of two and a half years. Despite the economic downturn, the republic has retained basic industrial and agricultural indices. The unemployment rate is 2.2%.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Thank you for organising the reception for the participants of the rally so well. They are obviously happy, and, I should say, even inspired by your hospitality.

Aslan Tkhakushinov: This is a festive occasion for our republic, too. We seldom see such events, so the entire city gathered here today. The people were thrilled.

Vladimir Putin: It's an international team, with some very interesting people.

Aslan Tkhakushinov: Yes, I saw how interested you were.

Vladimir Putin: What is the situation in your republic? First of all, what do you think about the economic situation?

Aslan Tkhakushinov: I tried to tell you about it today, but you were too busy at the forum. We have more than doubled the consolidated budget in a matter of two and a half years: we had 5.1 billion roubles compared with the current 12.5 billion roubles. We have commissioned 49 new projects, including schools, hospitals, industrial plants, filtering stations and so on.

Today, we wanted to show you the blueprints for the mountain resort we are planning to build. Preparations for the infrastructure have begun already, and we have spent a billion roubles out of its budget. We would like to have federal assistance for the further development of infrastructure, if there is an opportunity, and the rest of necessary funds will come from private investment. We will surely bring this project to completion. The resort will be in Lago-Naki, close to Krasnaya Polyana. This is our most complicated project because the height of the site varies from 3,000 metres to 1,600 and 1,200 above sea level...

Vladimir Putin: I remember it. You want to arrange it in three stages.

Aslan Tkhakushinov: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: Okay, I will look into it. What do you think about the economic situation as a whole?

Aslan Tkhakushinov: There are some improvements.

Vladimir Putin: What are the results of the first half of the year?

Aslan Tkhakushinov: Despite the economic downturn, the republic has retained basic industrial and agricultural indices because orders continue to come in.

The gear box plant and the engineering plant had contracts for piecework, and managed with all the orders. We surely make it a point to start new manufacturing companies because our gross regional product is too small as yet because there is practically no industry here.

We had a difficult start - more difficult than many because ours was an entirely agrarian republic. Today, we have high technology in feeding complexes and dairy farms, and we want to shift cattle farms to Dutch methods. A pig-raising farm, which we have mentioned, has reached full capacity.

We signed another contract during the Sochi forum today, and they want still another. The same company is building a cattle farm, so we will start large-scale meat and dairy production.

We are optimistic about the future but aware of our shortcomings.

Vladimir Putin: Were there any employment problems last year?

Aslan Tkhakushinov: None - no serious problems, at any rate. Unemployment accounts for 2.2% of the working population - 4,485 people, to be precise. I don't think that these figures are reliable, however, because some people have unregistered farm jobs. They work but register as unemployed to get on  welfare. We know about such people and try to get them official jobs. But we do not want to be tough about this.

Relations between people in our republic are not affected by political prejudice, and do not depend on respect or disrespect of ethnicity or religion. We have peace and accord, and no such problems.

Vladimir Putin: Thank God.

Aslan Tkhakushinov: I think this is our principal achievement, and we will try to maintain it.

I want to ask your advice. Adygea has left the North Caucasian Federal District to stay with the richest areas: the Krasnodar Territory, the Rostov Region and the Republic of Kalmykia... We can compete with them a bit and win on many indices. But we are glad to see the federal programmes you are implementing despite what is going on in these [North Caucasian] republics. I talked at the forum today with Mr Khloponin (Alexander Khloponin, deputy prime minister and presidential envoy to the North Caucasian Federal District). I asked him either to transfer Adygea under his responsibility or involve it in the projects we were discussing.

Vladimir Putin: We will see.