22 october 2010

Vladimir Putin meets with Governor Vasily Golubev at the end of his working visit to Rostov region

Mr Putin and Mr Golubev discussed the region's economy, particularly in agriculture. Mr Golubev assured Mr Putin that the region’s key figures ended the year on an upturn, while at the same time there is some lag in the construction of multi-storey housing. The discussion also touched on winter preparations.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Golubev, four months have passed since you started working here; have you settled in?

Vasily Golubev: Four months and one week. I have visited all the municipalities in the region - there are 55 of them. I visited several different types of organisations in each region - both industrial and agricultural, of course, especially during the harvest. I started by conducting several zoning meetings to prepare for harvesting. I was able to visit the large industrial enterprises, meet with the public, scientists and small and medium-sized businesses.

Just yesterday we concluded our regular "Business of the Don" business forum where we honoured our young businessmen. In general, I believe that I've taken an active role in the region. There are some issues related to the region's organisation. I made some adjustments, and work with the staff continues. I hope that within this week and perhaps before mid-November, I will be able to complete this work.

Vladimir Putin: As a whole, what is your assessment of the regional economy? First, of course, I want to congratulate the farmers of the Rostov region - they have surpassed all expectations, perhaps even their own. Thank God, the disaster has not affected the area very much and we managed to harvest more grain than last year, although agriculture in general is down significantly. What is your assessment of the economy generally?

Vasily Golubev: Mr Putin, in terms of the key figures in agriculture, transport and trade, the region will end the year on an upturn.

We do have a problem with construction. A number of municipalities fell behind in the construction of multi-storey housing. We are pursuing this and hope that we will complete the year by building the planned amount of housing - approximately 1.8 million square metres.

But, in my opinion, we made a good move in that direction, which still took a number of radical solutions to accelerate the resolution of the housing problem for war veterans.

In construction there is a specific problem that requires attention. Next year, we would like - we have a programme for next year that is larger than this period because it was agreed with the Ministry of Regional Development - to add two million square metres of housing. We are now inviting investors to the region are trying to make it more open in the near future in terms of investment in various areas, among them - the construction industry, which, in our opinion, has all the prerequisites for active development.

Vladimir Putin: What is going on with your preparations for the winter?

Vasily Golubev: Mr Putin, you know, I started this work here on my first day as governor. There have been several major meetings on-site, with inspections by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

October 1 - and we have introduced this as a permanent requirement - was the deadline for 100 percent readiness for winter in the Rostov region, despite the fact that there is still summer weather. But this gives us an opportunity to focus and start preparing early at this time. Next year, we plan to - based on this year's experience - this work will literally start in March. Winter is over, and we have gained experience...

Vladimir Putin: So you want to say right now that everything is absolutely ready? All repairs have been carried out?

Vasily Golubev: I'm not ready to say so. We have some problems with mutual settlements, for example, water supply in several cities. In terms of the housing stock and utilities, based on the reports of the municipalities, they are confident that we will go through the winter normally.

Vladimir Putin: Let me give you a word of advice - do not draw conclusions solely from the reports of municipalities.

Vasily Golubev: I understand, Mr Putin.

Vladimir Putin: See what happens on the ground.

Vasily Golubev: Yes, yes. We will definitely do that on-site in each municipality.

Vladimir Putin: Good.