Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Baltiysky Zavod during his trip to St Petersburg
2 december 2011
During his visit to the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed his desire to see it provided with contracts as well as its operation normalised.
He inspected a model of a floating low-yield nuclear power plant currently under construction at Baltiysky Zavod.
Then Putin went to the shipyard’s mechanical engineering shop, where it produces ship fixtures, large machine building units and occasionally bells. The prime minister was shown how the equipment operates. In particular, he saw how a simple lathe can actually process the most sophisticated units from all kinds of alloys.
Putin also talked to Vladimir Matveyev, a lathe operator.
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, so what’s going on with this machine?
Worker: They are working over the body. By the way, Mr Putin, may I ask you a question?
Vladimir Putin: Sure.
Worker: There are no contracts, no work, no money, and life just seems to be getting better all the time. Do you think it is worth voting on December 4?
Vladimir Putin: Of course it is.
Worker: So life will get a little better then?
Vladimir Putin: It will. It is worth voting. The situation at Baltiysky Zavod is a different issue altogether, especially when compared to the shipbuilding industry. We have big plans and a good outlook for shipbuilding. Regrettably, Baltiysky Zavod isn’t faring so well. It is in difficult economic straits, but we’ll talk about it today and suggest a plan for its financial and economic recovery. We’ll offer you contracts and draw up the conditions for the shipyard’s development and preservation of its manpower.
Worker: Well, I’ve just about worked my entire life here at the factory.
Vladimir Putin: I understand. I have come to put our plans down on paper, endorse them and guarantee their fulfilment by all means necessary.
As for the elections, it goes without saying that you must go. Of course, I hear different opinions on the matter. Some people say it is better to ignore the elections. These people are guided by a well-known formula – the worse it gets the better! But it is only better for those willing to fish in troubled waters, and for others it will be worse.
Why is it this way? It’s this way because the state must be well-oiled to ensure its effective operation, just like a ship’s engine, so that all of its parts and elements work smoothly. If one of its systems fails, the entire machine will stall. If we don’t have a proper parliament, if we only see on television how members of the parliament drag each other around by the hair, how they fight and spit at each other (as we saw once before and as happens in some neighbouring countries), our state will not work smoothly and effectively – and we must make it work. If someone wants to witness a spectacle, they should go to the circus, a cinema or theatre.
Worker: They need new, competent people.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is true.
Worker: People who will be able to actually get things done…
Vladimir Putin: Absolutely. This is the honest truth and exactly why parties are putting many new names on their ballots.
Worker: Some have suggested that my classmate and lifelong friend (we became friends in Karelia, where I was born) run on the United Russia ballot…
Vladimir Putin: To stand for election to the parliament?
Worker: They suggested he run as their candidate… Sashka got all scared and asked Leshka (also our classmate): “What should I do?” We told him to go for it!
Vladimir Putin: Excellent. That’s the spirit!
Worker: If there’s anything we could do to help, we would.
Vladimir Putin: I visited one place and spoke to a school teacher there.
Worker: Our friend, Sashka, is also a school teacher in a village.
Vladimir Putin: Well, there you have it. Teachers are typically politically active, smart and like to get to the bottom of problems.
Worker: He has done so much for the village and school. The people will support him.
Vladimir Putin: The woman with whom I spoke was asked by her colleagues: “Why are you doing this? You shouldn’t. They should get themselves out of this mess.” But that’s not the right attitude. She should also go for it…
Worker: That’s exactly what we told Sashka. We told him to go for it because at least he can try to do something, and if he doesn’t, at least he tried.
Vladimir Putin: You’re absolutely right! The people are the ones who understand the major problems. When people come along with practical life experience, they see many problems from a different perspective. They are quick learners, they see what can and can’t work and where funds should and shouldn’t be transferred or withdrawn. It is easier to deal with and come to terms with such people, and they are better understood and trusted at the grassroots level, which is the most important thing. Therefore, everyone must come out for the elections, because every vote counts.
Worker: It’s a pity I cannot vote for him. He’s there and I’m here.
Vladimir Putin: Vote for people like him.
Worker: We just don’t know much about who’s running here. I know this is bad.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I’ve been watching this election campaign, and I see a lot of superficialities and slogans.
Worker: Yes. We don’t trust those who are promising the world.
Vladimir Putin: What’s your name?
Vladimir Putin: You’re my namesake. And you are absolutely right – those who promise much rarely deliver the goods.
Worker: Yes, it’s better to promise less and deliver more. This is more reliable.
Vladimir Putin: Now let’s deal with your shipyard. You have said correctly that it has a whole host of problems, but I’m sure we will analyse them in detail and determine a plan of action to preserve and further develop the shipyard.
Worker: It would be great if we could.
Vladimir Putin: Good luck to you and best wishes!
Worker: Thank you! Goodbye.