25 november 2008

Vladimir Putin met with St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko


Transcript of the opening of the meeting:

Valentina Matviyenko: Mr Putin, as the year draws to a close we can say that it has been difficult but on the whole successful for the city. We have completed most of our projects, including in the construction of housing, roads, schools and kindergartens, plus an ambitious school modernisation programme. We have done capital repairs at 13 schools. They have been completely re-equipped and refurnished, most of them for the first time since they opened their doors.

The first Frunze Line metro station is going to open in December to reach Kupchino, a district with half a million population, which has had no metro previously. We are working to a tight schedule. The city will never settle its transport problems without the metro.

I wish you had been able to visit the opening of the Ring Road's east stretch. This is a project you have been monitoring personally. The new motorway is of great help, and we are very grateful to you for it. We are sure we'll finish the construction of the entire Ring Road in 2010.

The initial stretch of the Western High-Speed Diameter, another essential project, has been commissioned to get lorries from the 3rd and 4th port sections to the Ring Road and federal motorways bypassing the city. The construction will go on.

Saturday saw a historic event: We opened direct traffic on the dam, another project you supervise. We will finish ring dam construction in 2010 if we fully cope with all the related programmes.

Vladimir Putin: This will alleviate the traffic in the city?

Valentina Matviyenko: Yes, the biggest problem everyone in the city is aware of is increasing traffic jams. It gets worse year in, year out. We would be in a desperate situation if not for the Ring Road, whose construction started with your support. It will be of great help.

Other transport projects are underway. One of the American Bridges will open after reconstruction toward the end of December. The reconstruction programme of all American Bridges across the By-Channel will finish in two years. We have held a tender of By-Channel reconstruction projects, and the reconstruction itself will start next year. That's necessary as the channel is one of the most problem-laden spots in the city.

We are also reconstructing Primorskoye Motorway. We are improving all traffic congestion spots. However expensive it might be, this is a priority municipal programme, and we will do our best to complete it successfully.