Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Tatarstan’s President Mintimer Shaimiev
19 december 2008
Transcript of the start of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: What would you like to tell me, Mr Shaimiev?
Mintimer Shaimiev: The cities and regions that were developing the quickest now have the worst problems.
Vladimir Putin: That's true.
Mintimer Shaimiev: We have implemented many ambitious projects and received related loans that demand servicing. There are many new projects, too, with a huge pool. We are working with banks to prolong loans and reschedule debts according to the latest Government decisions.
There is another task facing us now. We are proceeding from our combined list of companies. There are 300 key companies on it, and as you have said today, more might come up. There are another 1,500 to 2,000 companies throughout Russia that need support, including those in Tatarstan, as one of the Russian regions. We will proceed from the available directives.
As for issues discussed today, I want to thank you for analysing the problems of the automotive industry on the example of KAMAZ. The automotive industry currently employs 1.5 million people according to official statistics-plus small businesses.
Vladimir Putin: The figure is much greater with the latter included.
Mintimer Shaimiev: It is. If we join forces with the federal authorities for timely anti-crisis measures, we with cope with the situation much more easily.
Vladimir Putin: You will get considerable support, at any rate. What are you doing about social issues?
Mintimer Shaimiev: We are coping for the time being. We are thinking about how to start full-scale work immediately after the January holidays. The start might be postponed to February in some places. We have reached an understanding to work as a team, all of us-administrations of all levels, industry, and business. We will look at extremely diverse problems, trying to see what they have in common.
Vladimir Putin: Tatarstan has a diversified economy, so it has ample opportunities to help people with timely personnel retraining to shift to other industries.
Mintimer Shaimiev: Mr Putin, we have sufficient experience to do what is expected of us, and we will try to be as thrifty as possible.
Vladimir Putin: I hope you will. Have you prepared for the winter?
Mintimer Shaimiev: Touch wood. We have made all necessary preparations but emergencies might come up. On the whole, we have done a good job. We have commissioned new dwellings with total floor space exceeding two million square metres-all on schedule. The depression has bypassed the construction sector for now.