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Old March 26th, 2019 #21
Alex Him
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Greetings to participants of the 9th Russian Winter Rural Sports Games

Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to participants of the 9th Russian Winter Rural Sports Games, the final stage of which is underway in Tyumen.

March 19, 2019 - 10:00

The message reads, in part:

“These large-scale competitions have become very popular as a major sporting event.

The rich agenda and an open and friendly atmosphere at the Rural Games attracts ever more participants from across the country every year, introduces young people to the values of active and healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports, as well as leave bright and positive emotions among both participants and numerous fans of this wonderful sports festival.

I am confident that the 9th Russian Winter Rural Sports Games will live up to our expectations, that they will be remembered for the outstanding victories and achievements and will also promote cooperation in resolving current social problems in rural areas.”

The source of information -

Meeting of Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office Board

Vladimir Putin took part in an expanded meeting of the Russian Federation Prosecutor-General’s Office Board. The President assessed the 2018 performance of prosecution agencies and charted the main tasks for 2019.

March 19, 2019 - 14:15 - Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, colleagues,

Today, at this expanded meeting of the Prosecutor-General’s Office Board, we will discuss the results that you have managed to achieve in 2018 and the key tasks, due to be accomplished by you.

I would like to note straight away that, last year, Russian prosecutors made a substantial contribution to the fight against crime, extremism and corruption. I would like to note that you reviewed numerous appeals by citizens, that is, about five million in 2018.

Wage arrears were also repaid with the direct involvement of prosecution agencies. You continued to monitor compliance with social-sector legislation. And you have, of course, achieved impressive results with regard to wages.

Arrears worth over 26 billion rubles have been repaid. On the whole, the specific measures taken helped reduce the number of violations of citizens’ rights, related to remuneration, by 15 percent compared to 2017.

The defence industry’s performance is being monitored more effectively. I asked Mr Chaika [the Prosecutor General] to report on this matter separately because you and I know that the state sets aside substantial funding for these purposes.

And we need to ensure a serious statesman-like approach regarding all aspects linked with the fulfilment of our plans to boost the national defence capability, to prevent any violations and any thefts which is the most important thing. Unfortunately, we know of such facts, it happened…

The principled position of military prosecutors made it possible to improve troop-level discipline, law and order.

I want to thank Russian prosecutors for conscientiously fulfilling their official duties, for their professionalism and principled attitude.

We need to continue scoring the same impressive results as before, and to make sure that the laws be unfailingly enforced all over the Russian Federation in a uniform manner, and we need to resolutely oppose any manifestations of arbitrary rule and nihilistic attitudes towards the law.

I would like to draw your attention to the following high-priority tasks.

We have started implementing long-term national projects. These programmes receive substantial, if not to say unprecedentedly large, resources. And they must be spent appropriately, efficiently and provide the society with the desired results. I am asking you to closely monitor this aspect in line with your powers.

It is no less important to help formulate the regulatory framework of the national projects. You also know that all oversight and control documents will have to undergo detailed scrutiny over a period of the next two years.

We need to resolutely get rid of archaisms together with everything that hampers development. It goes without saying that we must do this in the most careful manner possible. We need to be very attentive, while making certain decisions.

I am confident that you will take the most active part in drafting and updating the legislative and regulatory framework, including departmental documents, together with colleagues from other departments, members of parliament, the business community and the Government. I would like to ask you to pay attention to this.

In this connection, I would like to mention another important job that I have discussed at recent meetings of the boards of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service. This implies more effective protection of entrepreneurs’ rights and efforts to facilitate the improvement of the business climate. Colleagues, we perceive this as extremely important because we must compensate for all outside restrictions facing us by improving the quality of our work inside the country. We can accomplish this, and everything is in our hands.

I would like to request the prosecutors to resolutely respond to any violations in this field and to provide entrepreneurs with effective assistance and support in defending their legitimate rights as well as interests.

Your responsibility is to monitor the situation related to the criminal prosecution of business people and if necessary, promptly use prosecution response measures, such as the prevention of unsubstantiated extension of detention or dissolution of companies resulting in people losing their jobs.

And, of course, it is necessary to continue to consistently bring about order when it comes to labour and social relations and to monitor the issues of employment, especially of young people and people of pre-retirement age.

There should be a strong response to pension arrears and any violations in providing subsidised medicine and rehabilitation equipment.

I would also like to request you to take a principled approach to the compliance with legislation regarding family support, the use of maternity capital and providing housing to orphans.

Of course there are many economic issues and possibilities at regional levels, and so forth, but these economic or financial limitations are not always the result of unscrupulous behaviour of government agencies.

I also expect more results from you in protecting the rights of minors. Despite the work done, there are very many violations. Moreover, their number grew last year.

In addition to this, it is necessary to seriously improve the protection of children and teenagers from criminal assaults. I would like to ask the Prosecutor General’s Office to analyse the situation and to propose additional measures to prevent such crimes.


One of the priorities for the prosecutor’s office is the coordination of law enforcement agencies’ activities in terms of crime prevention.

It is important to improve the mechanisms of interaction with the Interior Ministry, the Investigative Committee and other agencies in order to reduce the levels of crime, extremism and corruption, to insist on legal compliance when accepting reports of a crime and registering them, as well as in collecting and transferring statistics.

It is necessary to promptly identify and eliminate violations in the work of the bodies involved in criminal intelligence and surveillance operations and to monitor the quality of investigations of criminal cases at all levels.

Let me repeat that the requirements of criminal procedure legislation on the reasonable duration of criminal proceedings must be strictly observed. The decision for detention as a level of restriction must correspond to the gravity of the charges rather than made because some investigator thinks it will create conditions for what he considers a more thorough inquiry.

I would like to ask you to display more responsibility when consenting to a criminal trial based on special procedure. If there are doubts in proving criminal charges or the voluntary character and awareness of the defendant’s request for it, we need to insist on a trial under the normal procedure.

Trying cases under special procedure is certainly an important tool but it should not serve as a cover up for a poor, incompetent investigation.

The prosecutor’s office should continually focus on the penal and correctional system. In cooperation with their colleagues from the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), human rights ombudsmen in the regions, and representatives of human rights organisations, prosecutors must toughen their supervision over the living conditions of the people in detention. They should make sure that modern standards pertaining to detention conditions and medical support are strictly observed.

Furthermore, prosecution authorities should improve their work in terms of environmental protection and natural resource management. You know how sensitive this issue is for society, for people. This is also a vital factor for the economy: now that we are moving to new standards in this area it is essential to carefully monitor this.

I am referring to the need to fully organise municipal waste management and to respond promptly to unauthorised waste dumps. Any citizen complaints must be reviewed very thoroughly and result in specific actions.


In conclusion I would like to emphasise that by tradition the work of the prosecution agencies is in the focus of public attention.

You are endowed with serious authority. You bear huge responsibility for protecting the interests of the state and the rights and freedoms of the people.

I am sure you understand this well and will do everything to continue fulfilling the tasks set before you in a professional manner.

Thank you for your attention.


Vladimir Putin:

Mr Chaika, colleagues,

I have literally just two comments to make. Of course, the scope of duties of the prosecutor's office includes everything that is regulated by law in the country, practically, our entire life. So, there is no point in listing things over and over again. I have already spoken about priorities, and the Prosecutor General has just mentioned them. I have, literally, a few general, at first glance, comments, which may even look trivial to professional lawyers.

My first point is that, first of all, you need to focus in your work on protecting the legitimate interests of citizens. This is the number one priority. In this sense, social protection, such as timely payment of wages and social benefits or providing housing for entitled categories of citizens, should of course be prioritised.

My second point is about major financial flows going from the state budget to certain industries. We have already discussed the state defence order which remains a priority. Still, this work is being done at specific enterprises and in specific regions. There are many of them but not all regions.

The priority national projects we are beginning to work on concern all Russian regions without exception. There are certain delays both on the part of the Government and on the part of the regions, not all the decisions that need to be made in order to begin this work have been made, but the work will begin in the near future. This means that large financial flows will start moving to the regions, and the corresponding work envisaged by these plans should be carried out there.

Of course, I am expecting you to focus on the task at hand. Do not interfere in what people are doing, but monitor the work and the way public – people’s – money is spent. This is extremely important. I am really counting on you. I really am.

We have an innovation in environmental protection. It should have been introduced long ago but we delayed and delayed this, incidentally because of difficult conditions in the economy and insistent demands and requests from the business community. But now starting from January 1, 2019 we began introducing the latest and most accessible technology. The first 300 enterprises should start operating in accordance with these new rules.

These are the so-called first category enterprises that cause the most environmental damage. Starting in 2022 other enterprises in this category should join in.

In this context I would note, as I have already mentioned here, what is an absolutely obvious thing for a professional lawyer: the prosecutor’s office is neither the Government, nor the Economic Development Ministry, nor the Labour Ministry, and it should never be guided by considerations of economic, social, or, even less so, political expediency.

We hear very often that some legal requirement cannot be met for economic, financial or some other reasons. Such things happen. What does this mean?

This means, in part that the Prosecutor-General's Office should aggregate all such moments in the life of society and the state and make proposals to the Government, the Presidential Executive Office and the Federal Assembly and explain to them that such and such provision of law does not work or is impossible to implement. What should the President, the Government and the Federal Assembly do publicly in this case? They must change or cancel this provision of law.

Or else we will land in the same situation we faced in our recent history in the 1990s. At that time a host of regulatory acts that sounded good to ordinary people were adopted and more than half, I can say with confidence, were not or could not have been implemented due to the very difficult financial and economic situation in the country.

What did this mean? Swindling and simply deceiving people. Laws were adopted by people who knew they would never be implemented. A vast number of benefits were announced by those who understood that the budget was unable to foot the bill. We cannot afford to return to this practice by any means.

If it is required to make so-called unpopular but needed decisions it is necessary to go to the people and describe your position publicly and make the decision based on honest dialogue with citizens. Indeed, our people have different levels of education and training but they will always understand honest dialogue.

This is why it is necessary to encourage this conduct, this style of work at all levels of government, including regional authorities, and in this context the prosecutor’s office, the Prosecutor-General’s Office also bears significant responsibility. I would also like to ask Mr Chaika to bear this in mind, to get relevant information from you, systematise it and make proposals on improving the regulatory framework.

I would like to thank you for your work and wish you success. Thank you very much.

The source of information -

Meeting with winners of the Leaders of Russia competition

Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with the winners of the Leaders of Russia national management competition, the final stage of which took place in Sochi on March 17.

March 19, 2019 - 18:00 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The main goal of the competition is to identify, encourage further development and support promising leaders from all over the country, those who have a high level of motivation and management potential.

The finalists have the opportunity to choose a mentor from among top regional officials, CEOs of large companies and public organisations, high-ranking representatives from the Presidential Executive Office, State Duma deputies and Federation Council members.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, friends. Let me welcome all of you.

As I see it, you are the winners of a fairly prestigious and increasingly interesting competition called the Leaders of Russia. I understand that the winners of the previous com-petition are also here. You will also tell us about your work after the competition.

I will repeat myself and will do it on purpose – in addition to this competition, we hold other contests and events related to the search for talented, young and promising people motivated by interesting work.

I am very pleased to note that this year we had a record number of applicants for this competition – 227,000 and 300 finalists. All finalists will receive a million rubles, while the 104 winners, also quite a few, will get mentors in addition to the financial prize.

Mentors are very well-versed people with a wealth of experience who have proven themselves through their work and, probably I can put it this way, through their lives. So you will have an interesting time. I hope this will not only be interesting but also practical for various activities.

These include social sector, business, and civil and municipal service. Previous events of this kind show that this is also worth-while for different management levels and various spheres of activity, and for those who take part in these events, the Leaders of Russia competition in our case.

Let’s listen to last year’s winners.

The source of information -

Meeting with Alexei Teksler

March 19, 2019 - 18:15 - The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with Alexei Teksler whom he appointed Acting Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region by a Presidential Executive Order.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Teksler, you are aware of the matter that brought you here today. You had interviews before our meeting. You were born in Chelyabinsk and lived there for how long?

Alexei Teksler:

Sixteen and a half years.

Vladimir Putin:

Sixteen and a half years. So, it is your hometown. You lived and worked for a rather long time in a large region. You headed the administration in Norilsk, which is one of our major industrial cities. You have been first deputy minister of energy for six years now. This ministry is one of the leading departments in our system of administration.

You know what we are about to offer you. We want you to head the Chelyabinsk Region. What do you think? This is my first question. My second question, if you agree, what do you see as your priority tasks in terms of developing this extremely important industrial region?

The city itself is big – one million residents, and there are many problems there, including environmental. However, we should not forget about development either, because this is one of the key issue.

Alexei Teksler:

Mr President, I am ready to head the region. Thank you for your confidence in me. For me, these are not empty words. This is my native region, indeed. I was born and raised there. It will be important for me to earn the trust of Chelyabinsk residents and to get their support.

With regard to priorities, the focus will, of course, be on national projects, including the environment. You are right: there are environmental problems in the region that need to be addressed. I will focus on them.

I will also deal with socioeconomic development and improving living standards. There are also roads and agriculture to focus on. This region is both industrial and agricultural. It is imperative to focus on the social sphere as well.

I am ready to start working. I will do my best.

Vladimir Putin:

Are you still in touch with people in the city and the region?

Alexei Teksler:

I have never lost contact with Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk Region. I have my childhood friends and family there, and I do see them regularly. So, of course, I keep in touch with them.

The source of information -

Alexei Teksler appointed Acting Governor of Chelyabinsk Region

Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Early Termination of Chelyabinsk Region Governor’s Mandate. Alexei Teksler was appointed Acting Governor of the region.

March 19, 2019 - 18:20

Following Chelyabinsk Region Governor Boris Dubrovsky’s request for an early termination of his mandate, Vladimir Putin accepted his resignation.

The President also appointed Alexei Teksler Acting Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region until an elected governor takes office.

The source of information -

Meeting with Head of RUSNANO Anatoly Chubais

Vladimir Putin met with Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO Management Company Anatoly Chubais. The discussion focused on the state corporation’s performance results and upcoming plans.

March 19, 2019 - 20:35 - The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Chubais, what can you tell us about your company’s performance last year? It was established in 2007, am I right?

Board Chairman of Rusnano Management Company Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, in 2007.

Vladimir Putin:

But you started your investment activities in 2008–2009, didn’t you?

Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, in the 2008–2009 period or a year after the company was set up.

Vladimir Putin:

And since then the accumulated investment value has reached some 216 billion rubles?

Anatoly Chubais:


Vladimir Putin:

You focus on 12 sectors, right?

Anatoly Chubais:


Our investment is focused on the real economy sector. Indeed, our active work spans a period of approximately 10 years. We are now reviewing our performance for last year and over the decade as a whole.

When the company was established 10 years ago, you approved the allocation of 130 billion rubles to us. It was our start-up capital.

Mr President, the first and most important result of our work is that the plants, which were built with our funding, have paid 132 billion rubles into the federal budget. This means that the government’s spending has been reimbursed.

These funds have not come out of the blue. They have been produced by the plants we built, 97 plants in all. Some of them are small and others are medium-sized. You attended the launch of one of them in Chelyabinsk. However, big or small, all of these plants are effective and have 39,000 workers.

It is even more important that these facilities are investing in science. They have already invested 42 billion rubles. It was not Rusnano that invested these funds: it would be strange if we invested the funds we received from the budget.

These funds have been invested by the plants, which cannot develop without investing in science. As you know, the state budget contributes a relatively large amount to science, but businesses are not investing enough.

We are proud that our science-intensive plants are investing considerable funds in science. Moreover, investment into science is increasing.

Vladimir Putin:

You operate in 37 regions, don’t you?

Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, we operate in 37 regions.

This is our socio-economic performance, but our auditors are to provide us with official financial results for 2018, which are also positive.

Net profits totalled 5.6 billion rubles, an all-time high for the company. As a result, these profits enable us to pay dividends to the state. Taking into account our profit volumes, we are ready to channel about 550 million rubles’ worth of dividends into the budget.

This is possible because well-established businesses are cost-effective. We are already moving past this stage, and the first investment cycle is ending. These ten years implied that we had chosen a project, invested in it, built a plant with production facilities and launched production. After that, we sell our share and recoup investment expenses.

Regarding the 50-plus projects from which we have withdrawn, their profitability is just over 16 percent. On the whole, this indicator is considered…

Vladimir Putin:


Anatoly Chubais:

Befitting and good.

Mr President, I would like to say a few words about specific newly-built industries and clusters inside the 12 sectors mentioned by you and to cite three-four examples.

Medicine, nuclear medicine, to be more exact, is one of them. This includes positron-emission tomography; we became the first to launch this project in Russia some seven-eight years ago. Basically, this was in part a wise choice, and we were also lucky, to some extent: it turned out to be a sort of cancer diagnostics ‘golden standard’.

Speaking of oncological diseases, their study is a matter of life and death and patients diagnosed with cancer in its early stages have much better chances of survival than patients with fourth-stage cancer do.

This investment allowed us to build nuclear medicine centres in 11 regions and they have already diagnosed over 100,000 patients.

Vladimir Putin:

In ten regions.

Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, ten regions and 11 cities. It is very important that most of them are covered by the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund. In effect, people are examined free of charge; if, God forbid, they are diagnosed with a serious health disorder, at least this diagnosis is timely.

We are already moving from diagnostics to surgery. We have installed the first so-called cyber-knife system in Ufa. This system performs non-invasive surgery, bloodlessly removing painful tumors without any serious complications, etc.

Generally, we believe nuclear medicine to be an important social area for us. The Healthcare Ministry understands and supports us, too. We are planning to extend to other regions afterwards.

Another direction that I have told you about, that we spoke about once is renewable energy. It was created in our country from scratch.

I believe that the government built an absolutely proper, reasonable system for supporting this industry. Everything was organised in a way that not only supported power generation, but also regulated industrial localisation.

Accordingly, this resulted in the emergence of not only the power industry proper but also the wind and solar power industries, as well as the waste management industry, which I know you focus on a lot. It also resulted in the emergence of a manufacturing sector supplying all these industries with equipment. Last year alone, we built a tower production plant in Taganrog, a wind turbine nacelle plant in Nizhny Novgorod and a wind turbine blade plant in Ulyanovsk. Today, their production of equipment for the Russian wind power engineering industry is well underway.

The development of industry is followed by the development of science – because, once again, none of these industries can exist without the perfecting of the relevant technology. This is also followed by the development of education: today, a total of six Russian universities already have renewable energy departments. All of this forms a whole cluster that includes power generation, industry, education and science.

Vladimir Putin:

What about the solar lanterns that you once told me about? Is that project underway?

Anatoly Chubais:

Well underway, it is a very successful project. Those solar panels of ours have recently been certified; they were one of the top 3 most efficient solar panels in the world, with 22.7 percent power efficiency. Last year – and this is very important for us – for the first time ever, they were exported to Kazakhstan. We won a large tender, and now, apart from implementing this technology in Russia, we are expanding beyond our country’s borders as high technology suppliers.

Vladimir Putin:

Is Viktor Vekselberg working independently from you?

Anatoly Chubais:

No, it is a joint project of ours. We have already sold our share since it reached cost recovery levels. The project continues to develop. We still have the loan, but have already exited and are planning to invest the money in the next development area.

There are two other examples. You have asked businesses to address the issue of natural gas fuel supplies. Together with Gazprom, we plan to establish a fund. Hopefully, we will manage to do this before long and, for a start, we have developed projects for Belgorod and Rostov regions. We are also working on large projects to build petrol stations and plants.

Vladimir Putin:

These are the most costly things to do, as a matter of fact. But after this phase is completed, the competitiveness of the whole complex will dramatically increase.

Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, clearly, this project addresses economic and environmental issues, so it is quite a sensible thing to do. It only needs a slight push to get it off the ground, something we plan to do jointly with Gazprom.

Mr President, at one of our meetings you instructed me to get more actively involved in venture projects to develop the nanoindustry in the Far East.

Together with our colleagues and with support from Mr Trutnev [Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District], we have established the Far Eastern High Technology Fund, which was registered last year. Now we are selecting projects.

In the second quarter of this year, we plan to start funding venture projects in the Far East, naturally, in cooperation with the Far Eastern Federal University and other local universities. We believe this is also an important area of our work.

Allow me to cite one more example – the last one: electric vehicles. We believe the natural gas fuel issues should go hand in hand with electrification plans. In this sense, we are the only ones engaged in this work.

We have built the only plant in the country that manufactures the lithium-ion batteries that enable this technology to work. We are happy that our batteries are being used. St Petersburg was the first to start using them.

These batteries are primarily used in so-called long-travel trolleybuses when a trolley-bus route has to be extended. There is no need to build traction substations and create the entire infrastructure – trolley busses only need to be equipped with these batteries. Alternatively, electric buses running on Russian batteries are gaining in popularity.

Vladimir Putin:

You have gotten as far as Argentina, haven’t you?

Anatoly Chubais:

Yes, we have. We are exporting them, in small amounts, but we take pride in it. We have started exporting small quantities of batteries to Latin America and we are looking forward to creating a cluster in that area.

Vladimir Putin:


The source of information -

Birthday greetings to Irina Antonova, President of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

Vladimir Putin sent birthday greetings to President of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Irina Antonova.

March 20, 2019 - 10:00

The message reads, in part:

“You are known and respected as an outstanding expert, a well-educated, talented and caring person, a true intellectual and devotee. Over the years you have been working in one of the most famous museums in Russia and the world, you have made a unique personal contribution to the preservation of the invaluable historic and spiritual legacy of humankind and the development of museum studies. Today, you continue to work hard to promote culture and education.”

Irina Antonova, Soviet and Russian art expert celebrates her 97th birthday on March 20. She has been working at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts since 1945. She was museum Director from 1961 to 2013 and was appointed museum President in 2013.

Irina Antonova is a full holder of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, winner of the 2017 State Prize of the Russian Federation for outstanding achievements in humanitarian activities and holder of many Soviet, Russian, French, Italian and Japanese awards. She was part of the ICOM (International Council of Museums) management for over 10 years and an initiator of International Museum Day in 1977.

The source of information -
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln
Old March 26th, 2019 #22
Alex Him
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Launch of Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field

Vladimir Putin has launched via videoconference the full-scale development of the Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field.

March 20, 2019 - 11:45 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The Kharasaveyskoye field is located in the Yamal Peninsula north of the Bovanenkovskoye field, predominantly onshore and partly in the Kara Sea. The field is classified as unique due to its enormous gas reserves, which amount to 2 trillion cubic meters. Production is scheduled to begin at the field in 2023 with a design capacity of 32 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Since 20 percent of the reserves are located offshore, horizontal wells will be drilled from onshore to produce gas from the offshore part of the deposit.

The project provides for the construction of a comprehensive gas treatment unit, a booster compressor station and clusters of producing gas wells together with transport and energy infrastructure.

Kharasaveyskoye already has a utility system with accommodation for shift workers and an auxiliary power station.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Miller, friends, colleagues,

Today we are launching a new and very challenging Gazprom project: the full-scale development of the Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field in the Yamal Peninsula. I congratulate all of you on this landmark achievement and wish you every success in implementing this ambitious project. In fact, we are making one more step towards the comprehensive development of Yamal and the creation of a modern and powerful gas production and processing centre there.

Much has been done towards this goal. Late last year, gas production at the Bovanenkovskoye field reached design capacity. Novatek is successfully implementing its LNG projects. Production facilities, accommodation for shift workers, gas pipelines and transport infrastructure have been built. It is notable that the development of these areas continues.

The development of the Kharasaveyskoye field will open up new prospects for the energy sector, strengthening our export potential and the capability for connecting new users to the gas supply system in Russia, as well as for boosting the national economy as a whole. The field has enormous reserves – nearly 2 trillion cubic metres of gas. Together with the Bovanenkovskoye field, we have 7 trillion cubic metres of gas there. It is a huge reserve. As Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has told me, these reserves will last until 2131. Taking into consideration that all the gas reserves in the Yamal Peninsula exceed 16 trillion cubic metres, we will be able to work there for decades. These are reserves on a global scale. Just to show you what this means: the Kharasaveyskoye field has more gas than the throughput capacity of one Nord Stream line. These huge reserves for years ahead guarantee the safety and security of energy supplies to the customers both in the country and to our partners abroad, as I have said.

Of course, there is hard, challenging work ahead to develop the field. But I am confident that our professionals will achieve all these goals in the best possible manner, especially since we have accumulated considerable experience when it comes to the implementation of such large-scale projects.

I would like to wish you good luck with your endeavours and all the very best.


Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller:

Mr President,

We are now in the accommodation area for the shift workers at the Kharasaveyskoye field. It was here back in 1974 that the first well was drilled, which today supplies gas to the control flare and provides heat and electricity to the small gas workers’ settlement. Today we would like to honour the pioneers. They have lived and worked here in very difficult conditions. We suggest watching a video about the history of the Kharasaveyskoye field.

(Video shown.)

Mr President, Gazprom is ready to begin full-scale development of the Kharasaveyskoye field. We have direct connection with Director General of Gazprom Dobycha Nadym Sergei Menshikov, who will report on the readiness for launch.

Vladimir Putin:

Go ahead please, Mr Menshikov.

Sergei Menshikov:

Mr President, Mr Miller,

Director General of Gazprom Dobycha Nadym Sergei Menshikov reporting here. I am at the Bovanenkovskoye oil and gas condensate field, at gas production unit No.3. After its launch in December of last year, the Bovanenkovskoye field reached its target production level. Kharasaveyskoye is going to be next. In less than three months, we have built a temporary motorway – a winter road that connected Kharasaveyskoye and Bovanenkovskoye. Its length is over 100 kilometres, and today the first batch of construction and auxiliary equipment will be delivered along this main road.

Alexei Miller:

Mr President, please give the go ahead for moving the machinery from the Bovanenkovsky field to the Kharasaveyskoye field.

Vladimir Putin:

Go ahead.

Sergei Menshikov:

Attention! Convoy to start towards the Kharasaveyskoye field.

There are more than 30 units of equipment in the convoy – bulldozers, tipper lorries, excavators, pipe layers, heavy lorries, personnel vehicles and a welding unit. All this equipment is necessary to launch start-up production at the Kharasaveyskoye field according to the plan for 2019.

The equipment is delivered along the winter road. The main difference between winter roads and permanent roads is that winter roads have no roadbed filling; therefore, it is lower than the average ground elevation. It is more difficult to drive on because of such natural obstacles as snowdrifts and blizzards. This explains the strict safety requirements for winter road traffic. For example, vehicles are only allowed to move on winter roads in organised trains.

The training of drivers is also important. These are usually top professionals with extensive experience of working in the Extreme North. We have calculated that the aggregate northern service record of the drivers who are working at the Kharasaveyskoye field is over 400 years.

The winter road laid for the field crosses six bodies of water, across which we have created ice crossings. We have installed special markers with light reflectors and rescue equipment on each ice crossing. The speed limit on ice bridges is 5 km/h. The average speed of the snow train today will be about 20 km/h.

There will be two maintenance stops at warming centres on the winter road. The estimated time for reaching the Kharasaveyskoye field is eight hours.

This concludes my report.

Alexei Miller:

Mr President, the project to develop the Kharasaveyskoye field will involve 5,500 construction workers and 2,000 units of equipment, the sinking of 236 wells, the use of six fifth-generation domestically produced Yekaterina drilling rigs, which have been working effectively and reliably at the Bovanenkovskoye deposit, as well as a heavy-duty Bentec rig.

It should be said that 20 percent of the Kharasaveyskoye reserves are located offshore, which is why horizontal wells will be drilled from onshore to produce gas from the offshore part of the deposit. In other words, Gazprom is launching the development of the Yamal shelf.

Seeking to optimise costs, it has been decided to align the design solutions for the Kharasaveyskoye project with those that have been already applied at the Bovanenkovskoye field. I am referring to a comprehensive gas treatment unit with a capacity of 32 billion cubic metres and the 150MW booster compressor station.

It has to be emphasised that only domestically produced equipment will be used at the Kharasaveyskoye field. A 106-kilometre gas pipeline will be built to ship gas from Kharasavey. It will be 1,400 millimetres in diameter. This pipeline will go through Bovanenkovskoye and then on to the Bovanenkovskoye-Ukhta gas mainline.

The project to develop the Kharasaveyskoye field is expected to last 108 years, which means that gas extraction will continue in Kharasavey up until the year 2131.

If you look behind me, you can see Gazprom’s advance team, including welders, installation workers, drillers, excavator operators and electricians. These are our most reliable workers. There is no doubt that these people can deliver on any task.

Mr President, Gazprom has launched the full-scale development of the Kharasaveyskoye field.

Vladimir Putin:

Thank you.

Mr Novak, go ahead please.

Minister of Energy Alexander Novak:

Mr President,

Allow me to report that the launch of the full-scale development of the Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field fully conforms to Russia’s strategy for the gas sector, as well as the master facility layout. The launch of this large-scale project in the Arctic also fully conforms to the project’s licensing life. Once operational, it will offset output reductions in the Nadym-Pur-Tazovsky region, and is also expected to produce additional volumes for export and domestic markets.

The Russian Government introduced additional incentives in 2014 for the development of the Arctic region, including amendments to the Tax Code for stimulating the development of Arctic gas fields. This includes mineral extraction tax breaks: the tax burden will be reduced by 80 percent during the first few years and will be gradually increased over a period of 12 years.

This is a large-scale project that will serve as an additional development driver for the entire Arctic region. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

Friends, we all know that by the year 2030 Yamal’s gas output will have reached 310 bcm – 360 bcm that will be supplied to domestic and export markets, along the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. This will require monumental efforts and promises a lot of interesting work ahead. Congratulations to all of you on the launch and I would like to wish you all every success.

Thank you very much.

The source of information -

Meeting with Oleg Khorokhordin

The President held a working meeting with Oleg Khorokhordin to inform him of the decision to appoint him Acting Head of the Republic of Altai.

March 20, 2019 - 11:50 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The source of information -

Meeting with Batu Khasikov

The President held a meeting with Batu Khasikov to inform him of the decision to appoint him Acting Head of the Republic of Kalmykia.

March 20, 2019 - 12:10 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The source of information -

Meeting with Government members

The President held a regular meeting with Government members.

March 20, 2019 - 12:50 - The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, colleagues.

I have something to tell you before we begin. We are aware of the political events that are unfolding in a neighboring country, which is our closest ally. They are about changes in the political leadership. We hope that continuity will be ensured. As Nursultan Nazarbayev left his top state post, we have every reason to thank him for his cooperation and wish him good health and every success. (Applause.)

He is one of the initiators of advanced integration between our countries. He is one of those behind the EAEU, and I can even go as far as saying that the EAEU was his brainchild. This association is very successful partly thanks to his direct support and his participation in this effort. For our part, we will do our best to maintain these processes.

As you are aware, a couple of days ago we and the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol marked the fifth anniversary of Crimea and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia. You may be aware that I had a number of meetings with representatives of the public while I was there, and people had some questions. Indeed, much has been done, but there are other also questions, which I will deal with later.

Before we start discussing these issues, I would like to say this: as you may recall, an initiative was put forward during the annual Address to the Federal Assembly. It was about mortgage payment holidays for borrowers in difficult situations, who find it challenging to make their loan payments at some point.

As a general rule, the law is not retroactive, and this means that new legal obligations can only come about after the adoption of the relevant law. But, unfortunately for us, we did not specify this. This is partly my fault; I failed to state it explicitly, and people naturally assumed that the tax holiday would apply to all mortgage loans, including those issued earlier. But, as people say, the spoken word takes flight. Therefore, I am asking you to implement it in this format.

Let us do this as an exception. I spoke with the Governor of the Central Bank, and the Central Bank supports this decision. So when adopting the law, I ask the State Duma deputies to assume that the mortgage tax holiday will apply to all mortgage loans, including those issued earlier. This is the first question. I would appreciate it if Mr Gornin commented on this matter. Go ahead, please.

First Deputy Minister of Finance Leonid Gornin:

Thank you.

Mr President, colleagues,

In fact, making mortgage loans more widely available is probably one of the key objectives of this national programme. Securing the right to a mortgage holiday is probably a very important and timely decision, a relevant decision for the further development of mortgage lending in the Russian Federation. Therefore, we certainly support this decision regarding the extension of the draft law to existing mortgage agreements.

Vladimir Putin:

Good, thank you.

And please, talk it over with the State Duma deputies. I am sure they will have no doubts, they will certainly support this.

Ms Golodets, please review the Winter Universiade for us.

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets:

Mr President, Mr Prime Minister,

We have completed the 29th Winter Universiade, which the Russian Federation hosted for the first time. Importantly, it was held in the very centre of Siberia, the city of Krasnoyarsk.

Our Universiade has set several records: we received top marks from FISU (International University Sports Federation), which sent official thanks and noted that it was the best event in the history of the winter Universiades.

We saw record figures for the number of participating countries. The Winter Universiade was entered by 58 countries, which was a first. Such countries as Switzerland, Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States had teams exceeding 115 athletes. In other words, they had a full complement of athletes in all sports.

Competitions were held in 11 sports for 76 sets of medals. All teams had leaders and key members who were already known in the world sports arena. For example, France was represented by the leader in the Freestyle Ski World Cup team rating Perrine Laffont, as well as World Cup winner Benjamin Cavet. Mai Mihara from Japan is the world champion in figure skating. Therefore, our victory looks all the more impressive. We faced worthy competitors, which makes our results look even better.

I would like to remind you that athletes competed for 76 sets of medals. Russian athletes took 41 gold, 39 silver and 32 bronze medals.

It was very important for us that for the first time we posted excellent results in sports where our success had been fairly modest before. These are freestyle, alpine skiing, speed skating and short track. This is the result of the consistent development of our infrastructure and our coaching school.

For example, our Yekaterina Yefimenkova (short track) set a new record at the Universiade. She covered 500 m in 43.2 seconds. This is an absolute record at the Universiade.

Brand-new infrastructure has been built in Krasnoyarsk that will allow us to make a real breakthrough in freestyle and snowboarding – sports that are very popular with our young people. The new school was being formed even during the Universiade, and today we note that many parents are trying to enroll their children in these sports. There are already 600 children and after the Universiade, this school will admit more children and they will practice on the upgraded infrastructure in accordance with the world training system.

The infrastructure is ready and after the Universiade, we will implement the Universiade Legacy programme that has been adopted. The Federal Siberian University will receive a new campus, a very good one, and the new Raduga training base. A new federal training centre will be established at the Sopka base. So thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin:

All right, I would like to congratulate you, first of all, to congratulate the athletes on the results, and thank all the organisers.

Olga Golodets:

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

Let us return to the issue I began with, Crimea and Sevastopol.

A lot has been done in the past five years to integrate Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia from a legal, economic and social standpoint. A lot of attention has been paid and money allocated for infrastructure projects and transport. Major work continues.

Recently during the celebrations, as you may know, two powerful power stations with a total capacity of 940 MW have been launched, accounting for 90 percent of current energy consumption. In general, our energy capacity has almost doubled. This is a lot. This not only fully meets the demand of Crimea and Sevastopol, but also makes it possible to provide electricity to other Russian regions, if needed. At least, as of today, we can reduce the load on the energy bridge that was created before and can provide 850 MW of electricity to Crimea and Sevastopol.

The Taurida thoroughfare is under construction. I hope that today our colleagues will report on the progress. As a result of improved transport accessibility, tourist numbers are growing, reaching seven million last year. Other tasks are being addressed, too.

At the same time, there are problems, and we know this. People told me about this during our meetings; first of all, this concerns raising the incomes of people living in Crimea and Sevastopol. This topic was not raised, to be honest, but this problem exists and we know that it is necessary to adjust prices for some products. Some, but not all of them. However, there are certain groups of goods, including foods, such as dairy products, which cost more in Crimea and Sevastopol than in nearby regions, and we also have to think about this. We must think about the development of healthcare and education.

There are many issues, and I suggest discussing them today and making the necessary decisions to move forward at the rate that we and people who live in Crimea and Sevastopol need.

I will ask Mr Aksyonov to begin, please.

Head of the Crimea Republic Sergei Aksyonov:

Mr President, colleagues,

In fact, in the five years since returning to its historical motherland, Crimea has made a breakthrough; this is true. There is both great success and, of course, problems, which you have mentioned, but most of them are being addressed.

I am certain that the peace and interethnic cooperation that was achieved after your executive order on reinstating those who were deported from the republic because of their ethnicity is the basis of Crimea’s successful socioeconomic development. As of today, all surveys show that over 90 percent of citizens find the level of interethnic and inter-confessional relations in the Republic of Crimea to be positive.

At the same time, of course, Crimea’s budget revenue growth accounts for the main share of socioeconomic development. We have managed to change the situation over the five years. Crimea’s own revenue has grown over 2.5 times compared with the best periods when Crimea was part of Ukraine: 22 billion rubles is the best result between 2010 and 2013, the highest number, reached with aid from Kiev, by the way; meanwhile last year revenue, including tax revenue, in Crimea was almost 50 billion rubles (which is exemplar), with some 120 billion rubles of federal aid provided each year as part of the federal strategic programme and other state programmes approved by federal bodies.

Thanks to this, we have managed to increase funding compared to the Ukrainian period, 2.5 times in the social sphere, 3 times in education, 3.5 times in culture, four times in sports and almost 23 times in environmental programmes because this area had received almost no funding at all. Last year we finished with a small budget surplus of 39 million, which is the result of our joint activities with the federal authorities. This is an impressive number for us. And this year the Crimean budgets at all levels will be debt-neutral, including the republic’s overall budget.

At the same time, the list of issues of main concern, including those under your supervision, primarily includes issues of healthcare. In the course of the past five years, a whole range of government programmes has been implemented in the Republic of Crimea – this includes the federal targeted programme. Within the framework of this programme, a new 12-storey hospital with a total capacity of 734 beds is currently being built in Simferopol on your instructions. It will be put into operation later this year and will have the most sophisticated equipment. Together with the Healthcare Ministry, we have addressed every task on the agenda in this regard. In the city of Yalta, a new complex of the city hospital has recently been put into operation. It cost a total of 1 billion rubles, allocated from the federal budget. We have achieved the highest level of high-tech medical care.

In 2014, only 800 people in total had access to high-tech medical care. Last year, however, this number reached 12,000 people. Within the framework of state programmes, a total of over 9 billion rubles were allocated from the federal and regional budgets, over 5,700 pieces of equipment were bought, 62 new remote medical and obstetric centres and outpatient facilities were built, and 53 healthcare facilities were partially renovated out of the planned 85. We continue to move forward in this direction.

The results of our work are reflected in a general 7.5 percent decline in the mortality rate compared to 2013; the most important indicator is a 40 percent decline in child mortality and an average two-year increase in life expectancy. We received a total of 250 new ambulances, almost reaching the target goal. All of these issues were taken care of, with no exception.

Speaking of education, out of 552 Crimean schools, over 300 have undergone complete or partial renovation and over 250 have received new equipment. In the course of the past years, we created a total of 22,000 spots in children’s pre-school facilities, while under Ukraine’s control, practically none had been created; practically none existed. Within the framework of the national projects, we will be able to provide everyone with spots in pre-school facilities, including nurseries; there is no doubt of that. Last year, we also replaced windows in a total of almost 140 schools. All this means that work in this area is being continuously carried out.

There are advances in agriculture. Thanks to support from the federal authorities, Rosagroleasing succeeded in upgrading farming equipment. Over the past several years, Crimean agricultural workers received 1,700 new pieces of harvesting and sowing equipment. Thanks go to our colleagues from the Russian Federation Ministry of Agriculture. Rosagroleasing received over 4.4 billion rubles. As of today, new equipment in the republic makes up over 50 percent of the entire machinery fleet.

Accordingly, support for agriculture from the federal centre, and partially from the republic, totaled over 9 billion rubles over the past five years, which made it possible to fully meet the needs of the Republic of Crimea in poultry, eggs, and, partly, in vegetables.

Of course, these issues have not been fully resolved, even though there is some progress. Pork supplies to the domestic market increased significantly. Today, we cover 68 percent of our needs as opposed to 30 percent at most during Ukrainian times. We have been meeting all the needs of the Republic of Crimea in fruit and berries over the past five years.

Mr President, you have already mentioned the situation with transport. The Crimean Bridge opened to traffic last year under your executive orders and thanks to your support. To date, 4.9 million vehicles have crossed it in both directions. The railway section of the Crimean Bridge will be launched by the end of this year, which will partially address the issues that you have mentioned in your opening remarks regarding an increase in food prices and, to some extent, in building materials. I am sure that prices will then come in line with the average for the Russian Federation.

Simferopol Airport was very instrumental in this regard. The new airport has seen 5 million passengers to date. This is a huge number. Therefore, last year we received a large number of tourists, with almost 6.8 million of them visiting the peninsula. Of course, there is still work to be done in this area.

The construction of the Tavrida Motorway is underway; the federal authorities and the Ministry of Transport are overseeing the project in conjunction with our colleagues. We are on schedule. A two-lane road to Simferopol is now open to traffic. This will significantly reduce traffic, primarily outside the town of Primorsky and the city of Feodosia, where people got stuck in traffic for up to three hours last year, which detrimental for the overall situation.

As for energy, Mr President, you know the situation here better than I do. Thanks to the two new gas turbine TPPs, we have become completely energy-independent over this period. That is, taking into account the energy bridge, today Crimea has more than 2000 MW, which is more than enough to support development. The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation has done quite a bit of work; the main gas pipeline from mainland Russian Federation has been built with a throughput capacity of 2.2 – 4 billion cubic metres. This volume will indeed make us feel secure, and will be a basis for development, since we also produce 1.6 billion cubic metres of gas annually. That is, the situation today is fully stabilised, and all issues related to the independence of our energy system have been resolved in full.

At present, two regional operators have started to implement environmental projects. We are already achieving the requirements of the programmes that other Russian regions are implementing. We have established average waste management rates, which are even lower than last year – 50 rubles per person in the city and 40 rubles per person in the rural areas. At the same time, the waste accumulation rate (the approved average again) was 2.4 cubic metres per resident per year in the cities, and 1.8 cubic metres in rural areas.

We have reached agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and are now drawing up a plan as part of the programme and the national projects; two plants will be built for sorting, recycling and partially burying the so-called tailings. Mr Kobylkin and I have discussed the technology; there is an understanding, and we are aiming for the federal standard.

As for water supply, today, 77 percent of the population receives clean, high-quality water. As for the remaining 23 percent who still have poor-quality water, our plans to bring the supply of quality water to 100 percent will be implemented as part of the national projects; the money has been allocated and accounted for.

As part of the national projects, the Government of the Republic of Crimea has executed 66 agreements with the federal authorities and developed 46 regional programmes worth a total of 78 billion rubles. The Government of the Russian Federation has allocated the money; we are fully aware of the total amount of work to be done. I am sure that most of these problems that you have identified today in your introductory remarks, will also be resolved through the implementation of these projects.

This is a short report, Mr President, on the five-year period since our reunification with our historic homeland. I would like to express my appreciation of the huge cooperative, collective work of the Government of the Russian Federation; without it, nothing would have happened, without the Russian lawmaker, and of course, your personal support. Many thanks.

In general, we understand that tremendous work has been done, but we have yet to retake the road that you identified for error correction. We will work together.

My report is over, Mr President.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

Thank you.

Mr Ovsyannikov, go ahead, please.

Governor of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov:

Mr President, colleagues,

Since the historic return of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, the city's development has received a powerful boost. It has gained the opportunity to revive its infrastructure, build new social facilities and resolve other problems.

In the last five years, the region has been integrated into Russia’s economy and legal system. The region has established essential legislative and regulatory foundations and developed durable economic ties with Russian regions.

Here are a few figures. In the past five years, the region’s economy grew by 80 percent and by 20 percent in 2018 alone. According to the Finance Ministry, we rank eighth in the development of the economic potential among Russian regions.

Our industrial enterprises are being utilised. In five years, our industrial production went up by 150 percent and by 29 percent last year alone. Agricultural production increased by 54 percent over five years.

Small and medium-size business is making rapid headway. It employs over 47,000 people. Tax revenues went up by 43 percent in the past year alone.

In the past five years, investment in fixed assets increased 10 times, exceeding 40 billion rubles in 2018. Importantly, the share of private investment reached 46 percent.

The budget of Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea is becoming more self-sufficient. Personal incomes are 1.7 times higher than in 2014. During all these years, the unemployment rate in Sevastopol was one of the lowest at 0.2 percent, while the number of people employed in the economy has grown by 15 percent.

Sevastopol is one of the country’s most rapidly growing cities. In five years, its population grew by 15 percent. In the rating of Russian cities by quality of life, Sevastopol went from 71st place in 2015 to 20th place in 2018. The average salary in the region is 2.3 times higher than it was five year ago.

During the past few years, Sevastopol has been implementing a major programme to improve the quality of the urban environment. Over 20 parks and squares have been upgraded, more than 500 sports and children’s grounds have been built and almost 400 courtyards repaired. According to the Construction Ministry, Sevastopol is on the list of Russia’s 20 most livable cities.

The region’s housing capital repair programme is now fully underway. It includes one in every five buildings, more than 800 blocks of flats. We ranked twelfth in Russia for this programme in 2018.

Over the past three years, eight kindergartens, newly built or reopened after major repairs, took in more than 4,000 children; general education and music schools opened, and twice as many children can holiday in camps in Sevastopol. This progress was achieved even though the number of schoolchildren has grown by 35 percent since 2014, and the number of preschoolers, by 46 percent.

The quality of healthcare services is one of the cornerstones of improving the quality of life. The equipment and services are being updated; more than 2,000 units of cutting-edge medical equipment have been installed; and the ambulance fleet has been completely replaced. Medical care has become more accessible in rural areas, with 14 rural health centres and emergency aid stations opened; the mortality rate, including infants, has decreased – we ranked second in Russia in 2018. Patient satisfaction with healthcare institutions has increased by 24 percent in three years.

We are also improving roads — over 195 kilometres out of 1,000 have been repaired. Public transport has been significantly updated; more than 300 new trolleybuses and buses are in service now. In two years, the number of traffic fatalities has been more than halved. The construction of the Taurida Motorway and the reconstruction of the road to Kamyshovaya Bay are in progress; other major motorways and interchanges are being designed in the city.

Over the past five years, 825,000 square metres of new housing have been commissioned. This year we rank first among the regions of the Southern Federal District in terms of growth rate. We have launched a systematic urban development programme; we have approved a strategy for socio-economic development until 2030, including 20 regional state programmes to build more than 200 facilities, funded through federal targeted programmes.

You mentioned the problems that worry people in Sevastopol, and in Crimea in general – above all, the high prices of food. The solution here may be new chain stores coming to the local market and the construction of a wholesale management centre.

Social infrastructure, healthcare, depreciation of buildings, poor quality equipment in hospitals, substandard medical doctor skills and personnel shortages remain extremely acute issues for the residents of the city. Roads as well as housing and utilities continue to cause daily concerns for citizens. Last year, we received some support from the Moscow Government. After meeting with you and Mr Sobyanin [Moscow Mayor], we joined our efforts and focused on bringing the existing healthcare, education, sports and culture infrastructure up to code. We started urban improvements.

The commissioning of blocks of flats built with various code violations is another major problem in Sevastopol. The legal chaos of previous years now has us looking for solutions that would protect the interests of the residents.

In closing, I would like to ask you to support the solutions that are truly important for the city. Creating one of the 15 federal research and educational centres at Sevastopol State University is of key importance to us. The long-term spatial development of the city involves the construction of the new Gerakleiskaya Lateral Motorway and a bridge across Sevastopol Bay.

Integrating Sevastopol manufacturing enterprises into major Russian holding companies proved its effectiveness, brought new orders to these enterprises and made it possible to begin technical upgrades. Now, in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport, we are preparing similar solutions for the Sevastopol seaport.

We would like the implementation period of the state programme for the socioeconomic development of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to be extended considering there is a number of sites, the construction of which will take longer than the period indicated in the federal targeted programme. There are your decisions to this effect. Crimea and Sevastopol need these facilities.

Mr President, colleagues,

We, the people of Sevastopol, are keenly aware of your support and help. With the TPP now operational, our region enjoys total energy security and good potential for development. The Taurida Motorway will increase the transport accessibility of the city of Sevastopol many times over and will give a powerful boost to the city's development. We are ready to discuss these issues, of which we have quite a backlog now, but we are confident that we will be able to clear it in full.

Thank you. That concludes my report.

Vladimir Putin:

The TPP alone will give you 500 million rubles in additional revenue to the budget of Sevastopol and 500 million rubles in additional revenue to the budget of the Republic of Crimea.

The source of information -

Meeting with Denis Pasler

March 21, 2019 - 11:30 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The President held a working meeting with Denis Pasler to inform him of the decision to appoint him Acting Governor of Orenburg Region.

The source of information -

Meeting with Andrei Chibis

March 21, 2019 - 11:50 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The President held a working meeting with Andrei Chibis to inform him of the decision to appoint him Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

The source of information -

Greetings on opening of sixth Trans-Siberian Art Festival

Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the organisers, participants and guests of the sixth Trans-Siberian Art Festival that began in Novosibirsk.

March 21, 2019 - 14:00

The message reads, in part:

“Your forum is always held on a high creative note and is rightfully known for its rich programme and famous participants.

By closing the gap and expanding its presence, it acquaints Russian and foreign audiences with classical music masterpieces and gives first performances of contemporary works. And, of course, performances by ballet, opera and theatre masters are the true gems of this festival.

I would like to note the important educational and charitable mission of the Art Festival as well as its significant contribution to the development of international humanitarian ties, professional and personal contacts and to strengthening trust and mutual understanding between people.

I am confident that both the participants and guests at the forum will remember these amazing days filled with creative joy and friendly communication.”

The source of information -

Meeting with permanent members of Security Council

Vladimir Putin chaired a briefing meeting with permanent members of the Security Council.

March 22, 2019 - 13:40 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The meeting participants exchanged opinions on a wide range of issues concerning the Middle East settlement, noting that the highly unstable and continuously tense situation in the region must not be provoked by ill-advised actions and statements of the countries directly related to the settlement process.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed the participants on the results of his trip to Syria as well as the nature of his contacts with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Pressing socioeconomic matters were also discussed.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.

The source of information -

Congratulations to Alina Zagitova, winner of the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan

Vladimir Putin congratulated Alina Zagitova on her victory at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan.

March 22, 2019 - 18:30

The message reads, in part:

“Your victory was beautiful, technically skilled and confident. You performed your programme in one breath and won over millions of fans and spectators with your complete mastery. Such victorious achievements bring sport glory to our country. Good job!

I know that today world championship gold was added to your impressive collection of world-class awards for the first time. I am sure that with your ability to prepare, and your confidence and strength of character, you can take on the most difficult and ambitious challenges and goals.”

The source of information -

Greetings to Bashkiria residents on the Republic’s centenary

The President sent a message of greetings to residents of Bashkiria on the 100th anniversary of the Republic’s establishment.

March 23, 2019 - 11:00

The message reads, in part:

“Greetings on this significant anniversary – the centenary of the establishment of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

This event was a milestone in the history of nation building in our country and played a significant part in the life of Bashkortostan by contributing to its economic development, preserving its original traditions, and the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the ethnic groups residing in the republic.

Today Bashkortostan is rightly regarded to be among the leading regions. Largely due to the creative work of the residents and well-conceived decisions in leadership, the republic is expanding its innovative potential. Conditions for considerable investment are being established here, relevant projects are being pursued in industry and agriculture, energy, and social and transport infrastructure. All those large-scale initiatives serve to enhance the well-being of the people and improve the quality of living.

I am confident that love for your homeland, sincere desire to contribute to its prosperity, mutual respect and concord will continue to help you in meeting the goals set in the interests of the Republic of Bahskortostan and the whole of Russia.”

The source of information -
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln
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Talks with President of Lebanon Michel Aoun

Vladimir Putin held talks at the Kremlin with President of the Lebanese Republic Michel Aoun, who is in Russia on an official visit.

March 26, 2019 - 18:30 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The talks were attended on the Russian side by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov and Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin. Attending on the Lebanese side were Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil and Senior Presidential Aide Mirei Aoun al-Hashem.

Following the talks the two leaders adopted a Joint Statement on Further Developing and Strengthening the Relations of Friendship and Cooperation between Lebanon and Russia.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr President, friends and colleagues,

We are very happy to welcome you to Moscow.

Lebanon is our traditional longtime partner in the Middle East and North Africa. We maintain relations with the leaders of your country and representatives of different political forces and religions. We are happy to see you in Moscow both as the President of the country and a representative of the Christian community.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. This country, the Soviet Union at that time, was one of the first to recognize Lebanon’s independence.

Mr President, I would like to emphasise once again that we are happy to see you in our country. Welcome.

President of the Lebanese Republic Michel Aoun (retranslated):

Mr President, thank you very much.

I would also like to note the long-term nature of our relations that are more than a hundred years old. Of course, there was an interval when they broke up, but we will work in the hope that they will only grow stronger at present and in the future.

We highly value the position of Russia, your stance in defence of religious minorities in the East. It goes without saying that we are living through hard times now and would therefore like to have your support.

We held a number of meetings with representatives from Russian business circles yesterday and today, and these meetings were very useful, We hope they will promote economic cooperation.

Regrettably, today we heard the news that the United States has recognised the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Naturally, this undermines the foundations and principles of the UN and international law since the founding of this organisation. This is the second time that we are seeing how one state simply takes away occupied territories in this region. This is certainly a source of serious concern for the countries that are in the direct vicinity of Israel. We hope a settlement to this problem will be found in the near future.

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Telephone conversation with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.

March 26, 2019 - 20:40

Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko discussed current aspects of Russian-Belarusian relations with an emphasis on the development of cooperation within the Union State. They also touched on integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union.

The source of information -

Greetings on the opening of the first Forum of Russian and Kyrgyzstani university rectors, Development of Science and Education is an Investment in the Future

Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the participants and guests of the first Forum of Russian and Kyrgyzstani university rectors, Development of Science and Education is an Investment in the Future.

March 27, 2019 - 16:40

The message reads, in part:

“Holding such an event is, of course, much welcomed. A direct dialogue between the two states’ universities provides great opportunities for develop cooperation in education and science and helps strengthen bilateral humanitarian ties, which have traditionally been an important element of Russian-Kyrgyzstani strategic partnership.

You will exchange practical experience in teaching, research and organisational work and discuss prospects of implementing joint projects, both bilateral and within the Eurasian integration processes. It is important to think together about how to preserve and multiply our common intellectual, cultural and spiritual heritage.

I am confident that your discussions will be interesting and substantive, and help you outline new forms and methods of cooperation between Russian and Kyrgyzstani universities. And, of course, they will strengthen the friendship and understanding between our people.”

The source of information -

Greetings to 10th Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival

Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the organisers, participants and guests of the 10th Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival.

March 27, 2019 - 18:00

The message reads, in part:

“This festival was established to commemorate an outstanding musician, a vibrant, talented, extraordinary man, and a great devotee. The list of the Maestro’s undeniable accomplishments includes creating a foundation for cultural and humanitarian programmes that, for many years, has been successfully supporting the professional development of young talents, helping them find their way as artists.

Today, many popular educational, mentoring, and charity initiatives spearheaded by the foundation are being implemented, and many large-scale celebratory events, like this wonderful festival, are being held.

Over the years, it has brought together powerful creative forces, garnered prestige and recognition, and become a great and memorable event in the cultural life of our country and the world.

I am sure that this year’s festival will be held at a high level, and that it will treat its guests to a full, sumptuous concert programme and an all-star line-up.”

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State visit to Kyrgyzstan

Vladimir Putin made a state visit to Kyrgyzstan at the invitation of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

March 28, 2019 - 11:40 - Bishkek

The official welcoming ceremony was followed by talks. The presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan met in the restricted format before continuing talks with participation of their respective delegations.

The discussion focused on current state and prospects for developing relations of strategic partnership and alliance, as well as enhancing interaction within regional associations in light of Kyrgyzstan’s presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Following the talks, the two presidents signed a Joint Statement of the President of the Russian Federation and the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, an exchange of intergovernmental, interdepartmental, interregional and commercial documents signed during the state visit took place in the presence of Vladimir Putin and Sooronbay Jeenbekov. In particular, the documents concern the development of the oil and gas and oil processing industries as well as the railway network in Kyrgyzstan, cooperation in supplying crude oil and refined products, trade and economic cooperation, exchange of best practices in the implementation of national projects, the status of and conditions for stationing a joint Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, comprehensive geological exploration, restoration of Kyrgyzstan’s mineral resources, and cooperation in education and sports.

The two leaders also made statements for the press.

The source of information -

Conversation with President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov

March 28, 2019 - 09:45

President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov:

Mr President, welcome to the Kyrgyz Republic.

We heartily greet you and are delighted to see you here. We appreciate your state visit.

Kyrgyz people know you and value you as a true, close and reliable friend. We are always happy when you and our Russian friends come to visit us. To us, Russia is a reliable, close and loyal ally and an important long-term strategic partner, and we value the relations with the Russian Federation a lot.

Through your personal support our bilateral relations have reached a whole new level. Last year we met several times, and this is our second meeting this year. Each meeting gives a boost to our development. We very much appreciate Russia’s support in our country’s adaptation to the EAEU environment. I would like to thank you for the assistance you provided to our Armed Forces. We will always strive to strengthen the friendly relations between our countries.

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan. Please, the floor is yours.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Thank you very much.

First of all, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for the invitation. We had a meeting not so long ago and discussed current issues. I am delighted that today we can continue our dialogue. I can say the same about Kyrgyzstan: it is our reliable ally and strategic partner, which is very telling, and therefore we have worked and will work both in the bilateral format and on international platforms.

We just talked about a major international event that Kyrgyzstan will soon organize, a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. I am sure that it will be held at a high level.

At the beginning of our conversation I would like to emphasise that thanks to your efforts, the atmosphere in Kyrgyzstan is calm and stable which allows for addressing social and economic issues. I think this is what we should focus on today.

Thank you again for the invitation.

The source of information -

Russia-Kyrgyzstan talks in expanded format

March 28, 2019 - 11:00 - Bishkek

President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov:

Mr President, friends,

Welcome to the Kyrgyz Republic. Please accept our heartfelt greetings. We are delighted to see you.

Mr President, first of all, I would like to say how much I appreciate your making this state visit to Kyrgyzstan. I am pleased to note the high level and active dynamics of our bilateral cooperation.

We are expanding and deepening our cooperation in trade, industrial production, transport and migration. Our military and military-technical cooperation is gradually progressing. Thank you for your assistance for the Armed Forces of Kyrgyzstan. We appreciate your decision to announce the migration amnesty for Kyrgyz citizens once again. It greatly supports our fellow nationals in Russia.

Just now, during a restricted meeting, we confirmed our mutual understanding concerning all the issues on the agenda. Thank you, Mr President, for the support and understanding of our initiatives.

Friends, recently our cooperation has become closer through a number of top-level bilateral meetings. We also successfully held a meeting of the intergovernmental commission.

The First Forum of Russian and Kyrgyzstani University Rectors rounded up yesterday. A large-scale interregional conference is underway right now, which aims to build up the potential of our regions and establish direct contacts between the constituent entities of our countries.

Following Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, our relations have reached a qualitatively new level. Kyrgyzstan highly appreciates Russia’s assistance in the amount of $200 million for the country’s adaptation to the EAEU environment.

I would like to particularly mention the timely establishment of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, which has financially supported a number of projects for the development of the republic’s economy.

I am certain that today’s meeting will allow us to compare our views, determine our further steps and the course of our cooperation. As always, this meeting will take place in the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership. Today we will sign an extensive package of documents concerning various aspects of our relations.

Mr President, please.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr President,

Friends, colleagues,

On behalf of the entire Russian delegation, I would like to thank you for your invitation to pay a state visit to Kyrgyzstan. I am certain that our work will be productive and helpful to the further development of relations between Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation.

The trade and economy always require special attention. I am pleased to note that in this field we have seen a positive trend. The trade between our countries is constantly growing. We noted a strong impact of Kyrgyzstan’s joining our leading integration process, the EAEU. The trade between Kyrgyzstan and the EAEU members is constantly growing. But also in terms of bilateral relations, you have just mentioned the spheres in which we are involved together and which we discussed both one-on-one and at the restricted format meeting. In addition to the economy, these areas include cultural, humanitarian and educational contacts. Several thousand young Kyrgyz specialists are studying in Russia. We agree with your proposal to announce the next few years the years of the Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation. We will continue to give our full attention to these matters.

Right now, a big and representative delegation of rectors of Russian higher education institutions is visiting Kyrgyzstan. There is also a big “landing party” of Russian regional heads: governors from 18 Russian regions arrived here to meet with their partners in Kyrgyzstan. A representative Russian delegation from the business community, over 200 leading Russian business people, is here to explore the local opportunities for expanding their businesses.

We have built a very close alliance between our military agencies. I am certain that this cooperation will continue both in the multilateral format of the CSTO and bilaterally. This cooperation will include supplies of military equipment, arms, the training of Kyrgyz troops, including at the Russian Defence Ministry’s higher education institutions. The scope of cooperation is extensive and covers almost every field, including the coordination of our efforts on the international arena.

I would like to thank you for the attention you personally pay to the relations with Russia across all sectors. I hope that our partnership will develop in the same manner in the short term and at least in the midterm.

Thank you.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov:

Mr President,

Thank you for your constructive and substantive speech. I would like to note that our countries’ governments have worked very hard to develop cooperation. I am confident that the implementation of the agreements signed following the Intergovernmental Commission’s recent meeting will further promote our multifaceted cooperation.

I am happy to note how active our business community is and how interested they are in partnerships in trade, the economy, investment, and in interregional areas. Regarding the positive dynamics in bilateral trade growth, we have to reach and top the 2 billion mark together.

With regard to military and political developments in the region, I consider it important to continue the re-equipping of Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces with modern weapons and other military equipment.

We need to step up cooperation in agriculture and exports of agricultural products from Kyrgyzstan to Russia. Our products are known for their high ecological properties.

The Kyrgyz veterinarian control system has made a distinct breakthrough in improving its activities. Russia has lifted the ban on importing raw meat from Kyrgyzstan, for which we are sincerely grateful.

Last year, cultural cooperation of our countries was marked by the 90th anniversary of people’s author Chingiz Aitmatov. Let me express my gratitude for Russia’s support in immortalising the memory of this great humanist writer in Moscow.

Cooperation in education and youth policy also continues. I am grateful for your decision to increase quotas for students from Kyrgyzstan at Russian universities. This will make it possible to fill Kyrgyzstan’s market with highly qualified specialists. Human resource training in technical disciplines at Russian universities is very important for us right now.

As for cooperation in migration, I would like to ask you to consider the possibility of easing the migration registration procedures or consider fines without deportation. During our restricted meeting we talked about this.

I also ask you to assist in expediting the process to provide technical assistance in creating a Kyrgyz national system of product traceability. We discussed this earlier, and it has been repeatedly reviewed at the government and agency levels of the two countries.

We very much appreciate that Russia has supported Kyrgyzstan’s priorities during this year’s presidency in the CSTO.

We welcome Russia’s intent to further boost a settlement in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan is ready to make its fair share of contribution to the process of regional security because it is interested in a peaceful, prosperous Afghanistan.

Cells of international terrorist organisations continue to operate in the CIS countries. It is important to carry on the joint fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking. I am happy to note the cooperation of our corresponding agencies in this area. I also would like to ask you to consider the possibility of reviving the assistance programme in counteracting illegal drug trafficking.

Summing up, I would like to note that we have no disputes and that we cooperate closely in all areas. Our talks were held in an atmosphere of absolute trust and we have outlined great plans for the future. This again shows that we – Kyrgyzstan and Russia – are reliable allies and strategic partners.

Thank you for your attention.

I suggest we conclude our expanded meeting and proceed with signing the documents.

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Press statements following Russia-Kyrgyzstan talks

March 28, 2019 - 11:45 - Bishkek

President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov:

Friends, we are delighted to welcome the Russian delegation to our hospitable Kyrgyz land.

Mr President,

Once again I would like to thank you for making your state visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. We had constructive and productive talks and covered all spheres concerning bilateral interaction. Again I would like to point out that thanks to you and your personal support, our bilateral relations have reached a whole new level and were given a fresh boost. Your state visit is an undoubtedly remarkable historic event in Russian-Kyrgyz relations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The top-level Russian-Kyrgyz talks have just concluded. I would like to note that the meeting and talks during the state visit of President of Russia Vladimir Putin were held in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. We signed an impressive package of bilateral agreements that meet the interests of both countries and aim to bring our relations to a new level. I am sure that their implementation will benefit the peoples of our two countries.

During the talks, the parties expressed interest in the development of multifaceted cooperation between our countries.

Acting in the spirit of strategic partnership, we are going to increase foreign-policy, trade and economic, and military-technical cooperation. Being allies, we will act together to ensure regional stability.

Today we agreed to hold the Year of the Kyrgyz Republic in Russia and the Year of the Russian Federation in Kyrgyzstan in 2020. These events will make a significant contribution to the strengthening of our strategic alliance.

We also exchanged opinions on current international affairs, reviewed our interaction, including as part of such regional organisations as the CSTO and SCO. As you know, this year Kyrgyzstan chairs these two organisations. Here in Bishkek we will hold regular meetings of heads of state.

We also had a substantial conversation about the improvement of trade and economic relations, including within the Eurasian Economic Union. We are glad that our mutual trade has been growing: the republic received $123 million in direct foreign investments from Russia, which is 25 percent more than in 2017.

We paid special attention to the removal of trade barriers. Both sides are interested in creating favourable conditions for agricultural cooperation. This will increase the supplies of the produce from the Kyrgyz agro-industrial complex to the Russian market.

We discussed in detail the advance of joint infrastructure projects in the field of transport, railways, energy and industrial cooperation.

Kyrgyz representatives spoke about the need to create favourable conditions for reciprocal trips and jobs for citizens of both countries with due account of the EAEU membership.

The Eighth Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference, completes its work today. For us it is of utmost importance to attract Russian investments and create favourable conditions for small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, at the conference we will sign a number of interregional agreements and contracts in the trade and economic and investment sphere. We hope that direct contacts between our regions and business structures will grow.

We did not neglect cultural and humanitarian issues. We continue strengthening our ties in the field of education, the training of personnel and youth policy. The first forum of rectors of Kyrgyz and Russian universities was successfully held in Bishkek yesterday. Our joint project, that is, the Boris Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University is one of Kyrgyzstan’s flagship universities with a 25 year-long history. Over 15,000 students from Kyrgyzstan study in the Russian Federation today. I am convinced that they will return home as top professionals and will make a tangible contribution to the development of Kyrgyzstan.

We cherish the unique store of our spiritual ties, which are based on the common history of our peoples. I would like to repeat that the Russian language has been and will remain the official language of the Kyrgyz Republic. We attach much importance to this issue of national standing.


The Russian Federation is our close, reliable and loyal ally and long-term strategic partner. We recognise its leading role in the consolidation of universal security and resolving global and regional problems. We are always overjoyed when it comes to Russia’s achievements and will continue to actively consolidate Kyrgyz-Russian friendship.

May God grant peace, prosperity and every success to the peoples of Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Thank you all very much.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

During this state visit to Kyrgyzstan, I have enjoyed a very constructive and friendly atmosphere. In a more expanded format involving the President and me, as well as our colleagues, we discussed the entire scope of bilateral cooperation on topical issues, including integration across Eurasia. I want to stress once again: the Kyrgyz Republic is Russia’s partner and reliable ally with which we are connected by time-tested and cherished ties of friendship and mutual understanding.

During the talks, we confirmed our mutual interest in the further overarching strengthening of our relations in political, cultural and humanitarian affairs as well as in other areas such as military and military-technical cooperation.

The specific vectors for the development of multi-dimensional Russia-Kyrgyz relations and ties are reflected in the joint statement newly adopted by the President and myself. The multiple documents signed in front of you are also aimed at solving the practical tasks of our bilateral cooperation.

Of course, we focused in particular on trade and economic cooperation, both in restricted meetings and in those involving heads of key ministers and government bodies. We noted with satisfaction a positive dynamic in bilateral trade. According to our statistics, last year it increased by 17 percent, reaching almost two billion dollars. This January it grew by another 25 percent.

The Russian Export Centre’s active work facilitates expanded mutual trade volumes. Twelve joint projects worth $71 million and aiming to expand the commodity range have already been launched with its support. In turn, the Russian Direct Investment Fund is doing a lot to boost mutual capital investment volumes. An agreement, signed between the Fund and Kyrgyz partners, aims to expand mutual investment, the current volume of which exceeds $350 million. Accumulated Russian investment in Kyrgyzstan exceeds $200 million, and Kyrgyzstan has accumulated $150 million worth of investments in Russia.

It should be noted that Russian companies operate in virtually all key sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, including in the power industry, the mining and engineering sectors, agriculture and transport. Over 700 Russian-Kyrgyz joint ventures operate successfully in the republic. The Russian-Kyrgyz inter-governmental commission functions efficiently, with Bishkek recently hosting its regular meeting on March 1. Members of the Russian-Kyrgyz Business Council deal with specific projects yielding a real economic effect, including those in the field of small and medium-sized businesses. The inter-regional conference holds regular meetings involving the heads of regions and municipalities and both countries’ business circles. These days, Bishkek is the venue of the eighth meeting of the conference; Mr President and I will attend its plenary session some time later.

We maintain large-scale cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Gazprom is doing a lot to implement a general plan for supplying Kyrgyzstan with gas and building gas pipelines in local communities until 2030. The Russian concern has already invested 16 billion rubles out of the planned 100 billion ruble sum, increasing the number of Kyrgyz communities that receive gas from 22 percent to 30 percent. Their share is to reach 60 percent; and I am confident that these plans will be implemented. Since 2011, Russia has been annually exporting over 1.1 million tonnes of crude oil to Kyrgyzstan duty-free. The direct economic effect from these easy-term deliveries for the Kyrgyz economy totals an estimated $2 billion.

The two countries’ cooperation in the development of natural resources is successfully developing. We agreed today that VTB, Alliance Group and Alliance Altyn of Kyrgyzstan will begin a major project to develop the Jerooy gold mine. The total investment in the project over a period of the next 20 years will be about $600 million.

Bilateral cooperation in high technologies is also growing. Among promising innovative projects is the joint production of single-crystal wafers for solar power stations in Kyrgyzstan. Russia’s BL Group is ready to begin production of modern LED equipment in the republic.

The cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan within the Eurasian Economic Union was a major topic on the agenda of the talks. Our country is helping to adapt the Kyrgyz economy to the EAEU environment. The Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, specially created for this purpose, has invested more than $300 million in various sectors of the Kyrgyz economy. Due to Russia’s help – with $200 million allocated for this purpose –Kyrgyzstan’s customs infrastructure and border checkpoints are being upgraded. After all these projects are completed, presumably by 2020, Kyrgyz products will be certified for compliance with the EAEU technical regulations directly in the republic.

I must note that in Russia, a lot is being done to create favourable conditions for Kyrgyz labour migrants. In October-December 2018, Russia held a migration amnesty at the request of the President of Kyrgyzstan, allowing thousands of Kyrgyz citizens who, for one reason or another, mainly for technical reasons, violated the terms of their stay in Russia, to go home and return without administrative responsibility, which we had agreed with Mr President and implemented, as we can see. At the request of Kyrgyzstan, the amnesty was extended until the end of April, which once again underlines the special nature of relations between our countries.

And of course, cultural and humanitarian ties and exchanges are of great importance for strengthening Russian-Kyrgyz cooperation. Last year, both countries organised events dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the outstanding Soviet and Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov’s birth. The date was celebrated with great success. After this joint news conference, the President and I agreed to visit the house-museum of Aitmatov, who made a great contribution to the development of Russian and Kyrgyz culture, to strengthening friendly relations and ties between our peoples.

This month, Kyrgyzstan held Days of Russian Culture and a Russian Cinema Week. The Flowers of Russia international children's festival will open tomorrow.

Our countries are intensively cooperating in the field of education. At present, almost 16,000 Kyrgyz students are enrolled in Russian universities, including more than 6,500 whose tuition is covered by the Russian federal budget. Another 11,000 people study at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek. This university has been the flagship of bilateral cooperation in higher education for more than 25 years. Last year, Russia allocated another 185 million rubles for its development.

We also agreed with the President that 2020 will be declared a Russia-Kyrgyzstan cross year. The relevant agencies in both countries have been instructed to prepare a rich programme of activities.

During the talks, we noted that Russia and Kyrgyzstan share identical or similar positions on key regional issues. In particular, we agreed to further coordinate our work in the United Nations and at other leading international platforms.

As a reminder, this year, Kyrgyzstan is presiding over the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, so we will be happy to come to Bishkek to attend the SCO and CSTO summits to be hosted in the Kyrgyz capital in June and November, respectively.

We expect to thoroughly discuss with our partners in these organisations the topics of jointly dealing with the challenges and threats in the Eurasian space. We have also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the military and military-technical fields. The Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan makes a significant contribution to strengthening the republic’s defence capability, and its presence is an important factor for security and stability in Central Asia.

In conclusion, colleagues, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our Kyrgyz partners and the President of Kyrgyzstan for their hospitality and productive joint work. I am confident that the results of our meeting will contribute to the development of allied relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, and will benefit the peoples of our countries.

Thank you.

The source of information -

Visit to Chingiz Aitmatov House-Museum

Together with President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov Vladimir Putin visited the House-Museum of writer Chingiz Aitmatov.

March 28, 2019 - 14:30 - Bishkek

The Chingiz Aitmatov House-Museum was opened in 2014 at the initiative of the writer's relatives, in the house where Aitmatov lived for more than 20 years. The exhibits are spread over six rooms, including the office and a library with the writer's books, photographs and awards. The museum includes a gallery of paintings based on Aitmatov’s works.

The Chingiz Aitmatov International Foundation operates at the museum. Established in 2000 by the writer himself, now the foundation is managed by his children, organising cultural and educational activities.

During a visit to the museum, Vladimir Putin and Sooronbay Jeenbekov were informed of the plans to create a Chingiz Aitmatov cultural centre in Kyrgyzstan. At the end of the tour, the heads of Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed the museum’s distinguished visitors’ book.

The source of information -

Eighth Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference

Vladimir Putin and Sooronbay Jeenbekov took part in a plenary session of the Eighth Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference, New Horizons for Strategic Partnership and Integration.

March 28, 2019 - 15:30 - Bishkek

The conference, organised with the support of the Roscongress Foundation, brought together over 700 representatives of government agencies, major companies and financial institutions of the two countries. A series of documents was signed on the sidelines of the conference.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr President,

Colleagues, friends, I am happy to welcome all of you, all participants in the Eighth – already the eight one – Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference.

Regular meetings in this format, as the President of Kyrgyzstan rightly noted, are very important and in demand. They provide heads of regions and local governments, representatives of expert and business circles, as well as public organisations with an opportunity to directly discuss current issues of cooperation, to align positions, and to jointly develop plans to expand mutually beneficial cooperation. As a result, interregional cooperation is being fleshed out with real substance; it is making a contribution to the development of the full range of bilateral relations and helping to strengthen the strategic partnership and alliance of Russia and Kyrgyzstan. This is why we immediately supported the initiative of the President of Kyrgyzstan to attend the plenary session together.

I would like to note that the issue of regional cooperation was also brought up during the constructive and fruitful talks the President and I had today. This is only logical, given that 71 Russian regions maintain direct relations with Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz partners. During this visit, as far as I am aware, the Sverdlovsk and Tyumen regions, as well as the Komi and Bashkortostan republics, signed an agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation. In short, I can sense that the representatives of the two countries are ready to do business and work together productively.

The impressive mix of conference participants speaks to this. According to our Kyrgyz friends, this conference has brought together over 800 delegates from 18 Russian regions and seven Kyrgyz regions, including 12 regional heads, as well as officials from the key economic ministries and agencies of both countries.

I also believe our main subject for discussion to be important and topical. I mean new horizons of interregional cooperation considering the integration processes that are becoming deeper in Eurasia. For more than four years now, Russia and Kyrgyzstan cooperate within the Eurasian Economic Union. The advantage of integration is evident.

The Kyrgyz economy is growing stably. The dynamics of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP growth are among the highest in the EAEU: four percent per year on average.

Russian-Kyrgyz trade and economic ties have become more active. Bilateral trade is growing: last year it increased 17 percent reaching almost $2 billion. About 80 percent of this amount is interregional trade. Cargo transport volumes between Russian and Kyrgyz regions are also increasing; the development of the EAEU digital agenda, such as introduction of a joint e-commerce system, automated device tracking and construction of wholesale distribution centres, helps promote this.

I would like to emphasise that cooperation within the Union increases the potential for Russian and Kyrgyzstani regional economic growth and creates further conditions to increase interregional cooperation, develop logistics and infrastructure and establish joint companies to produce competitive products.

And, of course, integration stimulates investment cooperation between the two countries, counter-flows and capital. Russia is a leading investor in Kyrgyzstan. The accumulated volume of Russian investment is over $200 billion. These resources are used in processing industries, wholesale and retail trade, and mining.

The Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, established to adapt the Kyrgyz economy to EAEU agreements, is an effective tool of bilateral economic cooperation. The Fund has invested $307 million in over 1,500 large and small projects. These projects are being carried out in various economic sectors and regions of Kirgizia, including the renovation of the airport in the Issyk-Kul Region, a building materials plant in the Osh Region and a shoe manufacturing facility in the Chuy Region.

Last year business and consultation centres opened everywhere in Kyrgyzstan as part of the comprehensive regional development programme devised by the Development Fund. They help businesspeople with drafting business plans and receiving financial assistance.

Russian-Kyrgyz interregional cooperation is supported by the Eurasian Development Bank that has funded a number of vital projects for the Kyrgyz regions such as the renovation of the Bishkek-Osh motorway and the upgrade of the Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Plant. Today, bank representatives signed a memorandum on a joint project of integration management for republic and municipal government bodies.

There are great opportunities for cooperation in tourism for Russians, especially in Siberia and the Urals. The popular resorts of Issyk-Kul that is famous for its beaches, spa and alpine ski resorts attract tens of thousands of Russian visitors every year.

Of course, the importance of further cultural and humanitarian cooperation should also be noted. In 2018, Russian and Kyrgyz regions were largely involved in events marking the 90th birth anniversary of Chingiz Aitmatov, the classic writer of Soviet, Russian (as we believe) and, of course, Kyrgyz literature. We really enjoyed visiting the Chingiz Aitmatov House-Museum just now. Yakutsk hosted a Kyrgyz film festival screening films based on Aitmatov’s works. A sculpture inspired by his book, Farewell, Gulsary!, was unveiled in the Kyrgyz city of Cholpon-Ata with the support of the Sverdlovsk Regional government. Last December in Moscow, the President of Kyrgyzstan, as you may remember, unveiled a monument to this outstanding writer and thinker.

Our regions extensively work together to develop links in sports. Russian athletes from Kalmykia, Bashkortostan and the Altai Territory participated in the 3rd World Nomad Games in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Youth and university exchanges contribute to the further expansion of interregional contacts. The President also spoke about this. The regions were widely represented at conferences and forums for youth and university rectors.

Colleagues, finally, I would like to thank all our Kyrgyz friends, the President of Kyrgyzstan and everybody who gathered here today, for their activism and enthusiasm. I am also confident that the regions of Russia and Kyrgyzstan will continue to strengthen their bilateral partnership.

Colleagues, a great deal depends on you. The President of Kyrgyzstan and I will do whatever we can to support your constructive initiatives, endeavours and new projects. Next year it will be Russia’s turn to host the interregional conference. With great pleasure, I would like to invite you to Yekaterinburg.

Thank you very much.


Vladimir Putin:

Colleagues, the President has been in office for eighteen months, and during this time we have seen considerable invigoration of our interstate ties and interregional contacts. The Kyrgyz economy is making steady headway, maintaining the pace and building up cooperation. I would like to draw your attention to this and reaffirm what our colleagues have said here, notably that Kyrgyzstan is creating very good and stable conditions for cooperation and investment. This means a lot for business, in part, for them to be confident.

I would like to express the hope that our colleagues from both sides – Kyrgyz and Russian – will avail themselves of this opportunity and the results will be meaningful and obvious both to Russia and Kyrgyzstan. I would like to express gratitude to the Kyrgyz representatives and to the President.

I want to point out one more thing – a considerate attitude towards the Russian language. Russian is an official language in Kyrgyzstan, which creates special conditions for cooperation and, incidentally, has serious implications for both the humanitarian area and the economy. I would like to thank you for this and wish success to all of you.

Thank you very much.

The source of information -

Laying wreaths at the Eternal Flame on Victory Square in Bishkek

Vladimir Putin and President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov laid wreaths at the Eternal Flame on Victory Square in Bishkek.

March 28, 2019 - 16:00 - Bishkek

Vladimir Putin’s state visit to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan concluded with a wreath-laying ceremony.

Russia-Kyrgyzstan talks were held earlier today. The two presidents also attended the Eighth Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference and visited the Chingiz Aitmatov House-Museum.

The source of information -

Greetings on the opening of League of Arab States' Summit

Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to heads of state and government of the League of Arab States (LAS) member states on the opening of LAS Summit

March 31, 2019 - 12:00

The message reads, in part:

“Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa are currently facing serious challenges related to armed conflicts, escalating threats of terror, and aggravating social and economic problems. This undoubtedly increases the relevance of the League of Arab States as a mechanism of comprehensive dialogue and interaction.

Russia operates on the premise that the crisis situation in the region should be settled through political and diplomatic means on the basis of international law and with scrupulous respect for countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. This applies to Syria in full, where a massive blow was delivered to terror, the political process was launched and work was started to resolve pressing humanitarian issues, in large part due to Russia's efforts.

A major condition for the long-term stabilisation of the situation in the region is the settlement of the long-time Arab-Israeli conflict, which would include a just solution of the issue. The Arab Peace Initiative, approved by the League of Arab States, remains relevant in this regard.

Russia confirms those Middle East initiatives that it has announced previously, aimed at establishing a comprehensive anti-terror coalition under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to develop joint measures of security and trust in the Persian Gulf.

Russia is ready to further boost its partner relations with the Middle East and the states of North Africa in all areas. I am confident that a regular ministerial session of the Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum to take place in Moscow in April will promote our cooperation.”

The source of information -
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln
Old April 2nd, 2019 #24
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Winners of 2018 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and for Writing and Art for Children and Young People announced

Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order On the 2018 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and for Writing and Art for Children and Young People.

March 25, 2019 - 12:50 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The winners were announced at a special briefing by Presidential Adviser Vladimir Tolstoy.

* * *

Vladimir Putin considered the recommendations of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art and resolved that the 2018 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and the honorary title of prize-winner would be awarded to the following individuals:

Nikolai Pereslegin, architect, for the development of Russian architecture and the preservation of cultural heritage;

Valentin Uryupin, artistic director and chief conductor of the Rostov Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Rostov Regional Philharmonic Hall, for his contribution to the development of Russian music art;

Sergei Chekhov, stage director, for his creative development of the Russian theatrical school.

* * *

Vladimir Putin considered the recommendations of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art and resolved that the 2018 Presidential Prize for Writing and Art for Children and Young People and the honorary title of prize-winner would be awarded to the following individuals:

Boris Diodorov, artist, for his significant contribution to the development of Russian and global illustration art;

Sergei Kazarnovsky, Principal of the Klass-Centre general education school in Moscow, for the development and implementation of the concept Theatre as the Foundation of Humanitarian Education;

Francheska Yarbusova, artist, for her significant contribution to the development of Russian and global animation art.

The source of information -

Meeting with Russian Post head Nikolai Podguzov

Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Russian Post Director General Nikolai Podguzov to discuss promising areas of the company’s work.

March 25, 2019 - 13:30 - The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Podguzov, your company, a structured corporation, is not only of economic, but also of social significance.

I know that it has been developing quite successfully. I would like to hear your assessments and plans.

Director General of Russian Post Nikolai Podguzov:

Mr President,

Indeed, we achieved some success in 2018. We focused on optimising the business processes and on systematically cutting costs. This work has already produced results.

At the end of 2018, the company's revenue and net profit reached a historical high of 190 billion rubles in revenue and 2.7 billion rubles in net profit.

Having shown such results and having made projections for the future, we started on our second most important job – raising the wages of our core workers.

We have developed a programme that will affect 210,000 employees such as postal service operators, and mail carriers – we plan to increase their pay by 20 percent and we have invested 11.5 billion rubles in the payroll fund.

On May 1, we will launch the programme in 17 regions with the lowest pay and over 18 months, we will bring the core workers’ wages up to market levels. If the Russian Post’s performance exceeds forecasts, then we will try to do it in a shorter time.

The infrastructure of Russian Post needs to be renewed and investments are required. A modern infrastructure will contribute to high-quality postal services and good working conditions, which is very important.

Last year we carried out repair work on about 3,000 post offices and plan to proceed at the same rate.

In addition, this January we launched the second line of the Vnukovo 2 logistic postal centre, which will make it possible for us to achieve the highest market rates of delivery quality in Moscow Region.

At the same time, last autumn together with VTB Bank we established National Logistic Technologies, a company that is to create a network of 38 logistic postal centres in two years using the most advanced technologies.

These centres are established in order to create a digital logistic platform that will support e-commerce flow in the domestic market, as well as imports, exports and transit flows.

Investments in Russian Post will account for about 34 billion rubles over a period of the next two years.

Russian Post’s social function is another important task we have to address. We deliver pensions and social security benefits to 18 million people. Most of them live in rural areas.

Our mission is to preserve Russian Post’s infrastructure across the country, especially in remote areas, to provide basic postal services, to deliver food and to provide financial services.

In this context, I would like to note the development of our Pochta Bank project. Last year, the number of offices of the bank in the Russian Post’s infrastructure reached 15,000, so we will continue to expand our financial services.

In order to develop the post’s social function, we have launched the Bringing Care Closer project together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. Thank you very much for approving it at the Agency’s Supervisory Council in January.

The project in Novgorod Region will aim to find out, using the postal workers, what the requirements are for social and medical services.

I would like to say a bit about our active participation in preparations to celebrate a great day in our nation, the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Russian Post will take part in many events, such as the Immortal Regiment, Letters of Victory and Faces of Victory. We will use our entire infrastructure for this purpose.

This year, Pochta Bank is to be converted into a joint stock company. You signed the relevant law on June 29, 2018. Together with the Russian Government, we are now carrying out the reorganisation. According to the law, no later than October 1, 2019, Pochta Bank will become a joint-stock company with the Russian Government owning 100% of the company’s shares.

Vladimir Putin:

Pochta Bank’s results show that the decisions made concerning restructuring and reorganising the work according to new principles are now manifesting themselves.

What do you believe to be the most important factor that contributed to achieving all the results that you have just told me about?

Nikolai Podguzov:

I believe that the most important factor is ensuring Russian Post’s efficiency through enhancing the company’s economic yield. This can be done.

This is evidenced by our systematic work with costs. The business component of Russian Post will develop confidently and successfully.

At the same time, other important factors include the social function and the post’s presence in remote and hard-to-reach areas. It is very important, because sometimes, Russian Post serves as a sort of a centre of gravity, and there, the quality of services we offer to citizens depends, among other things, on the quality of our work.

Take, for instance, the switch over to digital broadcasting that is now underway. The Russian Post is committed to providing citizens in rural and remote areas with set-top boxes sold at the lowest possible price. We are now carrying this work out together with the Government, and we will do it well.

Vladimir Putin:

A question concerning Pochta Bank.

We both know and you know this all too well that Pochta Bank does indeed have great prospects for development.

Nikolai Podguzov:

Indeed, Pochta Bank really is a very successful project. Financial services are in great demand, especially in rural areas.

We are now rapidly establishing a network of branches of the bank and can clearly see how positive the population’s feedback of Russian Post’s financial services is.

Vladimir Putin:

Right now, it is very important as other large financial institutions are closing their branches down for different reasons.

It is, of course, one more important function – not only economic or financial, but also of a social–nature that Pochta Bank can undertake, bearing in mind that the network of post offices extends throughout the whole country.

Nikolai Podguzov:

Without a doubt.

Our entire infrastructure, a total of 42,000 post offices, will be offering financial and other important social services that can be of use to the citizens.

The source of information -

Awarding Presidential Prizes for Young Culture Professionals and for Writing and Art for Children and Young People

Vladimir Putin awarded the 2018 Presidential Prize for Young Culture Professionals and the 2018 Presidential Prize for Writing and Art for Children and Young People.

March 26, 2019 - 16:20 - The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, friends.

First of all, I would like to greet you on the occasion of Culture Worker’s Day. This professional holiday was marked yesterday. All of us are aware of the huge, everyday importance of all spheres of culture. We highly value the contribution of those who work in museums, libraries, clubs, concert halls, theatres, film studios, as well as in literature and the arts. Serving culture and the arts is by right considered an essential mission in Russia, primarily because of their contribution to education and enlightenment, to the strengthening of the spiritual and moral foundations in society, as well as to the preservation and accumulation of our rich historical heritage.

As you may know, 2019 has been declared Year of Theatre, and tomorrow we will mark one more holiday, World Theatre Day. We have every reason to be proud of our theatre directors and actors and, of course, our unique repertory theatres, including theatres for children. The world’s first theatre for children was created in this country nearly a hundred years ago. We remember what Konstantin Stanislavsky said when he was asked how to act for children: “The same as for adults, only better.” These wise words from the great director can be applied to everything we do for children and young people. Books, films, theatre performances and music must help the rising generation learn about life with its contradictions and complexities, teaching them to separate the wheat from the chaff and to assert the ideals of goodness, friendship, generosity and justice.

The works of the prize winners fully comply with these principles.

People’s Artist of Russia Boris Diodorov is an illustrator of Russian and foreign classics. In fact, he is a classic himself: his talented, filigree drawings reveal and enrich the contents of more than 300 books, including works by Aksakov, Andersen, Bazhov and many other authors. In his art and educational and pedagogical activities, Diodorov is guided by intrinsic values, presenting readers with beauty and singing praise to the harmony of the world. He is convinced that real art is sincere and simple, and the works of this outstanding master are understandable and close both to children and adults.

Sergei Kazarnovsky has the same force of attraction for his students. A famous Russian pedagogue, he has his own approach to educating young people. In his school Klass-Centre art accounts for two thirds of the content of the education. In his 30 years of activity, Kazarnovsky has proved that school is a major part of our culture, that while passing on knowledge, education should pursue moral ideals that have equal value. Kazarnovsky prioritises the molding of children’s personalities and is focused on developing their feelings, the understanding of good and evil, the importance of human dignity and spiritual uplifting.

Our prize winners include the fabulous and amazing artist Francheska Yarbusova. She can depict both reality and magic, precise details and the disappearing fragility of a dream. It remains an inconceivable mystery how she can convey frosty air, the fragrance of the night or the energy of space in her illustrations. Yarbusova’s works are among the indisputable masterpieces of world art. Characters in such animated films as Hedgehog in the Fog, Left-Hander and The Tale of Tales, to name a few, have forever touched the hearts of many generations.

Friends, our young talented professionals are making a huge contribution to our rich cultural environment.

The professional stance of architect Nikolai Pereslegin is to take a thorough and analytical approach to every project. We can see the embodiment of his bold ideas in our capital’s public spaces, parks and embankments, as well as comfortable residential districts. The signature line of this young architect is the delicate and scrupulous renovation of Moscow’s historical buildings, which have a new lease on life thanks to him. Nikolai Pereslegin’s projects have not only made our city more beautiful but are also promoting its image as a hospitable and comfortable megacity.

Dedication to his profession is also one of Valentin Uryupin’s major traits. He became an accomplished conductor at 21, a unique case in this profession. He has performed with many musicians, including world famous musicians, as an invited conductor. For a fourth year now, he has been the principal conductor of one of Russia’s oldest symphony orchestras in Rostov-on-Don. I know that Valentin Uryupin plans to make that city one of Russia’s music capitals again. It is a noble mission and goal, and we will do everything we can to help him. We are confident that he will attain his goal thanks to his talent as a conductor, his huge creative potential and the ability to create a close-knit team of likeminded people. And all these talents in such a young man. He is also a top class clarinet player, giving solo recitals and bringing joy to his fans.

Theatre director Sergei Chekhov invites audiences to judge his vision of new ideas. He has worked in Moscow and in other Russian cities with widely different and long-established troupes, and every time he finds a way into their hearts, charging them with his innovative ideas and winning acceptance of his creative approach to drama, which includes an open dialogue with the audience. Sergei Chekhov is the founder and the driving force of several creative groups that are both looking for new theatrical concepts and developing the traditions of the Russian theatre school.

Friends, all of our winners today, even though they come from different generations, are noted for their strong will, which, along with their ability to think “out of the box” and to devote all their lives to their professions is evident in their creative endeavours. Thank you for serving Russian culture and for your brilliant achievements. I wish you every success and all the best.

Thank you very much.


Vladimir Putin:

Friends, colleagues, winners,

I would like to congratulate all of our winners on today’s event once again, and to wish you new achievements. I have no doubt that all of you will do a lot to contribute to the development of, quoting one of the winners, our great, extensive Russian family, and do so in your own unique way. You thanked the members of the Commission, but here is what I need to tell you.

The Commission members who chose you as winners documented a fact that was recognised by the hundreds of thousands of people that you work for.

I wish you further achievements. Thank you very much.

The source of information -

Congratulations on National Guard Day

Vladimir Putin congratulated active and retired National Guard officers on their professional holiday, National Guard Day.

March 27, 2019 - 09:00

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Comrade officers, veterans,

Please accept my best wishes on your professional holiday, the National Guard Day.

The Russian National Guard proudly continues and expands the best traditions of Interior Ministry Troops, OMON Special Police Force and SOBR Rapid Deployment Task Force units, extra-departmental security units and the Licensing Service in a befitting manner. This continuity, extremely high training levels and impeccable professionalism serve as a reliable foundation for successfully accomplishing your diverse tasks.

You spearhead the fight against such threats as terrorism, extremism and organised crime. You assume tremendous responsibility for maintaining law and order during public events, for reliably shielding key industrial facilities and infrastructure and for organising efficient control in such an important sphere as arms sales.

All these aspects of your everyday work require the utmost concentration, resoluteness and determination, as well as unfailing compliance with the law, respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens and the dignity of every person.

I want to note that commanders and soldiers, the entire National Guard service personnel, always honourably fulfil their orders, while maintaining the security of our citizens, society and state. They act bravely, skilfully and efficiently. I am confident that this will continue in the future.

Thank you for your service. I wish you, your families and loved ones every success, health and all the best. Congratulations on the holiday once again.

The source of information -

Visit to Olympic Synchronised Swimming Centre

Vladimir Putin visited the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Centre of Anastasia Davydova located in the Park of Legends sports and entertainment quarter in Moscow.

March 27, 2019 - 15:15 - Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin inspected an information stand on the development of physical culture and sports in Moscow and looked around the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Centre. The centre’s equipment and technical infrastructure comply with the Olympic standards, and the system of training combines traditional Russian methods with innovative learning techniques.

Russia’s junior national teams started training at the centre and regional championships were first held there in 2018. There are 116 children at the Youth of Moscow Olympic Reserve School in the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Centre of Anastasia Davydova.

In addition, Vladimir Putin met with participants of the 2019 Winter Universiade held in Krasnoyarsk and congratulated Russia’s student team on their victory.

The source of information -

Meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport

Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport at the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Centre.

March 27, 2019 - 17:00 - Moscow

The meeting focused on national goals and strategic tasks concerning the development of physical fitness and sport in the Russian Federation until 2024 and beyond.

Participants discussed creating conditions for engaging all categories and groups of the public in regular exercise, upgrading sports facilities, improving the training of athletic reserves and increasing the competitiveness of Russian athletes.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, friends,

First of all, I want to thank the Council’s working group for preparing today’s meeting.

The agenda is indeed full and substantial. We are to discuss strategic issues related to the development of physical fitness and sports in Russia until 2024 and for the later period.

Our colleagues developed proposals in line with the key national goals and objectives that were outlined in the 2018 May Executive Order.

It should be noted that this approach complies with a resolution of the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2018 which considers sport an important factor of sustainable development.

Physical fitness and sport remain a priority of our social policy. What I will say may be obvious but in no way less important. Sport is an opportunity for self-fulfilment, for a new quality of life for each and every person.

As a matter of fact, the main purpose of multiple international and national competitions that Russia has hosted in recent years is precisely to promote the culture of healthy living.

Promoting sports is an important task, including for a new television channel, MATCH.Strana, which was established to cover sports events of all levels and perhaps most importantly in Russian regions.

There are positive dynamics, indeed. Over the past decade, the number of those who chose an active lifestyle and sports as leisure activities has increased from 17 percent to almost 40 percent, or over 54 million people.

As you may recall, our goal was to get over half of Russia’s population (55 percent) involved in an active lifestyle by 2024.

To do so, it is imperative to expand sports for the public much more actively, to expose everyone to physical fitness from childhood, and to cultivate responsibility for one’s health, as well as to fully support interest in an active lifestyle for middle-aged and older people and to create a corresponding infrastructure.

Of course, sports for the public should be included in our national projects, all of which focus on people’s interests and requests.

It is even more important to do this as part of programmes like Demography, Housing and Urban Environment, Healthcare and Education, which are designed to create a modern and comfortable environment for people, hence, the active lifestyle.

The Council’s working group believes that these matters are not fully reflected in the national programmes. Of course, we can and must correct this situation, and make sure that measures to promote physical fitness and sports are included in national project passports, and that proper funding is provided.

In addition, the current Physical Culture and Sport Development Strategy will expire next year. Including based on what we discussed today, I want the Government (we will discuss this in more detail later) and the Ministry of Sport to start developing a new Strategy for the period to 2030 without delay and adopt it no later than October 2020 in order for us to be able to implement this document effectively and on schedule.

Today, I would like to focus on the tasks at hand.

First, as I already mentioned, this is about further developing the public sports infrastructure. This should literally be within walking distance. We should also take a closer look at the ways to more effectively use sports facilities of educational organisations, such as schools. This is important and there is a need to do so, especially in rural areas.

Next, it is necessary to facilitate public-private partnerships in sports and physical fitness, to use, in conjunction with public budget resources, the potential offered by the entrepreneurial initiative, the desire of small and medium-sized businesses to work in public sports and offer services ranging from affordable fitness and athletic classes to manufacturing inexpensive sportswear and equipment.

Besides, as you know, professional sports, major sporting events and tournaments can be commercially successful, including income for advertising companies and various lotteries. An entire business sector is linked with sports.

As I see it, we need to carefully revaluate the regulatory system for this and create clear and understandable procedures to purposefully allocate part of the revenues generated in the professional sport segment for the development of public sports, for training new stars who can serve as examples for the younger generations.

I would like to talk separately about cooperation between the Russian Olympic Committee, national sports federations, and specialised agencies and international sport organisations.

We need to expand Russia’s involvement in drafting and implementing decisions on key matters on the international sports agenda, as well as a systematic approach to defending the rights and interests of Russian athletes. I would like you to work actively and consistently here, based on common approaches and an agreed-upon policy.

This directly concerns the well-known doping incident. Russia has fulfilled all the requirements for more efficient anti-doping efforts. We have established constructive cooperation with specialised international agencies. We need to completely resolve any remaining matters and do everything possible so that members of the Russian team will not be subjected to any restrictions during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, so that we don’t provide any pretext to those who use sport for political purposes against Russia’s interests.

I would like to note that many aspects of maintaining the international status of Russian sports and ensuring domestic development depend on skilful coordination. The ministries, departments and public organisations whose activities are linked with sports should work as hard as possible and draft common comprehensive development programmes for specific areas. This also concerns the introduction and use of advanced scientific and technical achievements, as well as human resourcing.

I agree with those who note the need for common, so-called comprehensive standards and requirements for training and qualifications of specialists working in the system of school, additional and higher education.

Matters of streamlining the system for protecting the labour rights of coaches and athletes themselves, developing the system of specialised medical assistance and rehabilitation for people who have devoted years and decades of their lives to sport also require the same degree of attention. And, of course, we should further work on ways to additionally incentivise coaches and athletes.

The Foundation for the Support of Russian Olympians has been doing this successfully in professional sports for many years. But we need to include all sports levels, support local enthusiasts and devotees who implement important and promising projects and who act as true mentors to young people.

Please think about how we can use the potential of the Presidential Grants Foundation and the grant programmes of corresponding ministries and regions for these purposes.

Let’s start discussing the items that have been prepared for today.

The source of information -

Condolences to Valery Bykovsky’s family

Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the family and friends of pilot-cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky following his passing.

March 27, 2019 - 21:00

The message reads, in part:

“Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Valery Bykovsky was a great representative of the first, iconic cosmonaut corps and a person of exceptional courage and will. Over the years of loyal duty to the Fatherland he added colourful pages to the history of space exploration as well as the history of Russia. He has rightfully earned a great reputation and respect.”

Pilot-cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Colonel Valery Bykovsky passed away on March 27 at the age of 84.

In 1960, Valery Bykovsky became a member of the first cosmonaut squad. He took his first flight aboard Vostok 5 in June 1963. The five-day mission was carried out together with Vostok 6 flown by Valentina Tereshkova. Valery Bykovsky’s second mission, as commander of Soyuz 22, lasted eight days and took place in September 1976. During his third mission, Valery Bykovsky flew to the Salyut 6 orbital station as commander of Soyuz 31 along with Sigmund Jaehn (Germany) in August-September 1978. The flight lasted eight days.

The source of information -

Meeting with permanent members of Security Council

Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council.

March 29, 2019 - 13:10 - The Kremlin, Moscow

Following an exchange of opinions, the meeting participants voiced their grave concern about several states’ continuing direct statements on their intention to further interfere in Venezuela’s domestic affairs, which makes the settlement of the internal political crisis in the country more problematic. They emphasised that only the people of Venezuela can make decisions on the future of their state.

In addition, during the meeting Vladimir Putin informed the participants of the results of the talks held during his visit to Kyrgyzstan.

Pressing socioeconomic matters were also discussed.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.

The source of information -

Meeting with Vologda Region Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov

Vladimir Putin met with Vologda Region Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov to discuss the socio-economic situation in the region. Mr Kuvshinnikov told the President about his decision to run for Vologda Region Governor next September.

March 29, 2019 - 14:05 - The Kremlin, Moscow

The Governor recalled that seven years ago, the financial and economic situation in the region was very difficult; therefore, he had asked the President to support his request to provide the region with budget loans at 0.1 percent interest. Owing to these measures, the region overcame its budget crisis. In seven years, the regional budget has virtually doubled. It had a deficit of almost 8 billion rubles whereas now it has a surplus of 14 billion (10th among the 85 regions of Russia). The region’s public debt has almost been cut in half and it is already possible to say that it is close to an infrastructure breakthrough.

The GRP has almost doubled since 2011 to 600 billion rubles. The region is ranked 18th in Russia in per capita industrial output. Its economy has been diversified. The metallurgical industry has grown by 9 percent, and paper and chemical production and wood processing also recorded substantial growth. In terms of investment, the region now ranks 20th in Russia.

According to Mr Kuvshinnikov, the region has increased its development budget. In 2012, it was 9 percent of the budget, and in 2019, it amounts to 22 percent. In the next three years, 45 billion rubles will be spent on developing municipal infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and schools, major repairs of social facilities, fitness and health-building centres and a new stadium. The construction of 460 facilities is already underway.

Mr Kuvshinnikov asked the President to support the programme for developing Vologda Region and back his decision to run in the election next September.

Calling his intention well-grounded and the results of his performance obvious, Vladimir Putin promised to support his nomination.

The source of information -

On March 30, Moscow Kremlin facade lighting will be turned off for Earth Hour

On March 30, the facade lighting of the President’s official residence, the Moscow Kremlin, will be turned off between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm Moscow time for Earth Hour.

March 29, 2019 - 15:00

Earth Hour is an annual campaign organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to promote environmental awareness.

People around the world simultaneously turn off lights, electric appliances and facade lighting on iconic buildings, for one hour.

Earth Hour is the most widespread campaign in human history. In 2018, over 2 billion people from 188 countries took part in the event, including the residents of 170 Russian cities.

The Moscow Kremlin joined the campaign in 2013 by decision of Vladimir Putin.

The source of information -

Message of greetings to participants, organisers and guest of 32nd Nika national film awards

Vladimir Putin sent greetings to the participants, organisers and guests of the 32nd Nika National Film Award ceremony.

March 30, 2019 - 18:30

The message reads, in part:

“Film directors, actors, scriptwriters, artists and cameramen, those who created the most successful films of 2018, are among the audience here today. You are all united by sincere dedication to your trade, outstanding talent, a wish to make a personal contribution to the development of Russian cinematography. It is certainly gratifying that you have deep respect for renowned masters, annually presenting them with the Eldar Ryazanov award in the Honour and Dignity nomination.

I am confident that the current ceremony will be a true festival of creativity and amicable communication, and that the best of the best will receive the sought-after Nika awards, since high praise from colleagues is the best evidence of the winners’ extraordinary talents and their commitment to reaching professional heights.”

The source of information -
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln
Old April 29th, 2019 #25
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Alex Him we urge you to stand up from the grave and to start reposting again.
Old May 9th, 2019 #26
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Originally Posted by Rasen View Post
Alex Him we urge you to stand up from the grave and to start reposting again.
Thank you, necromancer.

You successfully reunited my soul and my body again.
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln
Old August 11th, 2019 #27
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Statement by the President of Russia on the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles

August 5, 2019 - 15:00

On February 1, 2019, the United States of America launched a procedure to withdraw from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. The six-month period set forth in the Treaty’s withdrawal clause has expired. When one of the parties withdraws from the Treaty, it ceases to have effect automatically. Therefore, as of August 2, 2019 the INF Treaty no longer exists. Our US colleagues sent it to the archives, making it a thing of the past.

It is with regret that Russia states that the unilateral withdrawal by the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles under a far-fetched pretext and the dismantlement of one of the last fundamental arms control treaties creates major complications for world affairs and brings about serious risks for everyone. Let me emphasise that all the responsibility for what has happened rests with the United States. Instead of engaging in a meaningful discussion on international security matters, the United States opted for simply undercutting many years of efforts to reduce the probability of a large-scale armed conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons.

Russia cannot ignore the current state of affairs or satisfy itself with hollow peace-loving declarations made by its American colleagues or their allies.

In this context, considering the current situation, I instruct the Defence Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor in the most thorough manner future steps taken by the United States to develop, produce and deploy intermediate-range and medium-range missiles.

If Russia obtains reliable information whereby the United States completes the development of these systems and starts to produce them, Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles. Of course, this will take time. Until the Russian army deploys these weapons, Russia will reliably offset the threats related to the withdrawal by the United States from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles by relying on the means that we already have: the X-101 and the Kinzhal air-launched missiles, the Kalibr sea-launched missile, as well as future weapons systems, including Tsirkon-class hypersonic systems. At the same time, Russia maintains the unilateral commitments it has assumed, and will act only when it has to respond. This applies to developing, producing and deploying land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. We will not deploy them in any given region until US-made intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles are deployed there.

Despite the recent developments, Russia still hopes that common sense prevails, and that our US colleagues and their allies have a sense of responsibility toward their people and the entire international community. It is our belief that the actions taken by the United States that brought about the dismantlement of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles will inevitably devalue and shatter the foundations of the global security architecture, including the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

This scenario could signal a new start for an unfettered arms race. In order to avoid chaos with no rules, restrictions or laws, we need to once more weigh up all the dangerous consequences and launch a serious and meaningful dialogue free from any ambiguity.

Russia considers that it is necessary to revive without delay meaningful talks on ensuring strategic stability and security. We are ready to engage in these efforts.

Vladimir Putin

The source of information -
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot farther on.
(c) Alan Alexander Miln


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