Working Day

25 april, 2012 12:30

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Primorye Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Primorye Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky
Mr Putin and Mr Miklushevsky discussed the territory’s socio-economic development and the implementation of new projects, including those in the automotive and petro-chemical industries. They also discussed the progress of modernisation of school education and healthcare. Mr Putin focused attention on the Far Eastern Federal University and its subsequent development, stressing that the university should become an intellectual centre capable of training highly skilled professionals for traditional sectors and for the new economy.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Miklushevsky, you began work a month ago. Of course, I would like to hear about how things are starting off in your position, and how you are dealing with the tasks facing you. And I would like you to say a few words about specific projects. The deck section of a bridge linking mainland Vladivostok with Russky Island has been completed quite recently. This is a large and important project for Russia’s Far East and for the entire country. But this is not the only such project. There are also some infrastructure projects, including bridge overpasses. As we know, one of the bridges had been scheduled to be built there since the early 20th century. And now this project is being implemented. I’m talking about a bridge spanning the Zolotoi Rog (Golden Horn) Bay. How is work proceeding here? What is the current state of the project?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: The last deck section of the bridge over the Golden Horn Bay was installed right after the bridge over the Eastern Bosphorus Strait was completed. This took place a week and a half ago. The workers have bolted the deck section and have started welding it. I believe that the bridge over the Golden Horn Bay will be completed in the next few days. As you have rightly pointed out, both bridges will become symbols of Vladivostok. And I believe that they will also symbolise all of Russia. Actually, bridge builders are the pride of Russia, as it is very difficult to assemble such sophisticated engineering structures.

Vladimir Putin: These structures are unique.

Vladimir Miklushevsky: Indeed they are.

Vladimir Putin: How is work proceeding in general?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: We have started working on the Primorye Territory’s socio-economic development strategy and socio-economic development programme. This mid-term programme will be implemented in five years' time. The work has just begun. We have involved the Far Eastern Federal University and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in this work.

I believe that the Primorye Territory now needs new projects that will already be associated with the new economy, rather than just the traditional economy, which we will not forget about either. This includes traditional areas such as the fishing industry and everything having to do with agriculture, which has substantial prospects. But still, I believe that there is a future in the new, innovative economy. This includes various projects currently being implemented in the Primorye Territory. You certainly know about such projects. For instance, the Sollers company is implementing a car assembly project. Sollers, which has now signed two agreements with Mazda, plans to assemble 100,000 vehicles annually. This is a full-fledged car-production facility. I believe that this project has impressive prospects, because car manufacturing yields a substantial multiplying effect.

My colleagues and I are now discussing an issue that has to do with production relocation, namely, production of auto components. This, too, leads to an impressive multiplying effect. On the one hand, many jobs are created. On the other hand, new technologies are developed. Scientists from the Far Eastern Federal University, from other higher educational institutions in the Primorye Territory and from the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will receive ample opportunities for their work. I believe that this is a major commission for our science.

Other important projects deal with petro-chemistry. There is a refinery currently being built not far from Nakhodka. I also believe that this is a modern production facility. Apart from crude oil exports, the plant conducts deep oil refining. I believe that the Primorye Territory should, of course, have such plants.

Vladimir Putin: Please don’t forget about housing construction. What is the situation like in the construction sector?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: We are currently building a modern residential area in Patrokl Bay. In effect, this symbolises the new image of Vladivostok. I believe that we should now launch a kindergartens programme, because this is a serious problem now confronting Vladivostok. Moreover, we should launch a programme to relocate the residents from rundown and dilapidated housing. The Primorye Territory is not the only region that is facing this problem. Quite possibly, this problem exists in many Russian cities. But the problem is particularly acute in the Primorye Territory. I have visited tenants in rundown buildings, and, of course, we must now seriously address this problem.

Vladimir Putin: As you know, we are continuing to implement a federal programme under the auspices of the national Housing and Utilities
Foundation, but with regional involvement, of course.

Vladimir Miklushevsky: Of course, Mr Putin, this is exactly what we plan to do.

Vladimir Putin: How are school education and healthcare development projects proceeding?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: We are currently implementing an education modernisation project. We have serious plans to provide basic schools with top-quality equipment. Also, we are dealing with small schools that are under capacity and introducing distance learning programme. This programme has now been launched for disabled children. Such a project was stipulated as part of the high-priority national project, Education. We would like to implement this as a pilot project. We would like to spread it to small rural schools that are under capacity, whose pupils must, nonetheless, have access to a top-quality education and good teachers. This will eventually facilitate their social mobility.

Vladimir Putin: Speaking of education… I hope that you will not forget about the agency that you left to work as governor.

Vladimir Miklushevsky: This is true, Mr Putin.

Vladimir Putin: All of us should prioritise the Far Eastern Federal University. As I have already said, this should become a dominant Far Eastern intellectual centre, one that will train highly skilled professionals for traditional sectors and, as you have said, for the new economy. This does not only include commodity processing. We want to implement a number of major plans and projects linked with the development of our space programmes and the construction of a new space centre. Consequently, we will require specialists on the spot, not far from that space centre. And we have practically started building this centre. There are other very important aspects, including cooperation with foreign countries, primarily the Asia Pacific region. Frankly speaking, this should become a prestigious national intellectual centre in Russia’s Far East. As a former rector and as current governor, you should not forget about this either. Please, tell federal agencies to pay constant attention to this issue. I will certainly tackle this issue, and I would like to ask you not to forget about this either.

Vladimir Miklushevsky: I will certainly address this issue. For me, the Far Eastern Federal University… I plan to include it in all our territorial programmes. And we will certainly accomplish specific objectives that you have set, including the provision of human resources for investment projects in the Primorye Territory and in Russia’s entire Far East.

Vladimir Putin: The Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences… These agencies should work in conjunction with each other. And certainly, Academy scientists should receive support and every kind of assistance in their current work. As you know, we are also trying to renew the facilities of the Far Eastern Branch, but this is not enough. This should not amount to a one-time investment. What we need is permanent support on the basis of a solid partnership.

Vladimir Miklushevsky: This is already taking place, Mr Putin. It is quite difficult to separate the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Far Eastern Federal University. The Far Eastern Federal University has a natural sciences faculty where virtually all of its lecturers are Academy scientists. We are building a separate laboratory wing on the Russky Island campus for the natural sciences faculty, or school, as we call it. We would like natural and engineering sciences to assume an entirely different significance. The general education modernisation programme, which I have just mentioned, focuses on natural sciences, so that school students would be interested in and attracted by such knowledge.

Vladimir Putin: What is the current stage of the university construction project? What else remains to be done there?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: Mr Putin, we plan to launch construction of the university’s second stage, without asking for federal allocations. After the university relocates to Russky Island, we will sell off its buildings in mainland Vladivostok under a targeted programme. In effect, I call this conversion. This will make it possible to build new wings with the help of old wings. Upon completion, the university’s second stage will have an area of 200,000 square metres. The total area of the university will reach about a million sq. m. Moscow Lomonosov State University has approximately the same area. This is a very serious level.

Vladimir Putin: Will it be in demand?

Vladimir Miklushevsky: Yes, it certainly will.

Vladimir Putin: All right.