Visits within Russia

12 october, 2009 09:21

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Vladivostok to review preparations for the 2012 APEC summit

Vladimir Putin's introductory speech: 

Good afternoon, esteemed colleagues.

Our meeting is devoted to discussing the systematic development of Vladivostok, its infrastructure, primarily its transport infrastructure - this means its airport, harbour facilities, roads and bridges. This also means its energy infrastructure - power and gas supply. It includes construction of the Far Eastern National University complex. And, as we agreed earlier, we'll look at how construction of housing for the military is progressing.

The fulfilment of all these plans will enable us to hold an important event - the 2012 APEC forum. This upcoming summit is a significant political and economic event for the entire Asia-Pacific region. Certainly, a successful event will enable Russia to enhance its international standing and will help in making additional contacts with our partners in the region.

This is also a good opportunity to concentrate our resources, solve the many problems of our largest metropolis in the Far East and make the city's residents' lives more comfortable. We can position Vladivostok as Russia's "gateway to the Pacific" and a promising venue for international cooperation.

We met in Vladivostok and discussed the preparations for the summit more than a year ago - in September 2008. Just recently, I promised to come and personally observe how the work is going.

I can say that the past several months have seen much progress. The construction of the bridge over Eastern Bosphorus strait is proceeding at full speed and renovation of the airport has started. This work is certainly very important for the entire region, not only for Vladivostok. There will be two modern 3,500-metre airstrips. The military will be able to use this facility.

This will encourage those who live here to feel more comfortable and use the modern conveniences of air transport, flying directly to Europe and other regions, and not through South Korea, as is the case now. This project includes a large and reliable cargo hub at the airport, which will be able to effectively compete with its neighbours.

I had a look at how work is progressing on road renovation - there will be two large and modern highways. We all know that life, business and economic activity arise around new and renovated roads.

It is very important that builders come to the island of Russky, where the largest projects await - building a modern scientific and educational facility, which in 2012 will become a venue for key APEC summit events and will subsequently welcome the instructors and students of Far Eastern National University.

As you know, any work undergoes several stages - discussion and selection of the best options. And disputes and doubts are not only inevitable here, but they are necessary. We had many disputes regarding the selection of a site for holding events and the development of corresponding territory.

Regarding development decisions for Vladivostok, this stage took more time than it should have - we discussed this issue for several years. And when the global economic crisis hit, we weighed the pros and cons once again - and there were many opinions against the plans we made. But we eventually came to the conclusion that we could not afford to pass up this one-time opportunity for the city. Plus, this large-scale construction programme in the Far East should be seen as an important anti-crisis measure - a mechanism for creating tens of thousands of additional jobs in construction and related sectors, and not only in the Far East, but practically all around the country, because construction materials and metals are procured from many companies from all over Russia. And even under these crisis conditions, the Primorye Territory is showing rather good results, thanks to the implementation of this project. It is showing GRP growth - not decline, but growth in the gross regional product.

Consequently, all of the critical decisions have been made. They are final. The work has started.

I will enumerate the most important tasks, which require special care.

First. Construction on Russky Island certainly touches upon the interests of its inhabitants. All social issues should be resolved in short order. Moreover, the individual needs of people must be taken into account as much as possible. The new buildings and apartments that people will receive on the island must of course be more comfortable than the dilapidated premises in which they now reside.

Second. Regardless of the tight deadlines, each facility must meet the highest standards.

The budgetary allocations stipulated for this corresponding programme will not be cut. Already this year, tens of billions of roubles have been disbursed, and in 2010 these will total 71 billion roubles.

But at the same time, we also do not intend to increase the programme's cost estimate. Accordingly, the approach to defining the cost of the construction of specific facilities and the performance of other work should be as professional as possible.

We need to look for ways to economise budgetary funds with technical solutions and efficient logistics plans. But, I repeat, not to the detriment of quality and the future security of complex infrastructure facilities.

Above all, this concerns the comprehensive development of Russky Island, which in the future will be called upon to become one of Vladivostok's calling cards.

Third. We need to carefully consider the issues of supplying the region, and especially Russky Island, with construction materials and freight. Generally, this task is being dealt with and is being dealt with rather well, but there's still a lot to do. There must not be any trifles that turn into delays and red tape. This includes the need to open temporary customs entry points directly on Russky Island. Mr Belyaninov, I ask you to watch this - cargoes are arriving in great quantities and resolving administrative issues of this type will take some of the edge off the deadlines.

And lastly, the Vladivostok development programme includes large-scale renovation - I already mentioned this - the city's energy supply and utilities infrastructure. We must also build large waste treatment plants within the framework of this programme - this will also solve the region's environmental problems.

As for the facilities for which Gazprom and the Federal Power Grid Company are responsible, the Government has already defined the funding sources for the investment projects and has made decisions regarding tariffs.

I also ask the local authorities to approve the amounts for investments and tariffs for regional companies in the near future - naturally, using modern regulatory methods.

Let's get down to work.