President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Balitsky, good afternoon.
Acting Governor of the Zaporozhye Region Yevgeny Balitsky: Good afternoon.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Balitsky, I know that you wanted to begin our talk with transport infrastructure, didn’t you? We discussed it at the meeting without cameras. After that, I asked our colleagues from Russian Railways and the Ministry of Transport to deal with these issues in detail. They have already presented some of their considerations. I do not know whether you know about them or not.
Yevgeny Balitsky: I do.
Vladimir Putin: Go ahead, please.
Yevgeny Balitsky: Mr President, on behalf of all Zaporozhye residents, I would like to thank you for the initiative that you supported: of course, the process of issuing maternity capital has already begun. As you know, this is very important, because over the 30 years of so-called independence, people have never seen anything like this and they realise today that Russia is a social state. Thank you very much.
Now to the infrastructure project that is being implemented at your initiative: we had a meeting with the Minister of Transport, formed a working group and calculated two options. The main option is to launch construction today in line with the emergency situation. Probably military builders will be involved.
The process is underway, for which we are grateful to you as well. Project evaluation has been completed, and the project will be submitted for final estimates within the next few days. After we agree on it with the stakeholder ministries, we will report to you with a final decision on the beginning of construction.
I would also like to update you on the status of your instructions to build a major children's medical centre for the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions given that, unfortunately, the regional centres have not yet been liberated. This process is underway as well, and a working group has been created which is led by [Healthcare Minister] Mikhail Murashko. Today, we selected a plot of land where this centre will be built and assessed the amount of funding we will need, about 7 billion rubles. We will, of course, report back to you on the final project.
An outpatient clinic that will be able to handle 260 appointments at the same time and a 326-bed hospital are being built.
Vladimir Putin: Rest assured that these medical facilities will be superior to those in the regional centres by an order of magnitude. These will be modern buildings and the services, it can be safely assumed, will be to the highest level. We will train specialists and supply state-of-the-art equipment.
Yevgeny Balitsky: Thank you very much.
Next, regarding the status of the implementation of the instructions concerning the creation of the Sudoplatov Battalion, which you issued on March 7 during our meeting. This process is underway as well. We have received the status by a directive from the General Staff, and on April 4 they were assigned a number, BARS-32. The contracting will be done this month and, accordingly, this month we will receive weapons, and this will already be an official status.
Vladimir Putin: All social guarantees must also be formalised properly.
Yevgeny Balitsky: Yes, of course.
I addressed a request to you on March 7, and you issued instructions regarding the agriculture issue, which was put on hold to some extent – we needed 600 rail cars to transport one million tonnes of grain. Speaking of cars, I had a meeting with Mr Patrushev and received full support. We are receiving the cars, the process is underway, but the lending issue has not yet been resolved. I asked for a loan of 500 million for our state grain company. So far, Promsvyazbank has not issued the money, but the process is underway.