The meeting was attended by Acting Governor of the Smolensk Region Vasily Anokhin and, via videoconference, by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Fayzullin, Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Kirill Lysogorsky and General Director of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Anokhin, colleagues,
Today we have a regional agenda again: we will discuss the development prospects of the Smolensk Region, as well as the key socioeconomic tasks, plans, projects, and, of course, problems that are of concern for the people and require immediate solution.
But, first of all, I would like to use this occasion to congratulate all of the region’s residents on the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the Smolensk Region from Nazi occupation, as well as on the 1160th anniversary of Smolensk, which is also celebrated this year.
We all know and are proud of the huge role Smolensk has always played in history: it is a hero city and the shield of Russia.
Today, a lot of people from the Smolensk Region, carrying on the great traditions of patriotism and loyal service to the Fatherland, show true courage and valour participating in the special military operation.
I would like to thank them for being loyal to their duty and country and ask the region’s leadership to personally monitor the issue of providing all the necessary assistance and support to the heroes and their families.
Let me note that the Smolensk Region has gained momentum in several important areas of socioeconomic development, where we can see considerable achievements.
For example, the industrial production index in the first six months of this year amounted to 111.9 percent. This is seventh place in the country, and a good result in general. Moreover, industry is the most important, leading sector of the region's economy, providing for over one third of the gross regional product.
Moreover, manufacturing enterprises are growing especially well: 17.5 percent growth over six months of this year, which is higher than the Russian average.
Agriculture has good prospects, too, including in the production and deep processing of flax, rapeseed and other crops, as well as the development of livestock farming. Investment projects implemented there also produce returns. Of course, when we see this, we must understand that we need to further support these areas, support private investors and closely interact with businesses.
In fact, the task of the regional leadership and the new management team is to plan their work in order to ensure comprehensive development, actively use the tools created at the federal and regional levels to encourage business activity, launch new infrastructure, transport, logistics and other projects that are important for the improvement of territories, growth of incomes and the quality of people’s lives.
Of course, the social sphere – education, healthcare and culture – requires special care. It is important to train your own human resources to address long-term tasks the region is facing.
Students, young people studying today at colleges and universities, must know and see that their professions are needed, and that they are needed exactly where their home is, that new and well-paid jobs are created for them, and that the living conditions in villages and cities, including Smolensk, are improving. That means addressing problems in the housing and utilities sector. All this is extremely important for the people.
I believe that the new head of the region, Mr Anokhin, has had time to delve into the current state of affairs in detail, as they say, that he is up to date, and I would like to ask him to report in detail on the current indicators and development goals of the Smolensk Region.
Please, Mr Anokhin, you have the floor.