The main subject on the agenda concerned the improvement of extrajudicial bankruptcy procedure for individuals. The discussion also touched on current issues.
The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, deputy prime ministers Viktoria Abramchenko, Tatyana Golikova, Alexander Novak, Marat Khusnullin, Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister – Chief of the Government Staff Dmitry Grigorenko, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Minister – Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin and Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov. Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina and General Director – Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov were also invited to the meeting.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today, we will discuss the following main issue, namely, efforts to improve the extrajudicial bankruptcy procedure for individuals. Mr Reshetnikov will report on this issue. The proposals he will outline aim to ease the plight of people who have found themselves in a difficult financial situation.
Before we begin, I would like to ask Mr Manturov to say a few words about the situation in the automotive industry and in the vehicle market. Although we know the situation is complicated, it is encouraging that basically all the major manufacturers have relaunched their assembly lines and are turning out both passenger cars and trucks.
So, what does the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and Trade think about the prospects for the development of the automotive vehicle market?
Please, you have the floor.
Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: Mr President, colleagues,
We discussed at length the impact of the sanctions on the automotive industry at the meeting with you, Mr President, in June. I can say that since that time, the situation in the industry has indeed gradually stabilised.
All major Russian manufacturers have been increasing the load on their assembly lines. This includes AvtoVAZ, GAZ, KAMAZ, UAZ and Ural. The Tula unit of China’s Haval is also boosting production.
We managed to achieve our main objective – to keep our competencies and our teams on board. With this done, we can now focus on ensuring local production of auto components. Companies will be provided with preferential loans worth more than 32 billion rubles for these purposes by the end of this year under a separate programme in the Industry Development Fund.
What is especially important in the current situation is that development projects have not been scrapped. In September, for example, the Motorinvest plant in Lipetsk launched serial production of Evolute electric vehicles. By the end of November, the Moskvich automobile plant in Moscow will resume production of passenger cars. The Sollers facility in Tatarstan with make light commercial vehicles.
An important factor in the revival of the market was the decision you supported, Mr President, to resume demand support programmes – preferential car loans, leasing and subsidies to manufacturers of gas engine equipment. In total, 55,000 vehicles have already been sold with state support in the amount of 15.5 billion rubles. In May, 12,000 vehicles, of all types, were manufactured in Russia, from cars to buses; in October, production levels reached 48,000, up 19 percent from September. Today we can say there is an emerging recovery trend in the industry.
Mr President, in the current situation, we propose extending the preferential car loan programme to military personnel, including those called up as part of the partial mobilisation effort, members of their families, as well as pensioners who have previously served in the Armed Forces. I think this is a very timely measure, which will resonate with our citizens. I ask you to support our proposal.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Have you and the Finance Ministry looked into this?
Denis Manturov: Yes, it has been agreed upon in full. In terms of volume, a new category is being added within the allocated funds that we have until the end of this year.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, this should be done in light of higher car prices.
When organising work in the automotive industry, it is important to ensure that cars are much more affordable for Russian families in the current circumstances. You know what I am talking about. There are things to work on, despite all the complications with logistics, spare parts supplies and so on. Everyone knows where these prices come from, but you still need to look closely at things that affect pricing. Despite more complicated and expensive logistics, we nevertheless need to make sure these prices are reasonable and strive to make the vehicles more affordable for Russian families.
Denis Manturov: Mr President, this is why new car loans involving the recovery of expenses and low-cost lease options are a way to support demand that makes prices more affordable, which is geared primarily to supporting Russian manufacturers and creates prospects for building up competencies. I am talking first of all about the auto parts sub-industry, because mass produced quantities will keep a lid on costs and improve the quality.
Vladimir Putin: I understand this perfectly, and I support it.
However, please note that you should constantly keep an eye on pricing, so that no one takes advantage of the difficulties, including the ones related to logistics that we are all aware of, to unreasonably drive up prices for automotive vehicles. This applies to trucks and passenger cars alike.
I hope you and the FAS [Federal Anti-Monopoly Service] are watching this all the time. Please keep an eye on it.
Denis Manturov: We will monitor it.
Vladimir Putin: Agreed.
Mr Savelyev, what is the situation with the transport of goods from the Far East? Because we have a large amount of cargo going in that direction, and it is increasing. We are constantly talking about the need to expand the so-called Eastern Operating Domain and in fact, we have already started to expand it – we are working to increase rail capacity in the Far Eastern direction. But large volumes of cargo need to be transported in the opposite direction too, primarily imported goods. I know that many containers are piling up there, and I also know that you are working on this now. Any suggestions?
Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev: Mr President, colleagues,
You are absolutely right, the current economic situation entails a change in logistics, and commodity flows have largely been redirected from the west to the east.
First of all, we have seen increased demand for the shipment of imported goods in containers via the seaports in the Far East. This is due to shipping restrictions in the northwest, COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the annual increase in demand before the New Year holidays.
In October of this year, container transhipment in Far Eastern ports increased by 22 percent compared to October 2021, to 220,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), including exports (up 32 percent), and imports (up 26 percent).
In September, the Ministry of Transport and Russian Railways set up a rapid response centre to manage the forwarding of containers from port terminals in the Far East. In November, we managed to increase the container traffic from those ports to 2,722 TEU per day, which is 13 percent higher than the average daily level in September.
At the same time, the port terminals continue to transfer a higher capacity, as you correctly noted. As of November 14, five port container terminals operated at 117 percent capacity, and six rear terminals, at 74 percent. Basically, this refers to two ports – Vladivostok and Vostochny. Last Monday, November 14, there were ships with about 15,000 TEU containers waiting for unloading.
We are proposing the following steps to meet the higher demand for imported goods that Russian industry needs and to meet consumer demand in the run-up to the New Year holidays, as well as to stabilise the situation with container gate-out at the ports.
The first step is road transportation. Motor transport has reached 9 percent of the total volume of imported containers, transported from the Far Eastern Federal District. In fact, this is as much as can be hauled by road over this long distance.
The second step is to supplement the number of container trains with gondola cars from the port terminals in the Far East from one train per day to five trains per day. This will make it possible to remove up to 710 TEU containers per day or up to 21,000 TEU containers per month.
The decisions to this effect have been made. In particular, the loading process has been streamlined and the railway rates for transporting containers in gondola cars was cut. We propose extending this alternative to 2023, since it is working. The gondola operators met us halfway and are making these cars available for container loading. That is, we ship coal east and then load containers in them for the return trip to central Russia.
The third step is to increase the number of eastbound container trains by three pairs a day until the end of this year, that is, in fact, for six weeks, by reducing the transport of cargo, including coal. This decision, apart from imports, will also increase the volume of export goods that we move. The projected drop in power station coal shipments will be about 800,000 tonnes by the end of the year, or 1.4 percent of the annual volume we plan to deliver next year. We will do our best to fully move this volume out by April 15.
And the fourth step: we propose considering the possibility of increasing container transport rates for eastbound shipping in 2023 while simultaneously reducing the rates for shipments to the ports in the northwest. So, if we raise rates by say, 10 percent, the price of goods will go up by no more than 1 percent, but at the same time, we will be able to stimulate the demand for container shipments to the northwest. This will make this route more competitive overall and increase traffic through the ports in the northwest.
Mr President, we believe that these measures will stabilise the situation at the ports in the Far East as more than 45,000 additional containers with imported goods will be shipped from there. The proposals I have listed were considered and adopted at a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov and supported by presidential aides Maxim Oreshkin and Igor Levitin. I ask you to support them as well.
Thank you. This concludes my report.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I know, they have reported this, including today. Of course, this needs to be supported. But we need to coordinate it with all the participants in the process, of course, each of these steps, because it is very sensitive for everyone.
Therefore, as part of the effort that Mr Belousov is implementing, I would like to ask you and Maxim Reshetnikov to join the team and determine the timeframe and resources for this redistribution in order to include every party’s interest in the transport of goods along this route, both towards the Far East and towards the European part of Russia.
I will certainly convey this to Mr Belousov as well. He is not here now; I think he hasn't returned from his business trip yet.
First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov: I am here, Mr President, I can hear everything.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Belousov, can you hear me?
I am asking you to work on this but take into account what Mr Savelyev has just reported.
Andrei Belousov: We have already generally agreed on 800,000 tonnes. This redistribution will be absolutely painless. It will primarily affect Kuzbass but compared with the 26 million tonnes we are shipping from that region in the third and fourth quarters, 800,000 is a small amount, especially since we will ship it later anyway.
But we will definitely coordinate this issue with the shippers again.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, absolutely. The miners’ interests must be taken into account.
We cover extensively ongoing issues. All of them are important, and we just touched on some, but I keep pointing out the fact that we have other ongoing work on our hands which we must not forget about either. Fulfilling the goals that are included in the Culture national project are among our top priorities.
Ms Lyubimova, I am aware that you are on track to meet your goals. What do you think about the state of affairs in the areas that are part of this programme?
Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova: Mr President, colleagues,
Tangible changes in infrastructure development in our area have become possible thanks to the Culture national project, which is allowing us to change the look and the content of the cultural sphere in the municipalities and the regions, to create a whole new environment for moving the industry forward and ultimately for the creative fulfilment of each individual, regardless of where they live, in a large city or a small rural town.
Rural cultural centres, community clubs and model libraries, as well as local municipal history museums and theatres in small towns are being built or renovated. Thanks to your decision following the 2021 Address to the Federal Assembly, additional funds were set aside to create an additional 154 libraries, to purchase almost 1.3 million books in 83 regions, and to install modern equipment in hundreds of children's theatres.
In 2022, we took the opportunity to use the national project to provide support for local municipal history museums which are also known as “near-the-home museums.” They will be outfitted with new state-of-the-art equipment. Sensory, laser and multimedia technology creates new opportunities for presenting collections at a whole new level. In total, 100 municipal museums will have been renovated or overhauled by 2025, and 487 museums are receiving new technical equipment.
In addition to municipal museums and theatres, regional museums and theatres are in dire need of federal support as well. We will begin to provide this under the national project in 2023, and 127 theatres and 675 museums will receive new equipment by 2025, and 24 theatres will be renovated or overhauled. I want to mention one of the significant projects, a large-scale renovation of the Fyodor Dostoevsky Novgorod Academic Drama Theatre.
As of today, 1,089 rural cultural centres have been built, renovated or overhauled all over the country since the Culture national project became operational, thus creating new environment for more than 2 million people.
Our libraries have become true magnets for young people in the regions. They offer contemporary design and high-speed internet with access to domestic information resources with fiction and scientific literature, as well as periodicals, which is why parents take their children to libraries like this while young people meet there to read and discuss books or listen to lectures. Older people also go to the libraries just to meet and socialise with others. Access to the network of model libraries will be available to over 57 million people.
If a remote town or village does not have a cultural centre or a cinema of its own, we provide it through a mobile club, which is a multifunctional cultural centre on wheels, or a converted truck equipped with a drop stage and multimedia equipment. By now, the regions have 362 motor clubs like this.
We will upgrade and open another 103 cinemas in 49 Russian regions by yearend, bringing the overall number of modernised cinemas in the country to 1,278.
Under this national project, we can provide federal support to children’s and puppet theatres. So far, 27 theatres have already been renovated and another 85 have received cutting-edge acoustic and lighting equipment. This year we will renovate another nine theatres for children.
Currently, 1,156 schools and children’s art colleges in 83 regions have received as many musical instruments, equipment and textbooks as they need. In all, between 2020 and 2022, 621 buildings have undergone major repairs or have been renovated.
In addition to the Culture national project, the federal targeted investment programme is focused on developing infrastructure.
In 2022, the restoration and conservation of 107 cultural heritage sites will be over. The following renovation projects have been completed: the Katalnaya Gorka Pavilion at Peterhof, the monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square, Gorky Literature Institute buildings, the Factory Kitchen in Samara and the Taganrog State Literary and Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve. We have finished the priority works to renovate the facades of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Gateway Church and the Prosphorny and Dukhovsky buildings on the grounds of the Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
This year we have started renovating a unique wooden architecture landmark, the wooden Assumption Church in the city of Kondopoga, Republic of Karelia, which in 2018 was destroyed by a fire.
The Ministry of Culture is working hard to integrate the institutions of the new constituent entities of the Russian Federation and their employees into the country’s cultural life. Donbass performing arts groups have toured many Russian cities. More than 30 exhibitions are on display at institutions in the Lugansk People's Republic.
Upgrading cinema buildings and auditoriums has been among the key areas of focus over the past two months. We are providing content to nine cinema auditoriums in the LPR and we continue to add other cinemas in the new territories to the project. The films shown in these cinemas are not any different from the films shown in the capital, and the locals also look forward to watching digitised golden collections from Lenfilm, Mosfilm, the Gorky Film Studios, and Soyuzmultfilm.
Also in this regard, I would like to mention that we held the first competition for film projects based on the stories from our most recent history and gave the producers the opportunity to submit projects on the special operation, the history of Donbass and the heroism of its defenders. The first such projects have been put into production.
As part of the Cinema Fund’s activities, we are launching another breakthrough activity which is showing documentaries about the special operation in the cinema auditoriums that have been upgraded under our national project.
Vladimir Putin: Ms Lyubimova, when you spoke about libraries, you were also talking about implementing the project to create modern libraries in rural areas, correct?
Olga Lyubimova: Yes, of course.
As a matter of fact, we have six large federal libraries that are centres of competence and places of incredible power and attraction.
As for small model libraries, these are the kind of spaces that are created to serve all kinds of users. The youngest children come to learn to read, and older people come to discuss literature. Actors from theatres also go there for Q&A’s with audiences. Evening events can be organised for teenagers.
That is why they are called “model.” They are modern hangout spots with internet access that can be used to talk about books over tea or coffee.
Vladimir Putin: Are the financial resources that were set aside for these areas of focus being allocated in full? Are there any problems or setbacks?
Olga Lyubimova: Not as of now.
The regions are incredibly interested in this, which is particularly satisfying to know. Design specifications and estimates are being drafted in great numbers. Sometimes the governors themselves decide to invest in new libraries.
So far, we have been implementing the project in full, and we have a plan through late 2024 for sure.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Let’s move to the main item on today's agenda.
Mr Reshetnikov, please update us on improving the extrajudicial bankruptcy procedure for individuals.
Once again, I want to emphasise that this work has been done, and today we must make a final decision on providing relief to people facing financial hardship.