Sergei Tsivilev began by speaking about the My New Outpatient Clinic regional programme aimed at establishing several types of modular clinics depending on the number of potential patients and the necessary equipment. The new facilities are already under construction. He added that with state support, the region will be able to implement these plans faster, and it is a big ask from the Kemerovo residents.
Vladimir Putin noted that fighting infectious diseases was an important aspect of healthcare as well as a major challenge for the Kemerovo Region, including the most acute regional problems such as HIV and tuberculosis.
Sergei Tsivilev reported that a large hospital for such patients, fitted with the best equipment, opened just two weeks ago in Novokuznetsk. It is helping COVID-19 patients at the moment, but in the future it will be ready to treat other infections, first type pathogens and plague, but the plan is to use it for HIV and tuberculosis.
The Governor also spoke about the Sheregesh ski resort, which is included in the socioeconomic development programme. This project is in great demand – in September, Sheregesh actually sold more tours for the upcoming season than Sochi. Major companies such as Azimut and Kosmos have joined the project and will build their facilities there. But, according to the Governor, there is a transport problem, which requires the construction of an airport. There is an investor who will build a terminal, and the region is ready to build roads and other utilities. A runway still needs to be built. With some support from the state, this resort could become one of the world’s top ski resorts.
They also discussed the possibility of creating a special economic zone near Kemerovo. The area still has factories that closed after the collapse of the Soviet Union; that capacity could be put to use again. The Governor asked for state support in creating a special economic zone for the chemical industry there; there are potential investors for the project.
Sergei Tsivilev raised another issue that is important for the region. This is the need to prevent young people from leaving Kuzbass and to attract more people to the area. He said there were 20 cities in Kuzbass and it was one of the country’s most urbanised regions. But these cities were built in line with the same principle. Once a mine or plant appeared, a city was built around it. It is difficult to attract people to small cities and young people are leaving them. The Governor proposed creating two cities, each with a population of at least one million, by expanding Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk, which currently have populations of 550,000 – 560,000 each. These cities already have relevant infrastructure and airports. A terminal was built in Kemerovo and a new one is under construction in Novokuznetsk. The two cities are linked by a fast-speed regional road. It is possible to launch overall development in both cities, to remove private sector districts and build modern homes.
Vladimir Putin told the Governor that it was necessary to act prudently and understand how to meet the interests of the local people. It was essential to work with every family to this end. Mr Tsivilev explained that the authorities planned to buy such private homes and offer people flats in new modern buildings. The region’s authorities have already embarked on this programme. They are spending their own funds on it but its implementation will take quite a long time. If they receive support from the state, they can carry out these plans by 2030. It is necessary to develop serious infrastructure in order to encourage young people to remain in the region.
The President emphasised that it was also necessary to create jobs. To prevent younger people from leaving it was essential to provide them with well-paid jobs and career prospects.
The President also said that the region was about to implement a number of good investment projects and asked the Governor which he considered the most important.
Mr Tsivilev recalled that during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum the region signed agreements worth over 300 billion rubles with private companies. Importantly, they were outside the region’s most important industry, coal mining. These are three- to five-year projects. They have already been launched. The Governor thanked the President for his support for the reconstruction of aluminum plants. The chemical industry is also making rapid headway. The Yevraz metallurgical plant is working on a new rolling mill.
The Governor attributed the region’s success at the economic forum to the President’s instruction given on March 2 of this year. During the meeting on the development of the coal industry on that day, Vladimir Putin suggested compiling a socioeconomic development programme for Kuzbass. Four days later, the Prime Minister arrived in the region. The region’s authorities worked round the clock with the Government and the entire programme of socioeconomic development was drafted. It was signed on March 6 and the region was allocated 50 billion rubles for implementing it. The business community got the message and agreements worth 300 billion rubles were signed at the economic forum two months later. One ruble earmarked by the Government attracted six rubles from the business community.
Vladimir Putin proposed that he and the Kemerovo Region Governor together look at the documents linked with all the issues Mr Tsivilev had raised.