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Meeting with Government members

April 12, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: It is our colleague’s birthday today. Let us congratulate him.

Mr Siluanov, this is a collection of works by Sergei Vitte, [Russia’s] finance minister [in 1892–1903]. He was also a diplomat and held other official positions. No, we are not transferring you to a new post. (Laughter)

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will be discussing a very important issue: the development of the contractual system for state and municipal procurement.

But first I would like to congratulate you on a holiday that concerns all of us, because we take a keen interest in the work of the industry that marks its professional holiday today. It is not a narrow professional but a truly nationwide holiday, Cosmonautics Day. Congratulations!

I would like Mr Komarov to tell us about the performance of Roscosmos State Corporation in 2016 and its strategy to 2030.

Please proceed.

General Director of State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS Igor Komarov: Mr President, colleagues, in 2016, ROSCOSMOS met the set targets on developing and using rocket and space technology, and met Russia’s international obligations.

From the Vostochny Space Launch Centre, we carried out the successful first launch of a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle, which put into orbit the satellites Lomonosov and Aist-2D. The International Space Station programme was carried out in full. We launched four Soyuz-TMA piloted transport spacecraft, our new Soyuz MS spacecraft, and two Progress MS freight transport spacecraft as part of the ISS work programme.

We carried out the first successful launch in a long time of a spacecraft travelling to Mars as part of our joint programme with the European Space Agency. The spacecraft was launched by the Russian-made Proton launch vehicle. Now, we are continuing our work with the European Space Agency on the 2020 mission to Mars. The work is running to schedule.

With the launch of the Resource P space-based optic-electronic earth observation satellite, we have established a high-resolution remote space-based Earth observation system, which is providing data to the federal and regional authorities. We have begun work on the commercial use of this data. The orbital satellite group came to 141 satellites at the end of 2016, including 84 satellites for socioeconomic, scientific and dual-purpose use.

We ensured the GLONASS global navigation system’s stable and reliable work and continued to carry out our scientific programmes, including with the unique Spektr-R satellite, launched in 2011.

Russia today is one of the few countries that has a full-cycle rocket and space industry, from development and production to use of space and rocket equipment and waste treatment. Our launch vehicles are competitive and account for around a quarter of the launch services market. We continue steady work to build up our orbital group, and Russia is well known as the leading player in piloted flights.

There are also problems, above all the insufficient size of our orbital groups. Serious efforts are also needed to ensure the quality and reliability of our rocket and space equipment. We also have to work on making the use of the International Space Station more effective.

We have big tasks ahead and much work to do to better commercialise our space services, so that the investment we make in space and the results we achieve bring greater returns for the economy and industry here on Earth.

At the same time, we understand the need to substantially increase our range of products and services for national defence, socioeconomic development, science, and international cooperation. We will soon activate key development instruments to achieve these goals. This includes our human resources. We also plan a serious optimisation of our production potential, a radical increase in labour productivity, developing our commercial potential, and improving our legal framework.

Our corporation, in accordance with its approved development strategy for 2025 and through to 2030, is facing the following strategic targets:

– To bring the number of satellites in our orbital group up to the planned operational number for each system, enabling them to carry out their tasks in full. We are to have 164 satellites by 2025, and more than 200 by 2030;

– To raise the number of successful spacecraft launches to 99 percent by 2025, and restore our global leadership in the launch services market, both in the number of launches and in reliability;

– To guarantee active operational lives of spacecraft that meet world standards and radically improve the financial situation in the corporation and the sector. To achieve this goal, we plan to practically double commercial earnings on the global space services market, where we currently have a share of 4.8 percent. We plan to increase this share to 10 percent. This will only be possible if we actively develop our space-rocket industry.

We have set the goal of raising labour productivity 3.2-fold. We will carry out a thorough modernisation and optimisation of our fleet, equipment and capacity in order to increase the share of equipment under 10 years in age to 56 percent.

In terms of commercialising space activity, in the launch services sector, we are one of the key players today, with 24 percent of the market. The market itself is hardly growing at all, but new players are emerging all the time. We therefore see our task in saving our market share through optimising the costs of existing launch vehicles and developing new ones. We are developing a new medium-class launch vehicle that will provide the first stage for a future super heavy-class system, and a lighter version of the Proton launch vehicle. There is also the development and production of the light version of the Angara rocke

In the spacecraft production segment, we account for about 10 percent of the market, with the bulk of this amount being provided by the programmes focusing on delivering astronauts to the ISS. The contract expires in 2018–2019. We plan to not only keep doing our ISS-related work, to which end we are going to commercialise and promote space tourism, commercialise the use of the ISS and to improve the effectiveness of experiments, but we also have major plans to develop projects for creating space telecommunications and remote probing of the Earth.

In the segment of navigation services and ground infrastructure, we plan to increase our share and take it from the ground up (since we are at the early stages of this work now) to 7 percent through developing transport and cargo monitoring services, creating high-precision navigation fields and systems for the use of this kind of navigation, developing equipment projects for autonomous robotic complexes, including transport, as well as precision farming.

In the segment of satellite services, we plan to focus on mobile satellite communications projects, sales of remote Earth probing data and processing products. With regard to remote probing of the Earth, we have already taken the first steps and, in the near future, we plan to expand our commercial activities related to selling photos.

We discussed the Roscosmos development strategy at a meeting with you in November. Instructions were issued to develop areas such as commercialisation of space services, including increased efficiency of the International Space Station and enhanced quality. Action plans have been developed with regard to these areas of focus, and about 10 Government meetings were held. Also, discussions were held at expert councils and with the expert community, and the Roscosmos supervisory board approved the strategy just several days ago, and we started implementing it.

That concludes my report.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Mr Donskoi, at the St Petersburg media forum on April 3, there were questions related to solid household waste disposal. Please say a few words.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoy: We are currently working on reforming waste disposal management. The goal is to put in place a separate waste-recycling sector in our country.

Here is the way I see it. One crucial component of the reform is the institution of the manufacturer’s extended responsibility, which has long been working effectively in different countries. Essentially, within the framework of this institution, the business sector assumes responsibility for recycling manufactured goods and packaging that are out of use.

Independent disposal can also be replaced by an environmental tax. Today, considering that we are only at the initial stage, environmental tax revenues should be in by April 15, and so we will see, on the one hand, how much waste is processed by manufacturers and on the other hand, the volume of environmental tax revenues that we can use to finance waste-recycling systems in the regions.

The second part that we are working on and that was mentioned at the media forum was the preparation of territorial waste management schemes. Eighty-one regions already have an approved programme. It is one of the key documents that defines the volume of waste generation, places where this waste should be generated, places where waste sorting and recycling facilities should be based – in short, a territorial scheme that effectively describes the entire flow of waste and therefore the way everything will be recycled.

(Next, the minister touched on the preparation of territorial diagrams and their public discussion.)

I would also like to say, Mr President, that today 27 pilot regions have reaffirmed their readiness to launch the new system before the end of the year. We have included these 27 pilot regions in the Clean Country priority project and are now finalising with them the entire system – territorial diagrams, the selection of regional operators, regional recycling construction investment programmes – and we hope that by the end of the year, these 27 regions will have switched to the new system.

Since it has been mentioned that fines should be increased and that they should be better defined, a relevant bill has been drafted on your instruction, which will clarify the terms of certain infractions and fines. It has already passed the first Duma hearing. So we are working on this issue and we expect to see it resolved this year.

Another issue I would like to speak about is the Nasha Priroda [Our Nature] app that we are to launch this spring as part of the Clean Country project. It is to become an efficient tool in public hands to fight illegal dumping sites. Every user will be able to report an issue and the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources will address it. The app is ready, and we are now working with the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media to register it as a federal information application, which we are hoping to accomplish by mid-May.

Overall, I have addressed the issues raised at the media forum of the Russian Popular Front. Of course, we work closely with our regional authorities and colleagues from the Front. If there are any issues, we have a year to address them, and draft new legislation if needed.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Donskoi.

The sowing campaign has started and cropland area has increased this year. What is the progress?

Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Donskoi.

The sowing campaign has started and cropland area has increased this year. What is the progress?

Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev:

Mr President,

The early spring has enabled us to begin sowing as early as in March, and the work is in full swing in Southern Russia, in Crimea, the North Caucasus, in Central Russia and the Volga River region. This year we continue to increase the area of arable land, which now stands at over 80 million square hectares for the first time in 15 years, or almost half a million more than last year. This was made possible thanks in part to a law drafted on your instruction, which saw unused overgrown areas put to agricultural use. Such areas have since been ploughed, sowed and are producing their first harvest.

According to regional data, farms have enough seeds, fertilizers, fuel and lubricants, equipment and other resources. Agriculture producers have about three percent more seeds than they will need. There is no shortage of fertilizers.

 I would like to point out that our agreements with fertilizer producers and cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has led to lower prices on fertilizers, an important step to cutting production costs, and the price of grain.

Fieldwork season lending is going smoothly, with no disruptions. For the first time, we managed to ensure easy-term loans with an interest rate of under five percent this year, which we did on the instruction of Prime Minister Medvedev. First and foremost, this made borrowing easier. Over 25 banks are part of this programme, and the number is set to increase. As of April 6, banks approved 92 billion rubles of short-term loans, a 15 percent increase over 2016.

For instance, Rosselkhozbank granted 80 billion rubles in loans, and Sberbank 12 billion. The bank competition meant that the loan rate decreased by two or three percent to stay below the five percent threshold, just as we planned. We expect that the smooth cooperation of central government, regional authorities, and agricultural producers and the fine weather will allow us to harvest at least 110 million tonnes of grain this year. This will fully supply Russia’s domestic market and the country will keep its status as the world’s top wheat exporter. We will also be able to export greater quantities of other crops as well, and to make headway in meat exports, which we have been actively working on.

Vladimir Putin: What about fuel and lubricants?

Alexander Tkachev: Prices on fuel and lubricants have gone up in the past two to three years by about three, four, may be five percent, but the increase has been within normal limits considering inflation.

Vladimir Putin: You are working with the producers, aren’t you?

Alexander Tkachev: Yes, we are in contact, of course, and Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich and I have recently had a corresponding meeting.

Vladimir Putin: Good, thank you. It is important that there are no price spikes.


April 12, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow