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Meeting on restoring residential infrastructure

February 1, 2023, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin held a meeting, via videoconference, on restoring the residential infrastructure destroyed in the border regions and as a result of emergencies.

Taking part in the meeting were Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Natural Disaster Relief Alexander Kurenkov, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Fayzullin, Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov, the governors of the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Khabarovsk Territory, Amur Region, Belgorod Region, Bryansk Region, Irkutsk Region, Kursk Region, and the Jewish Autonomous Region, as well as First Deputy Minister of Transport Andrey Kostyuk.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.

At the end of last year, a special resolution on housing construction was proposed at a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, which concerns the new regions in the southwest of Russia: the Donetsk and εnsk people’s republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. We are initiating a subsidised mortgage programme with an interest rate of only 2 percent in these Russian regions. The relevant government resolution has already been issued.

The introduction of preferential mortgage rates should serve to develop construction in the new and, in fact, the old historical territories, and increase the volume of housing construction there and, in general, the pace of the restoration of the cities and towns.

This work has already begun where the hostilities have ended, and it includes social facilities – kindergartens, schools, hospitals, clinics – that will be reopened, and communal infrastructure, roads, communication networks are being repaired.

I want to thank the Russian regions that are helping our new constituent entities and sending financial resources, workforces, construction teams and equipment.

I also want to remind you that there are support measures available at the federal level for citizens and regions in the event of property loss or damage.

I should stress that the state will always help people in distress, and we will do everything we can to make sure that people are not left alone with these problems.

I propose dedicating today’s meeting to a very important issue: support for the residents of Crimea, and the Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions, whose houses and flats in the border areas have been damaged or destroyed by shelling by neo-Nazi groups.

Last week, if you noticed, I met with the governor of the Belgorod Region, and he reported in detail on developments in his region and what kind of assistance was being provided to people in the Belgorod Region. Specific instructions were given on additional measures in this regard following the meeting, as well as on a range of other areas. Of course, I would like to ask you to ensure that everything we planned is carried out.

And of course, the priority objective is to eliminate the very possibility of shelling, but this is for the military.

A lot of people found themselves in a difficult situation: they lost their homes and had to move to live with their relatives or to temporary places of residence, and they faced interruptions in water, heat and electricity supply.

I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues in the Government and on site: people’s problems are very acute, and it is necessary to repair or compensate for the loss of houses, flats and other property, and to restore the normal distribution of electricity, heat and water to these facilities. Let me stress that the solution to these problems should not stall or get bogged down in bureaucratic procedures. We need to act quickly and effectively.

Another item on the agenda concerns support for the people who have lost their homes due to natural disasters, floods and fires. This refers, of course, to all of the Russian Federation where these events occurred.

In these cases, we can work through the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Construction, and sectoral ministries and departments. We are talking about lump-sum payments and benefits, and financial assistance for victims. In addition, education, healthcare and cultural facilities are being restored with federal funding.

I propose that we review this work over the past year. Have you managed to do everything we planned? And of course, we will talk about any problems, if they remain.

Let us get to the agenda. The floor goes to Mr Khusnullin.


Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin: Mr President, colleagues,

Shelling by Ukraine poses the risk of damaging houses and social and cultural facilities in the border areas.

Today the Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions are facing a situation where it is necessary to resettle people due to the direct threat to their lives. Therefore, the existing support mechanisms for ordinary emergencies that we used cannot always be used in these territories.

The situation is most challenging today in the Belgorod Region. Following the appeal of Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov to you and thanks to our constant work with him, more than 3,700 residents have already been resettled. At the same time, the total area of the resettlement housing is 108,000 square metres.

In order to solve this task, the region needs 9.4 billion in total. We have prepared facilities and places where people can move, and all of it has the necessary utilities and transport infrastructure. In line with your instructions, Mr President, we have already prepared a draft regulatory document today: if you approve today’s approaches, we can literally accept and allocate money tomorrow. We have all approvals from the Executive Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Construction.

We are also monitoring developments in other border regions: the Bryansk and Kursk regions. We have also agreed on the volume of their costs with them. If the mechanism is approved today, we will promptly report all issues with them.

I would also like to report on support for the rights of people following natural and man-made emergencies. Currently, the Russian Federation already has well-established approaches to this issue.

(Next, the Deputy Prime Minister spoke about payments in the event of housing loss, financial relief in the aftermath of federal and interregional emergencies, and the resolution of all issues related to one of the most serious floods in recent years, which occurred in the Irkutsk Region in 2019 and which the President visited personally.)

In total, as part of the emergency response, 6.7 billion rubles were allocated from the Russian Government reserve fund, for example, in 2021, to provide housing for 1,876 families and to overhaul the housing of 1,544 families. In 2021, funds were allocated to the Amur Region, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Transbaikal Territory, the Republic of Crimea, the Yaroslavl Region, the Irkutsk Region, the Stavropol Territory, the Vologda Region, and the Magadan Region.

In 2022, 2 billion rubles were allocated to provide 331 families with housing, to overhaul housing for the benefit of 168 families, and build four blocks of flats for 320 families, with the Irkutsk Region, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Republic of Crimea, the Perm Territory, the Stavropol Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Trans-Baikal Territory, and the Amur Region receiving the funds.

Apart from that, the federal budget has allocated funds to support the effort to restore damaged roads. Over the past three years, eight regions have faced 16 emergencies that caused 12.9 billion rubles in damage to the road system, of which 6.8 billion rubles’ worth was the aftermath of the floods in the latter half of 2022. I am referring to the Komi Republic, Crimea, Tuva, the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Primorye Territory, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Amur Region, and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Between 2020 and 2022, 3 billion rubles were allocated for these purposes. The shortfall of 6 billion rubles is slated for next years’ budgets. A directive has been drafted to issue the funds to pay for removing the damage. Specialist federal executive authorities provide restoration-targeted funds based on available resources, if social or infrastructure facilities are damaged.

(Next, the heads of the Belgorod Region, the Kursk Region, the Bryansk Region, the Republic of Crimea, the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Irkutsk Region, the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the Khabarovsk Territory reported on the situation in their areas.)

Also, in reply to the President’s questions, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov gave brief reports.)

Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, today we have discussed issues that we focus on regularly, but they have lost none of their immediate importance despite this regular effort. Therefore, I ask you to carry out what we arranged and are arranging in the necessary amount and within the timeframes that we put before ourselves.

Please formulate and send the issues that have been discussed and are yet to be addressed – I think, they should be forwarded to Mr Khusnullin. If something has to be done additionally, Mr Khusnullin will report to me on his own.

Generally, please make sure to close the issues that have been discussed today as soon as possible.

Thank you.

February 1, 2023, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region