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Meeting with young professionals working in the Russian Far East

June 18, 2024, Yakutsk

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with participants in the County Teacher, County Doctor and Muravyov-Amursky 2030 programmes, and with young professionals who relocated to the Russian Far East.

Excerpts from transcript of the meeting with young professionals working in the Russian Far East

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,

I am delighted to see all of you. I believe that those present here today are people who relocated to the Russian Far East for work or have lived here for a long time.

I would like to highlight a very positive trend, which is good news for me, for the entire country, and for you. More and more young people have started to relocate to this region recently. This is a positive development that perhaps reflects the results of our joint efforts to foster the development of the Russian Far East.

This vast region constitutes 40 percent of the total territory of the Russian Federation. More and more young people have started to move to this region recently, contributing to a demographic trend where the proportion of young residents slightly exceeds the national average. Nationally, the share of young people under 35 is around 25 percent, while in the Far Eastern region, it exceeds 27 percent. This is a good trend which proves that the region is becoming more attractive, and it does make sense: it is vibrant, beautiful and huge, and shows great potential.

I would rather not take up our shared time with my own thoughts. I would like to hear more from you – your questions, suggestions, particularly suggestions, and your impressions of what is happening here, your evaluations.

Please, let us begin.

Mr Chekunkov, let us begin with the leadership.

Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexei Chekunkov: Mr President,

I regret to say that I am not one of the young specialists, but it is a great pleasure and an honour to work under your leadership in the Far East.

Let me give you a quick overview of the programmes available for young people and professionals in high-demand fields to explore opportunities in the Far East. Economic growth and social development are robust here, offering ample opportunities for such people.

There are six programmes available. The first is a labour mobility programme that reimburses relocation costs for specialists in high-demand professions relocating to the Far East. Thanks to your decision, compensation levels in the Far East are 4.5 times higher than the national average. Each year, approximately 1,000 specialists arrive in the Far East through this programme. We have several participants in this programme here in the audience today.

The relocation programme for compatriots has been ongoing since 2006, with the Far East designated as a priority area for supporting compatriots moving to Russia. Participants receive more relocation money, housing subsidies, and benefits while they seek employment.

Since 2006, over 70,000 people have relocated to the Far East.

The County Teacher, County Doctor/County Paramedic programmes support teachers, physicians, and paramedics in serving small communities.

In the Far East, payments have been doubled as per your instructions compared to other regions. Over the past four years, more than 3,000 people have received this increased support. Among us today are not only county doctors and teachers, but also cultural workers eager to participate in the new programme you mentioned in your Address to the Federal Assembly.

Affordable rental housing. According to the instructions you issued at the Eastern Economic Forum, construction is currently underway for 10,000 rental apartments for in-demand specialists throughout the Far East. These apartments can be rented at a very attractive price, which is one third of the market price. The programme operator, DOM.RF, has already purchased 6,500 apartments in buildings under construction.

The first buildings have already been completed, including here in Yakutsk. Also, the first residents have already received their keys in the Primorye Territory and Chukotka.

All 10,000 apartments will be purchased by the end of the year, and next year this type of housing will be provided to in-demand employees of enterprises, social workers, and participants in the special military operation.

Fifth, university development grants. A separate Far Eastern section in the Priority 2030 programme was among the strategic initiatives developed under Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s guidance. Twelve universities have been selected and have already received five billion rubles for development. As a result, 3,000 more students have been admitted to the universities participating in the programme compared to the previous year.

By 2030, the Far Eastern Priority aims to train an additional 40,000 students at leading Far Eastern universities.

Sixth, a training programme for civil servants has been launched in the Far East.

Mr President, at the Eastern Economic Forum, I informed you that this programme has been named after Nikolai Muravyov-Amursky [1809–1881, a Russian public figure who served as Governor-General of East Siberia in 1847–1861]. We select young people who already have a university degree and are motivated to work for the development of the Far East. The selection process is very rigorous. This year, the third session is underway, with 80 people per place.

The specialists in training undergo an intensive course that covers how the government operates at all levels: municipal, regional, and federal, and how it addresses the real problems of the people. The principle of targeted distribution is in effect, meaning that after a year of training, specialists move to Far Eastern regions to work there for two years. The third session is underway now. In total, 150 people have been trained or are undergoing training in the three sessions. Additionally, 65 graduates who have completed the programme have already started working. The programme is attended by approximately equal numbers of young people from the Far East and from other regions of Russia who are interested in the Far East. The goal is to train 300 people by 2030, who are to increase the efficiency of work on the development of the Far East at all levels.

Participants in our meeting include graduates from the first two sessions and students from the third.


Vladislav Prudy: I am Vladislav Prudy from the Primorye Territory, a special military operation participant. I was born in the Vologda Region and graduated from the Cherepovets Military Engineering Institute. After that, I was assigned to work in the Primorye Territory. I have been living in this region for 12 years now. I like it for its nature, climate, and development pace: a lot has been done over 12 years.

After military service I would like to continue in the state civil service. I saw that the Muravyov-Amursky programme for training public administration personnel was being implemented in the Far East and decided to enrol.

Ten years ago, you said that the development of the Far East was a national priority for the entire 21st century. A lot has changed in the world over these 10 years: priorities have changed, and new goals and objectives have appeared. What kind of future development of the Far East do you see, considering all these changes?

Vladimir Putin: First of all, allow me to congratulate you on making this choice. It is a good choice, the right one.

Vladislav Prudy: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: It is true that the development of the Far East is, without exaggeration, Russia’s priority for the entire 21st century.

Today, the Far East is showing good growth dynamics. No matter what you look at, no matter what indicator you take, it is many times better than the national average. For example, the volume (we will certainly talk about this, because this is a problem) of electricity consumption has increased significantly, and the volume of transportation has increased significantly: 1.8, 1.2 times; the production of gold has almost doubled while coal production has increased 2.8 times, almost tripled. Everything is growing exponentially. This is my first point.

Second, we need to align everything related to this development with this development. We need to develop infrastructure. As we have been constantly talking in recent years, the development of the Eastern Operating Domain – the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Baikal–Amur Mainline – is a large project in this sphere. There are also other interesting projects, such as reaching the Sea of Okhotsk, and a private company there… I just met with the participants of this project in Moscow three days ago. They are completing their work, and they have proposals regarding the second railway branch line.

We have not forgotten about the bridge in Sakhalin. This is a separate effort, large and capital-intensive, but nevertheless it is not forgotten or thrown away. We need to develop energy capacity there. We need to develop that same personnel training and education. There are a lot of interesting areas of activity, and they are very promising and high-tech as well.

The shipbuilding cluster is developing actively. Everything that has been done so far is a lot, but more must be done. We have just discussed with the management of the United Shipbuilding Corporation what and where to build, and they need to create new enterprises. Yet we came to the conclusion that the next shipyard will still be created in the Far East, like the one near Vladivostok. That is, there are a lot of areas to develop.

Of course, conditions must be created in order to attract specialists of the necessary level and quality. The Minister has just said that the mortgage interest was maintained at two percent. We will freeze it as it is, and, by the way, it will be expanded to include participants in the special military operation among others. We will create favourable conditions for other specialists as well – I know they are here, too – such as doctors, teachers, and cultural workers. In fact, we will work on a wide spectrum, and I hope that all plans we are talking about will be implemented.

Faina Atlasova: Faina Atlasova, a graduate of the first cohort of the Muravyov-Amursky 2030 programme. It was no coincidence that I joined the programme, because after graduating from university, I worked for five years in hard-to-reach Arctic regions of our republic. There I faced a shortage of not only subject matter experts, but managers in general, for which reason I decided to use this programme and eventually stayed in my region to work there.

Vladimir Putin: And where did you work in hard-to-access regions? It is just interesting to me. Where did you get?

Faina Atlasova: As soon as I graduated from the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law, I went to work to the Abyysk District, its most hard to reach village, Kuberganya. I worked there for almost a year. Then I was solicited to work in Momsky District adjacent to the Abyysk District and I continued my work there, then I relocated to the city of Yakutsk with a view to bring more benefit to the Arctic.

The Arctic is rich not only in natural resources, but also in people – talented, unique and sincerely devoted to their land. We have become convinced in this while working on the project. During our training we worked on a project related to the development of the Northern Sea Route and industry in the Arctic.

It’s no secret that successful implementation of such major projects will depend on the availability of qualified personnel on the ground. In order to further incentivise ambitious young people from all over the country, is it possible to extend the Muravyov-Amursky programme to the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation? In my opinion, in the future, the alumni community, which is already beginning to emerge, would help to develop these territories further.

Vladimir Putin:This is a verygood question. You have worked in remote areas already, and you have a better vision of what should be done personnel-wise.

The programme that you have mentioned is working, we are allocating for it, I am afraid to be wrong now, about 340 million. To extend it as you suggest, we need to add some 240–250 million. We will think it over and I suppose will find the money.

Because to execute all the plans that I have just talked about, we need specialists, we cannot do without them. If we fail to do so, it will really impede all our plans. In addition to what I said there is a well-known plan, for example, to develop 25 urban agglomerations. We find the money and allocate it, but who will do it? Of course, we can’t do without it.

We will find the funds and expand the programme you mentioned.


Nikolai Bochkov: Nikolai Bochkov, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). I am also a graduate of the first cohort of the Muravyov-Amursky programme. Three years ago, I entered the state civil service and, thanks to the programme, I was able to advance in my career. Before that, I worked for about 10 years in the electric power industry.

As part of our training, my fellow students and I visited almost all regions of the Far East, met with regional government teams, worked on various problem areas, met with representatives of large businesses, and visited a lot of new facilities opened as part of new projects.

Electric power industry is among the essential problems raised by businesses today. You have already touched upon it today. This means a fairly high cost of electricity in the Far East. Consumption rates are high now, and we expect a capacity shortage in the future.

Vladimir Putin: It is already here; there is a shortage in many regions.

Nikolai Bochkov: Yes, it already exists. I believe it will also continue to grow in the future.

Of course, we understand that, for obvious reasons, it is more expensive to generate and transmit electricity in the Far East than in the central part of Russia. This is about huge territories, as well as the long power lines that need to be maintained and properly serviced. This is also a relatively low volume of consumption compared to the country’s central part.

Therefore, Mr President, do you think that the market should address such a complex issue alone? Or does the Far East need exclusively the state’s commanding approach?

Vladimir Putin: We must strive for making the market work, but it is impossible today. We must proceed from the real situation, and the real situation is that consumption is growing. What does this mean, by the way? That production is developing. Transport infrastructure is also developing and requiring more energy. Industrial enterprises are developing, too. After all, more of them are constantly being built.

We have made provision for funding of over eight trillion rubles under our Far East development programmes, and more than four trillion have already been allocated. The work is underway. Of course, this requires more energy.

However, today it is simply impossible to bring it to the market, given the shortage of power generating capacity. Let’s say, in 2022 we planned to increase tariffs according to inflation. The target inflation was four percent, but it turned out to be much higher:12 percent, I believe. So, the tariffs in the Far East increased, too, almost twice as the national average: it was 11 percent, while here it was 23, I think. Therefore, it is impossible to simply give it to the market. But the Government understands this and plans to smoothly give it to the market as new generating capacities are created. This is the first point.

Second, these electricity generation capacities must first be created in the regions with energy shortage, because not all regions of the Far East (of the Far Eastern Federal District) face power shortage. Where there is shortage, such capacities must be created, and plans must be made exactly to address that.

Third, of course, it is necessary to diversify non-energy capacities and sources like hydropower, and we should also start to give up coal. There are many dimensions here, and the Government, of course, is involved in all of this. In general, the plans that have been made for the development of the energy sector in the Far East are absolutely achievable together with our large companies. For example, connecting the eastern and western gas production centres is crucial for the future of the energy sector in the Far East.

All this is in the plans; everything is envisaged there and is being considered exactly in the spirit that I have just described.


Ivan Savchuk: My name is Ivan Savchuk. I am a graduate of the first cohort of the Muravyov-Amursky programme.

During my participation in the programme I relocated from the city of Gubkinsky in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area to the sunny Republic of Buryatia. I had worked for over 10 years in the oil and gas industry in the Far North.

During our participation in the programme we were engaged in the problem of general aviation, a project that helps develop territories – territorial connectivity and population mobility.

The Far East is huge, large in scale and the distance between cities…

Vladimir Putin: 40 percent of our country’s territory. It is huge, it’s true.

Ivan Savchuk: So, the distance between populated centres is also huge enough. Many populated centres have no year-round ground access. More than half a million people live in such conditions. It makes access to goods, services and some other things, which would make life more comfortable, more difficult.

Now, such technology as the delivery of medicines by unmanned aerial vehicles is being used in Sakhalin and Buryatia as part of a successful experiment.

Our experiment has already been quite successful. We would like to help these localities to additionally transport non-hazardous categories of goods by small aircraft, as there are more than 300 pilots with licenses, who can fly in the Far East. There are quite a large number of aircraft such as small planes and helicopters. We would like to suggest that you consider the possibility of delivering such cargoes by pilots of private aviation companies that have their own planes, their own helicopters. Non-hazardous goods – to sparsely populated areas. Now, at the current stage, it is prohibited by law. I think that this is a measure that can help people get more comfortable goods and have a more comfortable life in the Far East.

Vladimir Putin: I completely agree with you. Even I find it a bit difficult to fight bureaucracy, believe me, because they always raise countless concerns that seem critical and need to be taken into account and addressed. But with vast territories like yours, there has to be fewer risks than in big cities when it comes to de-bureaucratising the air service, if I can say so. Is that what you mean? This certainly needs to be done.

In general, in the Far East, we absolutely need to implement all our plans to develop transport infrastructure. This includes the Eastern Operating Domain railways network – the BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway. We have numerous plans there; they are far-reaching and ambitious.

Furthermore, we need to develop the Northern Route to the ocean. We need more local airlines; we already have Aurora, which serves 400 local lines, 380 approximately, almost 400, a large network of routes.

But unmanned air transport definitely holds high potential for such distances. Admittedly, legal and administrative issues need to be cleared first. This issue is on the agenda, and I will try to push it forward after today’s meeting.

There is one more aspect that is essential to creating a comfortable environment for people living in small communities, and that is broadband internet access. We also need to develop our satellite constellation, which we will certainly do, and which we are doing already. By the way, I will talk about it somewhere down the road – we have excellent projects and accomplishments in this area. So we have good prospects here. But what you mentioned is clearly a priority.

Ivan Savchuk: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: We have seen just now, when we visited the exhibition, the things that local engineers are doing. I hate to say it now, but still: your colleague on the left knows how drones are used on the line of contact. But drones can carry anything, right? It does not make any difference, an unmanned aircraft can carry anything, land and deliver, or drop it, whatever.

Of course, we need to take this further. We now have several centres for the development of unmanned aviation. About ten such centres have been established, and we will continue to create more, including in the Far East.

We will be happy to support you.


Vlasta Tysova: Let me introduce myself. Vlasta Tysova, English teacher at the Syulinsky secondary school in the Nyurbinsky District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). I was born in the city of Gorno-Altaisk, the Altai Republic.

I have been working under the County Teacher programme for four years and am grateful for an interesting and new project in the education system. Thanks to this project, rural schools now have the specialists they needed.

Nevertheless, there is, of course, staff shortage both in kindergartens and supplementary education institutions. This year, a young specialist, a supplementary education teacher, Master of Sports of Russia in archery, began her career at our school; the children are happy to attend the sports group, and we are all happy to see the first successes of our young colleague’s students.

Mr President, what do you think about expanding this programme to supplementary education and kindergarten teachers?

Vladimir Putin: This is a very important area. Supplementary education broadens a child’s outlook and, of course, creates a basis for a child to decide on a future profession at an early stage.

I completely agree with you, and this is definitely something to think about.

As for preschool and kindergarten teachers, this can be our next step. I agree with you. We are introducing this for cultural workers, and then we will think about kindergartens.

We have a large programme to build kindergartens. It has been implemented almost across the entire country. There are several regions where the plan indicators are still to be reached. Of course, we should think about personnel for this sphere, like for any other; and so, they must be supported. We will think about it. I made a note about this, ok?

Vlasta Tysova: Thank you.


Tamara Khugayeva: My name is Tamara Khugayeva, I am an ophthalmologist. I worked in Moscow for 20 years and then moved to the Magadan Region, where I have been working as a doctor in the inter-district department of specialists for over a year. We have several districts, and we travel around.

I had a long-standing dream to visit the Far East. Thanks to the County Doctor programme, one of my dreams has already come true. Thank you very much.

Mr President, thanks to you, many people living in the Far East now have the opportunity to get wider medical assistance where they live. They do not have to travel anywhere; it is difficult to travel there. So, I also wanted to thank you for this programme.

Some colleagues had a problem with well-furnished and comfortable housing, but, as Mr Chekunkov said, housing for new specialists is already under construction, and everything will be fine. So, now this is no longer an issue, but it had been…

Vladimir Putin: Of course, the question still stands. It is good that it is being addressed.

Tamara Khugayeva: I survived the winter. I know what −50 degrees is like. It is fine, you can live through it.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that we have vacancies for other specialists. Please come to us in Kolyma.

Vladimir Putin: We can finish on this. Thank you for such a conclusion.

I would like to congratulate you all once again on the choice you have made when moving to various regions of the Far East or living here, but deciding to move to small communities where people need your assistance and support. I mean teachers, cultural workers, doctors, engineers, and specialists in other spheres.

The Far East has enormous development prospects. Clearly, everything takes time, but nothing is possible without people who are devoted to what they do, the region where they are, and the people who they work for. Everything is being done thanks to the talents and energy of people like you.

Thank you very much and all the best. Thank you for the ideas and proposals that were voiced. We will try not to forget anything.

Thank you very much. All the best.

June 18, 2024, Yakutsk