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Meeting on wildfires in Trans-Baikal Territory

April 25, 2019, Chita

On his way to Vladivostok, Vladimir Putin held a meeting at the Chita airport on wildfires in Trans-Baikal Territory and overcoming their consequences. Heads of the relevant agencies and municipalities took part in the meeting.

Following the meeting, the President had a brief conversation with Acting Governor of Trans-Baikal Territory Alexander Osipov.

According to preliminary reports, wildfires affected 17 towns, destroying 99 residential buildings, 13 non-residential properties, 113 farms and cattle ranches, as well as agricultural machinery. Damage from wildfires exceeded 280 million rubles, and 650 people were recognised as wildfire victims.

* * *

Opening remarks at the meeting on wildfires in Trans-Baikal Territory and overcoming their consequences

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

We gather here in Chita today for this brief, albeit extremely important, meeting to discuss issues related to dealing with the consequences of wildfires in Trans-Baikal Territory.

The situation in the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of wildfires has been challenging since early spring. As you all know, 17 localities in 13 municipal districts suffered from wildfires last week due to high temperatures and strong wind. Both residential and non-residential buildings were damaged.

As the Governor and I have just discussed, fortunately there were no human casualties, and overall the response was quite effective compared to emergencies of this kind over the past years.

This is far from the first time that we have faced a situation of this kind in the Far Eastern, Siberian and a number of other federal districts. Therefore, we understand what needs to be done. Damage from the wildfires must be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

As we all know and understand, our primary task is to help people is the affected areas. It has always been the case, and I hope that this time will not be an exception. We need to outline a plan of concrete actions to restore housing and fulfil this plan without delay before it gets cold.

The Governor and I had a conversation just now, and he said that this detailed plan will be ready by May 10. After that, we will have another meeting in Moscow, and I want you to report to me on this plan. I will come here around September to see how the plan is being implemented.

Today, I would like to hear from you what steps will be taken to deliver on this objective, and how much funding you expect to receive for this purpose. What kind of assistance do you need from federal agencies?

We also need to address the issue of lost documents without delay, as we always do in such cases.

In addition, people who suffered losses in the wildfires must receive all the compensation they are entitled to by law.

Of course, I ask you to assist the farmers who were affected in this emergency. As far as I know, efforts are already underway to reissue documents that were lost and pay out compensations. I want to hear a report on these efforts at this meeting.

I ask the regional leadership to closely monitor the implementation of these and other tasks, and I ask federal agencies and municipal authorities to provide the necessary assistance.

Finally, there is another matter I wanted to raise before concluding my remarks. We are approaching the May holidays, when people clean up their land plots and go out for picnics.

This is not the right time for picnics here, but I do think that we need to do more here and in other regions to raise awareness on fire safety.

When I hear that people are to blame for wildfires of this kind, I cannot agree. Of course, there are people who commit such acts, I understand. But what this shows is that we fail to properly inform the people about the possible consequences. This is my first point in this regard.

Second, some of the wildfires spilled over from across the border, and we must be ready to deal with developments of this kind effectively.

Let us discuss these and other issues. I asked that our colleagues from municipalities be present at this meeting.

Let’s begin by giving them the floor.


April 25, 2019, Chita