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Meeting of Council for Strategic Development and National Projects

October 24, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, in the Kremlin.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov presented the main report on the national projects developed by the cabinet of ministers pursuant to the May Executive Order.

In addition to this, the meeting participants discussed national projects concerning social matters, the digital economy and transport infrastructure, the environment, culture, residential construction and the urban environment.

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Transcript of the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

Today I propose to discuss system-wide approaches to the strategic tasks set in the Address to the  Federal Assembly and the May Executive Order.

As you well know, over a period of the next few years, we must achieve a real breakthrough in the economy, infrastructure, technology, science and social matters – mainly, to ensure prosperity and a new quality of life for Russian citizens, an abundance of opportunities to fulfill one’s potential for every person, and to generally strengthen the country’s competitiveness and achieve leadership in the fields that will, without a doubt, define the future of Russia and the entire world. These are, without exaggeration, historic objectives.

In the May Executive Order, the Government was instructed to develop a detailed plan of this breakthrough, this purposeful progress in every direction. Within a considerably short time, the Government conducted substantial work and developed national projects that outlined target indicators and practical mechanisms to achieve these indicators, as well as the amount of required funding.

Today, at this Council meeting, we will hold an extensive discussion of the national projects and agree on their main parameters. We will specifically address measures to monitor the implementation of the national projects and programmes.

I would like to point out that this stage requires constructive and substantive control. It will not be enough to simply prepare superficial bureaucratic reports and formally check the issues off the list as it happens sometimes.

The main goal is to bring about positive changes in the life of every person and every Russian family. This is exactly what is important to us: we need actual results. For example, we want people to actually notice that cities and villages are becoming more comfortable and pleasant to live in; that new roads are built; that kindergartens, schools, hospitals and other social facilities are improving their operation. Social and municipal services must be accessible without long waiting times. This is the important aspect.

Once again, it is extremely important to establish efficient feedback, synchronise our actions with the interests of the public and do everything to ensure that the people are directly involved in our development projects.

It is necessary to more thoroughly rely on the civil control experience. I would like to ask activists and experts from the Russian Popular Front to continue the vigorous efforts that they demonstrated in the past.

Colleagues, the success of the national projects and programmes largely depends on the regions’ efficiency. Moreover, it is the regional administrations that are to play the key role in solving certain practical tasks in such areas as education, healthcare, housing availability, improving the environment and supporting businesses, increasing labour productivity, and many other areas as well.

However, this does not mean that we can simply shift responsibility to the constituent entities and delegate our plans and indicators as an assignment to them. And of course, Mr Sobyanin [Moscow Mayor] and I spoke about preventing excessive bureaucracy. We do not need a thousand items on the list that will be impossible to make sense of. As I said earlier, we do not want to just formally check these items off the list.

In this regard, I am asking the Government, with due account of the proposals of the regions, to detail the national projects by adding very specific measurements, I mean regional measurements.

Each constituent area of the Federation should see its place in the development programmes and clearly understand its substantive tasks – what resources it needs to attract, how to build governance mechanisms and its budgeting policy, and what kind of federal support can be expected.

Federal co-financing should certainly reach the regions promptly and it is necessary to control the further targeted use of these funds.

I believe all these issues are highly important and crucial, and I propose discussing them with representatives of the regions at a special meeting before the end of this year, to fully take into account the position and interests of each region, and to build an effective model of joint work.

Please note that our projects are neither federal nor regional, but national, which implies the consolidation of efforts at all levels and branches of government, of representatives of civil society and certainly business.

Naturally, it is mandatory to actively participate in state-owned companies’ development projects. It was for this reason that they were established, after all. In this regard, we are all waiting for the managers of VEB, Gazprom, Rostec, Rostelecom, Rosneft, Rosatom, and other corporations co-owned by the state to submit proposals on financial, technological, scientific and personnel contributions to breakthrough programmes and projects.

Also, I definitely view the private sector as the most important partner of the state and society in the implementation of development plans. I repeat, this is not about making businesses invest in certain industries, but the idea is to offer investors, private companies really promising and profitable projects so that they can develop, create new jobs, increase exports, and enter global markets.

These issues are being discussed in detail by a group of business associations and major companies co-chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov from the Government and Mikhail Shokhin [President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs] from the business community.

Above all, they are working on effective models for financing and for the involvement of private businesses in projects on the national agenda. This is an extremely important matter.

Three portfolios are being considered: projects proposed to businesses by federal agencies; projects proposed by businesses involving collaboration with the state; and business projects that fit with the development priorities but do not require support under the national projects. All of them are important.

I ask Mr Siluanov today to report separately on the agreements reached with business representatives.

Colleagues, while working on development projects, it is of course necessary to attract technology and specialists, to build chains of cooperation, in short, to use all the best there is in the world.

However, it is obvious that we must move forward, relying primarily on our own technological, personnel, and industrial base.

Allow me to remind you that within six years, about 28 trillion rubles will be channeled into national projects from all sources. This is an astronomical figure for us today.

However, we have long worked on consolidating these resources – those of the state, the regions, and business. They must be put to use within the country and for its development, become a stimulus for the national economy, industry, science and education.

This means that the necessary technologies, equipment, and software need to be manufactured in Russia. We need to use local manufacturing facilities wherever possible, and as much as possible.

True, we need to be part of the global system, but we also need to make our money work for the country, inside our country. For that, we need to create reserves like those in the defence industry – we have already talked about this many times. We also need to increase the output of civilian products at defence enterprises.

All deputy prime ministers jointly with the Industry and Trade Ministry must promptly determine which types of machinery and equipment and which technology will be required to implement the national projects, what additional production facilities and competence centres need to be built; what tasks need to be set for our research, scientific and engineering centres. Vnesheconombank and other development institutions will need to make provisions for funding these projects.

If we succeed, and we must succeed, we will solve two problems, which is the transition of defence industry facilities to the production of civilian machinery and equipment, and, most importantly, the use of their resources for achieving development targets.

I would like to ask Mr Borisov [Deputy Prime Minister] to present consolidated proposals on the technological and production support of the development programmes. We will discuss this issue at a separate meeting.

Further, taking into account the objectives of the national projects, starting next academic year, we need to modify training programmes and enrolment plans for secondary vocational and higher education institutions.

Universities, colleges and vocational schools must be geared up towards achieving the set goals. Even today, we must do everything to make sure that in several years, our industrial facilities, corporations, schools, hospitals and research organisations employ graduates with up-to-date knowledge and qualifications who can meet the most complicated professional challenges.

Colleagues, the national projects are to unite our nation for achieving this breakthrough. It is essential at this turning point in the history of our country. I have already said this and I want to remind you once again to make sure we do not fall asleep on our feet.

Under no circumstances can we act and work in our regular mode. We must realise where we stand and what problems we are facing.

Without exaggeration, the wellbeing of Russian citizens depends on these results, along with the future of our country, the future of Russia. It is our obligation to go through with these plans.

I want everybody to understand this very well and to be ready for hard and intense work. Now, let us proceed to the discussion of issues on our agenda.


October 24, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow