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Flood response meeting

October 16, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin held a meeting on flood relief measures in Irkutsk Region and the Far East. The discussion covered the progress made to implement a series of instructions issued by the President.

The participants discussed payouts to the victims, construction and overhaul of housing, the current condition of social facilities and the transport infrastructure, as well as preparations for the autumn and winter season and other important matters.

Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Government Commission on Flood Response Vitaly Mutko, Minister of Construction and Housing and Utilities Vladimir Yakushev and Governor of Irkutsk Region Sergei Levchenko, who took part in the meeting via videoconference, made reports.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Today, we will return to the relief measures after the floods that took place in Siberia and the Far East.

As you may recall, the last time I was in that region and met with the locals – we worked with you back then – I said that I would keep the developments under control, clearly, because there is a significant amount of work to be done and there are lots of flood victims.

I am aware that work is underway and plenty has already been accomplished, but from my last meeting with the local people I also know all too well that there are masses of complaints. Today, I would like to hear what is being done for the people and in terms of restoring social infrastructure, buildings and so on.

First of all, I would like to hear from you clear and concrete reports to the point. I propose organising our work today as follows: do not tell me about the number of victims or how much we have to do, but instead report specifically about what has already been done and what remains to be done in the near future. Just show me the numbers.

Of course, I would very much like to hear from you how the funds received from the federal budget are being spent. They are quite hefty, and more funds are coming. I hope there will be no more information to say the funds have arrived, but never made it to the contractors or the people entitled to compensation.

I know that regrettably today there are critical remarks being made concerning the quality of the overhauling of the educational institutions and some other buildings. This is what I would like to draw your attention to.

Of course, many questions arise when you work with people. I will not make any comments on all of these problems right now. But if we are not going to put our heart and soul into the job, the final results will not be very promising.

I know the attitude among the authorities at various levels to probably exaggerated and unfair requirements to people who are actually trying to fulfil their duty.

But we must bear in mind that in this case we are dealing with people in need. We must remember that these people may have lost everything, little as it may be, that they had accumulated throughout their lives. It is clear that they are counting on us for help.

Those that are not motivated to work individually with every person may be in the wrong job. They should do something else.

The organisation of winter-related work is a very important issue. It is already clear that thousands of buildings – Mr Mutko has just told me that about five thousand buildings must still be built – cannot be erected before the cold season sets in. This is rather obvious.

We need to know where people are going to live, how they will live, how their life will be organised and how social issues will be resolved. Many people will have to live in temporary housing. And what about the social sphere – hospitals, outpatient clinics, kindergartens and schools? How will they function?

And, of course, it is necessary to resolve energy related issues. The cold season is just around the corner and is already upon us in some places. In fact, the heating season has started practically everywhere. It is necessary to get to grips with how these affected regions will get through the autumn and winter heating season. There is no room for any mistakes whatsoever.

And, of course, let us not forget about the support for agricultural producers, small and medium-sized businesses and the compensation for the damage of household plots and, as I said at our last meeting, to those people who have lost their kitchen gardens and allotments.

Let us get down to work. I would like to ask you to be brief, clear and to the point.


October 16, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region