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Meeting with Republic of Crimea Head Sergei Aksyonov

March 19, 2020, Republic of Crimea

Vladimir Putin met with Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection and the socioeconomic situation in Crimea.

Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov: Mr President,

Thanks to your support, the situation is progressing dynamically. I am referring to socioeconomic development. The instructions issued at the January meeting [on the socioeconomic development in Crimea and Sevastopol] have been coordinated and adjusted with the Government and are being implemented.

On April 6, the State Duma will complete the discussion of the draft laws that will enable the regional authorities to sign agreements with only one contractor, which should accelerate our work. Thanks to your instructions, the road-builders should be able to start working already in early April.

At the same time, our main task now is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection. As per our decision, the state of high alert was declared as of midnight on March 17.

As per your instructions, we have closed the border with Ukraine at midnight on March 18. The number of passengers has decreased tenfold. Of course, we allow all Russian citizens and people with residence permits to enter the country, provided there are no other problems. Foreigners are not allowed to cross the border.

We have organised interaction with the FSB, the Interior Ministry and Rospotrebnadzor. Absolutely all incoming people are inspected. Biological samples are collected from all those who are returning from affected countries.

Absolutely all new arrivals are being monitored. As of now, we are monitoring 182 potentially infected people in Crimea and 10 people have been admitted to hospital. Thankfully, none of them has tested positive so far.

We are working under a comprehensive plan, under which all collected samples are tested at our plague monitoring laboratory. All our medical facilities have the necessary equipment.

Of course, there is a shortage of face masks in the republic, but our medical facilities and the services that are working directly with the people have the masks and protective gear. We have some 900,000 masks and 800,000 more in reserve. We have bought some 11,000 items of disposable protective gear for medical staff.

We have purchased all the necessary medicines. The Government will help us to buy 15 AVL systems this week.

At present, 27 medical facilities have 71 isolation wards with 355 beds ready to receive patients. Our infectious disease hospitals can reserve another 690 beds, and 2,300 beds are available at temporary hospitals. We are receiving all the assistance we need from the Government in this regard.

Speaking about the system of education, remote, online teaching has been introduced at our higher education institutions, Crimean Federal University and Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University.

School students are going to study for just two more days. The decision was made and approved by the Education Ministry to organise holidays until April 12. Online teaching methods are being coordinated with the Education Ministry.

We would like to thank Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin here: Moscow has been helping us with the methodology, which means the Republic of Crimea is now ready to prevent infection outbreaks.

Of course, Crimea has the biggest number of reservations for the holiday season. On the one hand, it is good for us, but on the other, this means additional security measures and an enormous tourist flow. We can see that over 100,000 tourists have come to Sochi.

The Crimean health resorts are now 50 percent full, but we expect that, considering this situation, people might come here, so we are introducing security measures and holding consultations with hotel managers: special training sessions will be held this week.

We are also developing a complex of measures with the Government to prevent infected people from coming to Crimea and to identify them quickly.

Vladimir Putin: What is the socioeconomic situation like?

Sergei Aksyonov: The situation is developing.

In fact, in line with your instructions both the Russian Government and the Moscow Government have reserved funds for this year, which means that the quality indicator of the urban environment will change, and we are confident that it will be for the better.

This year we will renovate 106 public areas and 76 communal areas: large areas around big residential buildings.

In line with your instructions, 17 billion rubles in total will be allocated for road construction, as well as two subcontractors. This is apart from the national projects with more than three billion rubles additionally, which will allow us to repair over 50 percent of all the roads by 2022. We are focused on working in municipalities.

Of course, today we have problems with people’s incomes, like everywhere across Russia, and the situation is quite serious. We have indicators from the national projects. Today about 17 percent of the population are living below the poverty line, and we must reduce this figure to 8 percent by 2024, although of course, we cannot stop there and must help every person without exception.

As of today, a commission has been established for monitoring food prices. All the supermarkets and shops have reserves of food and medicines for more than two weeks. Food and medicine prices are monitored every day.

Every day we have meetings with the situation centre, because this is an element of the socioeconomic situation. We are also conducting awareness-raising campaigns.

Every day we broadcast the centre’s meetings on television and radio, because we understand that it is important to keep the public informed, first of all so that people are not alarmed and to avoid panic buying at food shops and pharmacies. These sentiments are mostly whipped up artificially.

Mr President, there are still problems, but thank you for these six years: of course, a great deal has been achieved. We understand that there have been mistakes and flaws. Still, the main thing is that the people living in Crimea have confidence in the future thanks to the support we receive from you and all of Russia.


March 19, 2020, Republic of Crimea