Meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Vladimir Putin met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russian President with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Kremlin.

The President of Turkey has come to Russia for the sixth meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. President, colleagues,

I am happy to welcome you to the Russian capital. We are glad that our interstate relations are recovering, and very quickly.

The last time we met in this format [the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council] was quite a while ago, in 2014. Many things have happened since then. We have been working hard recently to advance Russian-Turkish relations to a befitting level.

We are working energetically to settle the most acute crises in the world, primarily in Syria. I am pleased to say that our military agencies and special services are developing such effective contacts, which nobody seemed to expect.

We are also restoring our trade and economic ties. As far as I know, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev updated his Turkish colleague yesterday on the additional measures and steps to restore our economic relations in full measure. We carry on our investment cooperation and are preparing to implement large projects.

We are glad to see you in Moscow. Welcome.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated):

I would like to express gratitude to my dear friend.

There was a gap in the work of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council. As you know, we have recently met at the World Energy Forum. The forum was highly effective, in particular in the context of our contacts. Cooperation between Russia and Turkey is of special significance. It is gaining momentum in the gas sector and other areas. Our cooperation is returning to normal and is gathering speed under the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant projects.

I believe that today the High-Level Cooperation Council will focus on the economy, trade, the defence industry, energy and other issues. I am sure that this meeting will contribute to the further development of our relations.

Thank you.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54021

PHOTO:
President Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Vladimir Putin with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Vladimir Putin, President of Turkey Recep Erdogan.
President Putin with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Kremlin.
Russian President, President of Turkey, meeting in Kremlin.
Meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, diplomats.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Vladimir Putin before the meeting with President of Turkey.

Meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Vladimir Putin met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel.

President Putin with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel.
President Putin with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel.

The current state of bilateral relations and prospects for their development was the subject of discussion.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also took part in the meeting.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Minister, colleagues, let me wish you a warm welcome.


We have regular, ongoing contact, and I hope that this will continue. We are aware of the situation today and the state of our relations. As I see it, our common task is to return our relations to normal and resolve all difficulties encountered on the way.

I hope very much to discuss in detail with you today our bilateral relations and the tasks that we can resolve only if many countries pool their efforts.

We look forward to a visit by the Federal Chancellor [Angela Merkel]. I ask you to pass on to her my very best wishes.

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel (retranslated):

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

It is wonderful that you found the time for this exchange and dialogue. I already had a substantial discussion on various subjects with Sergei Lavrov today.

I also think, and you are quite right, that despite the various difficulties before us, we do have the task of ensuring peace and stability in Europe. This is not easy, but it is something that is worth the effort.

It is with pleasure that I will pass on your best wishes to the Federal Chancellor, and I too hope that the opportunity will come up for her visit. I think that the Federal President [President-elect Frank-Walter Steinmeier] also plans to visit. We therefore have every reason to be confident in our bilateral relations’ stability.

Vladimir Putin:

We would be happy to see Mr Steinmeier too. We have very good relations with him dating from his time as Germany’s foreign minister.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54018

PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin, Sigmar Gabriel.
Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel.
Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian and German diplomats.
Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany.
Vladimir Putin, Sigmar Gabriel, diplomats.
Russian President with German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel.
Sigmar Gabriel, diplomats.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel (centre).

Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.

Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Russia on a brief working visit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr. Putin and Mr. Netanyahu discussed the situation in the Middle East, in particular in Syria, in the context of joint efforts to combat international terrorism, and examined the main areas of bilateral cooperation.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, let me wish you a warm welcome to Moscow.

I am very pleased to see that we have such close and trusting contact. We meet regularly in person, are regularly in contact by telephone, and work together at the ministry and agency level.

You often come to Russia right on the eve of holidays, and so I want to take the opportunity to congratulate you on the upcoming Purim holiday and wish everyone in Israel happy holidays and prosperity.

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to discuss with you our bilateral relations and the situation in the region.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (retranslated):

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I am pleased to see you again as part of the regular visits that underscore the friendly relations between our countries. We see how our ties continue to develop in the economy, culture, and tourism. Of course, there is also the human bridge between our countries – the million Russian-speaking Israelis (one of them is translating my words right here and now).

In this context, let me say that we have completed the official procedures regarding our pension agreement and strategy. I want to thank you personally for this achievement.

One of the things that unites us is our common fight against radical Islamic terrorism. Substantial progress has been made over the last year in fighting radical Sunni Islamic terrorism led by ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and Russia has made a great contribution to this result and this progress. Of course, we do not want to see Shia Islamic terrorism led by Iran step in to replace Sunni Islamic terrorism.

Thank you for your congratulations on the upcoming Purim holiday. In ancient Persia, an attempt was made to destroy the Jewish people 2,500 years ago, and it failed. This is what this holiday celebrates. Today, ancient Persia’s successor, Iran, continues attempts to destroy the Jewish state. They speak of this openly and write this in black and white in their newspapers.

Today, we have our own country and our army, and we can defend ourselves. But I want to say that the threat of Shia Islamic terror is directed not only against us, but against the region and the entire world. I am sure that we seek to prevent the threat of all radical Islamic terror, no matter whether it is Shia or Sunni.

Once again, let me thank you for the warm reception and for your congratulations.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54016

PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Russian President with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, diplomats.
Meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, diplomats.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow.
Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu in Kremlin.
President Putin.
President Putin meeting with Israeli Prime Minister.

Expanded meeting of the Interior Ministry Board.

Vladimir Putin took part in an expanded meeting of the Interior Ministry Board.

Vladimir Putin sign documents.
Vladimir Putin signing documents. Expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.

The meeting reviewed the Ministry’s results in its main areas of work in 2016 and outlined the tasks and objectives for 2017.

The keynote address at the Board meeting was delivered by Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon,

As usual, this expanded board meeting will review the Interior Ministry’s results for 2016 and examine the priority tasks ahead, taking into account too the new draft of the Interior Ministry Regulations.

The new regulations give the ministry a number of powers that were previously the responsibility of other agencies, such as the Federal Migration Service and the Federal Drug Control Service. You also have the task ahead of formulating state policy on road safety.

Looking at the results, the decrease in the number of serious and very serious crimes continued in 2016, as did the number of road accidents, and there were improvements in preventive work with minors.

This is all the result of serious effort on the part of local police officers, criminal investigations personnel, traffic police, and those working in other departments. It was also the result of more effective coordination between the Interior Ministry and the other law enforcement agencies and other government agencies.

But as before, nearly half of all crimes committed remain unsolved. The ministry is not using its potential in full measure, including in sensitive areas of public importance such as combatting corruption, and protecting people, their property and their businesses from crime.

In this context, I call your attention to the following priority tasks. The biggest priority is to ensure people’s safety and public order and reduce the number of crimes committed in public places. We see that there have been improvements, but we cannot rest on our laurels. On the contrary, continued effort is needed to consolidate these positive results.

People must feel safe in the streets and in their homes, and must be sure that the police will come immediately to their aid if needed.

In your efforts to bolster public order, you should work closely with the National Guard and public and volunteer organisations, and make wider use of modern equipment and technology. You must continue developing preventive work. You know that a federal law in this area was passed last summer, and the next step is to establish a system to monitor preventive measures taken, and develop coordinated mechanisms for collecting and processing information.

Together, these steps will make it possible for the police to keep constant watch on people from risk groups, but even more importantly, to help those who really want to return to normal life. I ask you never to forget this.

Preventing extremism is another priority task. Together with your colleagues from the law enforcement and security agencies, the Interior Ministry must be more active in using effective work methods, putting a stop to extremist acts, propaganda of violence, xenophobia and nationalism, and prevent attempts to lure young people into this kind of destructive activity. You must also work more actively with those who have links to international terrorist organisations. We keep coming back to this issue all the time. I ask you, as before, to be tough and uncompromising in your work.

Extremists and radicals are making ever greater use of social networks and the internet to pursue their aims. A new threat I want to mention separately has emerged in the information environment, namely, the spread of sites that encourage suicide.

These criminals – there’s no other name for them, or rather, if this were not a public occasion, one could find other names for them, but at the very least, they are criminals – prey above all on teenagers and youth, on children whose mental and emotional state can be easily shaken, or who are in difficult situations in life.

In this respect, I support the State Duma deputies’ initiative to make an addition to the law introducing criminal liability for inciting others to commit suicide.

This will make it possible to bring charges against those who own, create and run such sites and to stop what I stress is their criminal activity.

It is essential to keep bringing down the number of road accidents and road deaths. This requires you to use new safety technology and modern equipment for detecting violations, and of course, you need to enhance your cooperation mechanisms with the Emergency Situations Ministry, Healthcare Ministry and other agencies. The force of the law alone is not enough to prevent aggressive behaviour on the roads and situations that endanger lives. This requires a principled stand by the whole of society.

I therefore ask you to develop more active partnerships with volunteer groups, public organisations and citizen activists. This concerns not just order on the roads, but also crime and corruption prevention, work with people who could be drawn into crime, and other serious and important issues.

As I said before, the Interior Ministry has been given important powers in the area of regulating migration processes. We are putting in place a civilised and transparent environment for those who wish to live and work in Russia, respecting our laws, culture and traditions, of course.

At the same time, you must resolutely shut down illegal migration channels and prevent all violations of migration legislation. You should develop cooperation with our partners in the Eurasian Union and, of course, with other countries in the broadest sense, and develop the system of information resources in order to monitor the situation and take preventive measures.

In conclusion, let me say a few words on personnel policy and the requirements to candidates for key positions in the Interior Ministry system. A number of senior Interior Ministry officials were arrested last year on suspicion of serious crimes.

These cases dealt a serious blow to the Interior Ministry’s public image and cast a shadow on everyone who is carrying out their duties honestly and professionally.

You must analyse thoroughly the reasons for these incidents, draw the necessary conclusions and give more attention to strengthening professional discipline among the ministry’s personnel. Even tougher requirements should apply to those who seek senior positions in the ministry.

I count here on the ministry’s internal security department too, of course. I am sure that you will make the full effort to resolve these tasks.

Let me thank you all for your work last year and wish you success in 2017.

Thank you for your attention.

<…>

Vladimir Putin:

Colleagues,

Concluding this part of our work, I would like to draw attention to the following points. They were already mentioned, but I will nonetheless add a few words.

There are results, of course, and we see them. They are reflected not only in the statistics, but also in what is actually happening on the streets and in public places. The crime rate is really coming down, and this is the result of the Interior Ministry personnel’s concrete work.

The road toll has dropped significantly, by a third. Our road toll used to reach as many as 30,000 deaths in some years, but in 2016, it was 20,300 people. I want to thank everyone who worked to reduce this tragic and sad statistic, and I ask you to please continue this work. More than 20,000 deaths – this is still too many, far too many.

The same goes for work with minors. Yes, juvenile crime has come down noticeably, by more than 13 percent, but we know the full significance of juvenile crime. This is very, very important because it concerns the future of those who will carry this burden through their lives. Regarding serious crimes too, you must continue your work to keep reducing them.

We carried out some serious reorganisation last year. The interior troops were separated from the Interior Ministry and reorganised as the National Guard. You have gained new powers, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, and the Minister said before. I had the chance to discuss many issues, above all work matters, in an informal setting at the end of last week and over the weekend.

I want to say again that these transformations were an essentially painless process for the areas of work concerned, and this is to the credit of the heads and personnel of the relevant departments and the ministry in general. As I said, I discussed these matters with Mr Kolokoltsev during the weekend, including work together with the National Guard.

The Interior Ministry still has its own security forces, which are there for operational needs, but the National Guard has taken on a substantial share of the work now. We want the coordination to remain, but without increasing the security component, for we do not in any circumstance need to…

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev:

Create another National Guard.

Vladimir Putin:

Yes, create a second force of interior troops. We do not need a second National Guard. What we need is the sort of good coordination that we always had. I see no reason why there should be any problems with this. As far as I know, there are no problems, and I hope that this will remain the case.

The same goes for work on combating drug trafficking, and migration. Yes, there are problems, as we have discussed, and we need to look at funding for detention centres for those who violate our laws. It is essential that the reorganisation efforts undertaken result in synergy.

With regard to drug trafficking, the Interior Ministry system worked on this before, and we decided that this work would be more effective if everything is in the hands of one ministry.

The same is true of the former Federal Migration Service and of migration policy in general. You worked closely with the Migration Service before, but without the Interior Ministry’s support, the Migration Service’s work was practically impossible. Now, this work is in the hands of a single ministry.

I hope that this work will become more effective. This is a very sensitive area for our people. It has an economic dimension, and it is very important in terms of ensuring respect for our law and respect for our people’s interests, above all, our citizens’ interests.

We must think about this, but we must also respect the lawful rights and interests of people who want to live and work in Russia, but who have the obligation, as I said in my opening remarks, to respect our laws, traditions, and culture.

I hope very much that the transformations carried out will improve the quality of your work. The Interior Ministry is the key ministry for fighting crime and ensuring law and order in the country in terms of the tasks and the work you do. This is a colossal amount of work, and you know this well. Your work and your results play a very big part in how people see the authorities in general.

I want to thank you once more for last year’s results, and I hope that the Interior Ministry personnel will not stop here. I wish you good luck.

Thank you very much.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54014

PHOTO:
Expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.
Expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.
Vladimir Putin, Valentina Matveenko.
Vladimir Putin with Valentina Matveenko. Expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.
President Putin, Vladimir Kolokoltcev.
President Putin with Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltcev.
Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltcev.
Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltcev at the expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the expanded meeting of Interior Ministry Board.

President Putin in Bryansk Region.

Vladimir Putin toured the new perinatal center at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1 and congratulated the staff on International Women’s Day.

President Putin, stuff of new perinatal centre at Bryansk City hospital 1.
Vladimir Putin visiting new perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.


Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova and head of the centre Alexander Kulachenko, the President viewed the surgery unit, an intensive care ward, an incubator for premature babies, and the telemedicine centre, which allows for speaking with doctors at other medical facilities. Mr. Putin also talked to a young mother, one of the centre’s patients.

It took eighteen months to build the new perinatal centre in Bryansk. The facility, which can provide care to very small babies weighing as little as 500 grams, will treat patients with the most complicated pregnancies that require high-tech assistance.

The facility will have consultative-diagnostic, reception, maternity, and post-natal departments, a surgery unit, an intensive care and intensive therapy department for women and newborns, a pregnancy pathology department, and a number of other units.

The perinatal centre is capable of rendering all kinds of in-patient specialised high-tech medical care in the areas of obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology, and can provide women and children with outpatient consultations and diagnostics as well as medical rehabilitation.

The President had a brief conversation with the staff of the perinatal centre.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54011

PHOTO:
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Putin. Arrival in Bryansk.
Stuff of the new perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.
A brief conversation with the stuff of the new perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.
Vladimir Putin, Stuff of the perinatal medical centre.
Vladimir Putin, a brief conversation with the stuff of the new perinatal centre at Bryansk.
Vladimir Putin in the new perinatal centre at Bryansk.
Vladimir Putin had a brief conversation with the staff of the new perinatal centre.
Stuff of the perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.
Stuff of the new perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.
President Putin. Conversation with medical stuff.
President Putin meeting with stuff of the new perinatal centre in Bryansk.
Vladimir Putin, Medical stuff.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trip to Bryansk Region.
President Putin, stuff of the perinatal centre.
Vladimir Putin with staff of the perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital No. 1.
President Putin in the new perintal centre.
President Putin visiting the new perinatal centre in Bryansk Region.
Vladimir Putin, new perinatal centre.
Vladimir Putin in the new perinatal centre, Bryansk Region.
President Putin in the new perinatal centre at Bryansk City Hospital 1.
Russian President visiting the new perinatal centre in Bryansk Region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Healthcare and Medicine.

Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian women

Vladimir Putin congratulated Russia’s women on International Women’s Day.

Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Dear women: mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives, friends, our nearest and dearest ones, please accept my heartfelt congratulations on International Women’s Day!

You fill this world with beauty and vitality, giving warmth and comfort, cordiality and harmony with your tenderness and generosity of spirit. You care day and night for your children, grandchildren and your family. Even today, on International Women’s Day, you are still caught up in your routine, working tirelessly, always on time. We often ask ourselves, how do they manage it all?

Most importantly, we love and treasure you. No wonder men have been celebrating women in music and poetry for centuries. Konstantin Balmont, a Russian Silver Age poet, described women in a vivid and precise manner:

A woman – with us when we are born,
A woman – with us in our last hour,
A woman – our standard during battle,
A woman – the joy of open eyes.

We always turn to women for inspiration and consolation, and always find it. Women give us life and perpetuate it in our children. That said, women also need men’s support. We will remember that always, not only today. We will do our outmost to surround the women we love with care and attention, so that they can smile more often.

Once again, let me congratulate you sincerely on this holiday. I wish you good health, success, joy and happiness. Happy Women’s Day!

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54007

Meeting with Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.

Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.

The discussion focused on the company’s performance in 2016 and plans for 2017, including the growth of cargo turnover and productivity and the implementation of key investment projects.

Vladimir Putin, Oleg Belozerov.
Vladimir Putin and Oleg Belozerov in Kremlin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Belozerov, we have touched on this before, but we need to talk in greater detail about the company’s performance last year and this year’s nascent trends. I am sure you can provide figures on your cargo turnover and achievements in the passenger segment.

Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov:

Mr. President, I would like to begin by expressing gratitude for the attention you pay to the work of Russian Railways. The past year was complicated and unusual but very interesting. Cargo turnover increased modestly last year, but we reported a record increase in the freight rate, which reached 2.3 trillion tonne-kilometres. This is the first time we can report this result in Russia’s modern history.

We have also overcome the negative trend in passenger transportation. The number of passengers we carry in intercity and commuter transportation has increased. I would like to thank you for last year’s unprecedented decision on passenger transportation, that is, a zero VAT rate. This decision will allow us to modernise our rolling stock.

This has also created conditions for formulating a long-term rate policy through 2030. In other words, we now have a sustainable passenger transportation model. Thank you very much.

Our labour efficiency, which is a very important indicator, has grown by 5.4 percent, which is above our target of 5 percent.

We updated our performance figures in January and can report a net profit of 6.5 billion rubles. Thanks to reducing the prime cost of transportation, we have paid 430 billion rubles in taxes, including 161 billion to regional budgets, and saved over 10 billion rubles on acquisitions.

Vladimir Putin:

An increase in labour efficiency is a very good achievement. Well done.

Oleg Belozerov:

Thank you.

As far as the investment programme is concerned, all key projects are proceeding according to schedule. This includes modernisation of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway, access roads to the ports in the Azov Sea and the Black Sea, and the construction of the Zhuravka-Chertkovo-Bataisk railway.

As of January 1, 2017, we performed over 233 billion rubles worth of works at the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway. This year we will cross the halfway line of the project.

However, the main result of the previous year is that we again managed to save over 8 billion rubles on special assessment of our design solutions. I reported the same result for 2015. This means we have already saved over 16 billion rubles.

Regarding access roads to the ports of the Azov and Black Seas, work continues as scheduled. As of January 1, 2017, we completed a work scope worth 35 billion rubles. Thus, the major part of the project will be finished by 2019.

Now for the Moscow-Adler railway bypassing Ukraine. As of the beginning of the year, we performed more than 25 billion rubles worth of work. We plan to finish the project this autumn, which is one year ahead of schedule.

January was quite an unusual month. The cargo amounts have increased by over 6.5 percent. However, most importantly, the freight rate has grown by over 11 percent.

Our exports have increased by over 12 percent. Transit activity is recovering quite intensively at over 30 percent, while large-tonnage container transportation has increased by over 33 percent.

The project we presented together, the Moscow Central Circle railway, continues to set records. Right now, we carry 333,000 passengers daily. We agreed with the Moscow City Government to improve our performance by increasing frequency and using the latest technologies. This should give another boost to the system.

Vladimir Putin:

We spoke earlier about concessions for certain categories of passengers, including schoolchildren. Do you have plans with respect to their holiday breaks?

Oleg Belozerov:

Yes, we do. We decided to provide a 50 percent discount on private compartment tickets during the spring break. Earlier, the discount was only valid for open compartments. We hope this will create better conditions for family travel. This is an innovation we are launching this year.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53994

PHOTO:
President Putin, Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.
President Putin and Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.
Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Oleg Belozerov.
Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov.

Russian President congratulated Valentina Tereshkova.

Vladimir Putin extended his birthday greetings to Valentina Tereshkova, pilot cosmonaut, the first woman in space, Hero of the Soviet Union, and State Duma deputy.

The President issued an executive order awarding the Order For Services to the Fatherland I Degree to Ms Tereshkova, deputy chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Federal Organisation and Local Government, for her outstanding contribution to strengthening Russia’s statehood, developing parliamentarianism, and active legislative work.

Vladimir Putin, Valentina Tereshkova.
Vladimir Putin and Valentina Tereshkova in Kremlin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Ms. Tereshkova, please accept my warm and sincere congratulations on your birthday.

Valentina Tereshkova:

Thank you very much. I am very touched. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

Thank you very much for your services to the Fatherland.

Ever since your legendary space flight, you have always been a role model for us and a symbol of service to the Fatherland in different roles and different positions, and you continue this active service now in the State Duma.

I know how much you love our big common homeland, Russia, and your little homeland – your home town of Yaroslavl. You think about it all the time, speak about it whenever we meet. This is at the source of your strength– your sincere love for your country.

Thank you very much.

Valentina Tereshkova:

Thank you.

Work has already started to strengthen the riverbanks in the town of Rybinsk.

Vladimir Putin:

That is good to hear.

I have two gifts here.

(Asculpture, Seagull LandingonWater, by Iulian Rukavishnikov, and a painting, Seagulls over the Volga, by Vitaly Zaitsev).

This is homage to your call sign – Seagull. And the beautiful painting, Seagulls over the Volga, represents your home area.

Valentina Tereshkova:

Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am moved by this sign of your attention and by your kind words.

Thank you very much for your attention to Yaroslavl Region and for appointing someone who is already meeting with people there, visiting the towns, and meeting not just with factory workers, but with the local residents in general. This is a good start, and we are doing our best to help.

Vladimir Putin:

He [Acting Governor of Yaroslavl Region Dmitry Mironov] will need your support. I know that he is making a genuine effort and working hard. A lot still remains to be done to win the people’s trust and support.

Valentina Tereshkova:

We will do our best.

Vladimir Putin:

I know that you continue your active work in the Duma, and I would like to thank you for this as well. When we have people like you in parliament, it raises people’s trust in our top legislative body.

Valentina Tereshkova:

Thank you very much.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53990

PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin and Valentina Tereshkova.
Vladimir Putin congratulating Valentina Tereshkova on her birthday.

President Putin, Valentina Tereshkova.
President Putin with Valentina Tereshkova in Kremlin.

Russian President, Valentina Tereshkova.
Russian President with Hero of the Soviet Union Valentina Tereshkova.

Valentina Tereshkova.
Pilot cosmonaut and Hero of the Soviet Union Valentina Tereshkova.

Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin.

Vladimir Putin met with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin to discuss the Year of the Environment in Russia, including ways to reduce emissions and the adverse impact on the environment, to introduce best available technologies, and to protect rare animals.

Vladimir Putin, Alexander Khloponin.
Vladimir Putin with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Khloponin, the Year of the Environment is underway in Russia. You were in charge of organising this work as Deputy Prime Minister. What do you think about the activities planned by the Government? What and when do we expect to accomplish as a result of this work?

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin:

Mr. President, in accordance with your executive order, the Government approved an action plan as part of the Year of the Environment whereby we will hold 234 events to clean up environmental damage, introduce the best available technologies, and to conserve rare animal populations. This is one area of our focus.

Our major corporations and companies such as Rosneft, Gazprom, EVRAZ and RUSAL, plan to carry out 64 events during the Year of the Environment with a budget of over 100 billion rubles. These measures will reduce emissions and other negative impact on the environment. The emissions will be reduced by almost 70,000 tonnes per year. This is a very good figure.

In total, we plan to spend 347 billion rubles as part of this effort, of which federal funds will account for around 145 billion, regional budgets for about 11 billion, whereas our major private companies will provide the biggest share of financing in the amount of about 190 billion rubles.

The Clean Country project is another area of focus of the Government, which comprises two main activities. The first one is connected with building five pilot plants for thermal treatment of municipal waste. This project covers the Moscow Region and Tatarstan. The Government has already developed incentives using the green tariff in order to implement these projects. We hope this project will be critical and valuable for achieving success. The Moscow Region is home to about 19 million people, and this will be a landmark event, indeed.

The second area concerns reclaiming and cleaning damaged land. This project involves about 20 regions and 25 facilities, including the city of Dzerzhinsk in the Nizhny Novgorod and Chelyabinsk regions and Franz Josef Land. Also, upon your instruction, we will start the clean-up of Lake Baikal this year.

The conservation of animals is a separate project. In accordance with your instruction, we will adopt a corresponding law this year.

Vladimir Putin:

How is the introduction of the best available technology going?

Alexander Khloponin:

Most of our major companies have joined this programme. They should approve projects and programmes for transitioning to the best available technology by 2019 and start implementing them in 2020.

We have some questions regarding a number of companies. Indeed, they are putting together projects, but are saying that they will start implementing technology projects in 2020, 2021 or even 2022. We are focusing on each individual company. For us, it is important to make sure that these are real programmes, not some abstract ideas written on paper.

Vladimir Putin:

I am sure you understand why I asked you this question. Speaking in bureaucratic parlance, business representatives are asking me to push all these plans back. Please make sure that these proposals and requests are treated very carefully, and proper calculations are made.

You also mentioned the protection of rare animals. What’s your opinion of the law enforcement practice? We have adopted the laws toughening punishment for killing animals, especially the ones on the endangered species list. How are things going in reality?

Alexander Khloponin:

We are closely following the legislation, especially with regard to endangered species. To date, the restrictive measures have already brought positive results. We are restoring the populations of rare animals. I am personally involved in a project to restore the population of the Persian leopard. There are projects for the Far Eastern leopard, birds, bison, and several other species. Indeed, we are doing a lot in this regard.

Many non-governmental and charity organisations are involved in restoring populations of rare animals. Today, we are applying harsh measures to unauthorised hunting and killing of these animals. Opinions vary, but I think that the current law-enforcement practice does allow us to increase the populations of these animals.

Vladimir Putin:

People may disagree, there is nothing unusual about it. But there is the law which stipulates punishment for culprits, including criminal liability. It is applied or not?

Alexander Khloponin:

Yes, it is. Of course, the territory is vast, and, perhaps, there are not enough rangers to cover it in full.

Vladimir Putin:

Please assist the Prosecutor General's Office in carrying out an inspection.

Alexander Khloponin:

Will do.

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Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53982

PHOTO:
President Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin.
President Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin in Kremlin.
Alexander Khloponin.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin.