"Hopes to discuss important questions"
- Sergey L., the meeting is scheduled for the end of October with
the Russian President, V. Putin. Which questions are planned for the discussion
- We will be discussing problems, about which I have written about to Mr. President and the Chairman of the Government of RF in September.
We are worried that the government plans to cancel privileges and compensations in the Northern regions. This decision will sufficiently hurt the workers of the budgeting sphere and retired persons.
We remember very well the positive effects in 1993 due to the passing of the privileges and compensations for Karelia. The migration rate and unemployment decreased, the income of many social classes grew.
So why should this well worked out system be destroyed...just for some momentous profit?
- This is probably not the only topic which will be discussed in the Kremlin?
- The Government of Karelia is worried about its financial ability for the reconstruction of the Belomorsko-Baltic Channel in the framework of the Federal Program. Much of the equipment is way past the expiration date for the exploitation. At this time the allotted funds for renovation is 15 million roubles, when we need 60 million.
We devote much of our attention to realization of the program of Kizhi ensemble protection.
At least 25 million roubles are need for this during the next three years. We also need the support of the Federal Center in this project.
The Government of Karelia controls the reconstruction of the building of the National Theatre.
The reconstruction is financed by the Federal and Republic budgets. In 2001 Karelia and the Center plan to allot 15 million roubles for renovation.
The question , as you can see, are not of global importance but for the Republic they are vital.
Besides that, I hope to discuss with the President the issues of custom posts at borders and the abolition of duty on some export goods.
- In September, you took part in the first meeting of the Federation Council. How do your colleagues feel about the reforms in the Council?
- They are ready to work. We discussed the federal budget for the next year. The regional leaders were worried by the unstable supply of heat during the summer periods.
- Recently you have visited Moscow...
- On October 4 I met with the Minister of Railroad Transportation of RF, Nikolai Acksenenko. We discussed the building of the rail road "Ledmozero-Kochkoma" and the electrification of the rail road "Oktybarskaya" on the territory of Karelia. 4 октября встретился с министром путей сообщения РФ Николаем
With the Director of Russian Roads Agency, Vitaliy Artuhov we talked about the development of roads in the Pudoj Region.
- What about the provision of heating for the Republic?
- Almost in all the regions of Karelia the heating season has started. This is the result of the teamwork between the government and local administrations. I'm sure that the residents of Karelia will stay warm this winter.
I'm happy that the houses started to receive heat without it being really cold outside. We are hoping that the heating machinery will function normally this winter, without any accidents.
The city refused the help from the government, and was not able to adequately prepare for the heating season. Petrozavodsk is in big debt of 300 million roubles to the energy providers. Two years ago this number was twice as small. The providers demand that Petrozavodsk should repay the debt in a year and half, instead of in ten years.
The government will stand by Petrozavodsk in a crisis. The heating season in the city has started due to my request to "RAO ES", but the money should be repaid.
- Recently in an interview to "TVR-Panorama" you said that, when you find a new housing option for yourself and your family you will inform the voters about your choice.
- My new home is not bigger than the last one, though to make the exchange I had to take credit from the bank. However it is a much safer place to live at. I will be moving in November. Please note: I have never used the government connections to solve my own, personal problems, like housing.
- And the last question. What is you working schedule for the last half of October?
- I have not been able to use the vacation time allotted to me for this year. Perhaps, I will take a rest for a couple of days. But on the 25th I will be in Moscow, for my meeting with the President.
Interview by Vladimir Nickolaev
The Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia: Position