The President of Russia

04/15/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2024 09:52

Meeting with Astrakhan Region Governor Igor Babushkin

To begin with, Igor Babushkin Babushkin IgorGovernor of Astrakhan Regiontold the President about the participation of the region's residents in the special military operation and measures the region is taking to support families of fighters. He noted that not only the regional government, using budget funds, but practically all companies and organisations are taking part in purchasing equipment and delivering humanitarian cargoes for the fighters to the frontline. The regional branch of the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund is operating effectively. The regional government has already transferred 1.5 billion rubles from its budget for lump-sum payments to the participants in the special military operation and their families.

The Governor reported that he had discussed with the Healthcare Ministry of Russia the issue of opening in Astrakhan of a new rehabilitation centre on the basis of the regional clinical hospital. Mr Babushkin asked the President to support this initiative. He recalled that the region has become a pilot territory in terms of medical check-ups and in-depth examination of combat veterans who sustained blast injuries. The region is also paying much attention to social rehabilitation.

Igor Babushkin said that since August 2022, the Astrakhan Region has taken patronage over the Kremenskoy District in the Lugansk People's Republic. It has drafted a five-year infrastructure project in cooperation with the local administration and Russia's Ministry of Construction. The project is primarily aimed at restoring social and engineering infrastructure facilities, residential buildings, and cultural and educational institutions. Medical professionals, teachers, and concert teams go to the Lugansk People's Republic. Last year, 750 children from the frontline area spent their vacations in Astrakhan. The region will continue this work.

Going over to the issues of socioeconomic development, the Governor noted the growth of the gross regional product. In five years, the region's consolidated budget increased by half to reach 90 billion rubles.

The Governor also described the implementation of a broad range of social support measures and spoke about relocation of people from dilapidated housing. He said that since 2019, the region has doubled the volume of residential housing commissioned.

Speaking about the region's economy, Igor Babushkin noted that it still relies mainly on the fuel-and-energy sector. Indicatively, it includes not only oil and gas but also green energy. At the same time, owing to the President's 2019 decision to restore shipbuilding, this industry is again playing a significant role in the regional economy. Today, the region is the leading producer of complex facilities and technical equipment for works at offshore oil deposits. Shipyards are secured with orders for the next two years.

In accordance with the Presidential instruction, the Astrakhan Region has established and is successfully developing Lotos, a special economic zone of industrial production type, and Russia's only special port economic zone. The declared investment in these zones is 28 billion and 34 billion rubles, respectively.

Mr Babushkin also spoke about successes in agriculture. For three years in a row, the region has been first in Russia in outdoor production of vegetable. It is working actively to revive rice growing. The annual increase in agricultural production has surpassed two percent.

Igor Babushkin also highlighted an essential area that was the region's development driver: the creation of the Astrakhan hub of the North-South international transport corridor. This is facilitated by the implementation of the Presidential instruction to dredge the Volga-Caspian Sea Shipping Canal. Its passage draft has been increased to 4.5 metres, making it possible to use advanced vessels with greater capacity for transportation across the Caspian Sea from the Astrakhan and Olya seaports. As a result, the 2023 total freight turnover amounted to 4.5 million tonnes, and the volume of transhipment increased by 51 percent compared to 2022. In January and February of 2024, freight turnover also doubled. The road network is also an important part of the North-South corridor. Road construction tasks under the Safe Quality Roads national project are being completed 100 percent.

A serious problem of wear and tear of water supply and sewerage networks in the Astrakhan agglomeration was also discussed. Currently, the total investment to address this problem exceeds eleven billion rubles, which, according to the Governor, is catastrophically low. This is the most fundamental task for the next six years. Igor Babushkin asked the President to instruct the Government of the Russian Federation to work on the issue of creating a special targeted investment programme with allocation of funds from the federal budget.

The Governor also shared the region's successes at the international level. Considering its geostrategic situation, a lot is being done to promote Astrakhan's status as an outpost in the south of Russia. In recent years, the region has managed to strengthen cross-border ties with the Caspian Five in the economic and humanitarian spheres. Direct and friendly relations are being built with the leaders of the Caspian macro-region countries. In August-September, a large festival of classical art, Caspian Seasons, and the traditional Caspian International Media Forum will be held for the fourth time.

Igor Babushkin recalled that five years ago the President had instructed him to head the Astrakhan Region. Over this time, significant work has been carried out, and development plans formulated. Some of the issues have been resolved, and the rest are being addressed. The Governor asked the President to support his candidacy for a new term and expressed hope that Astrakhan residents would also support this choice.

Vladimir Putin noted that large work has been done, and the indicators in general were satisfactory: there was growth in agriculture and industrial production but a slight decrease in construction. As for the high degree of deterioration of the networks, the President said that he had already read the Governor's letter and had already issued an instruction to the Government or rather to Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin Khusnullin MaratDeputy Prime Minister, who is in charge of this sector, overseeing the Ministry of Construction, to solve this problem,.

The President also noted that over the five-year period in office Igor Babushkin had proved to be an effective head of a rather complex, but very important region. The main tasks are being solved quite satisfactorily. The President wished Mr Babushkin success, noting that it was necessary to reach out to people and get their feedback and requests during the preliminary election campaign before they vote on corresponding candidates, as well as their opinions on what needs to be done for the development of Astrakhan and the Astrakhan Region in the near future.

Publication status

Published in sections: News, Transcripts

Publication date: April 15, 2024, 13:10

Direct link:

Text version