SOCHI, August 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin expects the Sakhalin leaders to continue dealing with social and economic matters.
“Sakhalin’s economy has been developing at quite a good pace of late,” said the head of state at the meeting with the region’s governor Alexander Khoroshavin and representatives of the region’s public. “This offers an opportunity to use the funds transferred to the region’s budget for the solution of social and economic matters,” he said.
Putin discussed with participants in the meeting the state of things on Sakhalin. Irina Savenkova, a nurse in the Sakhalin regional hospital, told the head of state about problems workers in medicine come up against. The governor posted the president on the implementation of the programs in support of medics, for instance, providing housing for them.
Igor Gorozhanov, the chairman of the Sakhalin regional youth military–patriotic fund “Pioneer”, told the president about the development of scouts’ movement on Sakhalin. He said there are over 200 people in the camp he heads, mostly young people.
He said the movement had been developing for over 25 year now, but there had been no legal documents on which to base it.
In this connection Putin said that the matter of the work of scouts’ units could well be decided in the framework of existing legislation.
He suggested that a draft provision based on existing legislation be referred to him.
Gorozhanov said that while the search for remains of Red Army soldiers is conducted, remains of servicemen of the Japanese Imperial Army are found, too. Thus, remains of more than 300 Japanese military were returned to Japan, “which earned us expressions of gratitude from the Japanese public and government,” he said.
Aside from the search for remains of fallen soldiers of the Second World War and the war with Japan, the search for remains of victims of the 1936-1937 reprisals was also begun.
Putin expressed approval for this work.
Participants in the meeting also asked the president that the title of a city of military glory be awarded to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
The question of the development of regional airlines also cropped up. Sergei Kuropatko, the flight director of the Sakhalin airlines, did not agree with the opinions expressed in the mass media and at various levels that if airports and airfields become private property things would be put in order. “I think a proprietor will be busy with things that bring more profits and will not be concerned with the development of the entire regional network,” he said.
Putin noted that law prohibits privatization of runways and services of flight control. It is only air terminals that are subject to privatization. “I don’t think they should be federal property. It is quite possible to make them regional property.” he said. He said transferring air terminals to regional ownership can be tried out as an experiment on Sakhalin.
Kuropatko mentioned a considerable shortage of aircraft and said it was pointless to reequip planes that had almost completed their service life. He suggested that the purchase of new aircraft should be permitted. He said two Canadian planes had been bought for regional flights.
Putin noted it was necessary to establish domestic production of regional aircraft. He acknowledged that this is expensive and takes much time but this must be started. As to aircraft purchases to help regional airlines now, these should be strong airlines capable of maintaining their fleet at a contemporary level.