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MOSCOW, July 5 (Itar-Tass) - Vladimir Fortov, the newly elected president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on Friday said he was disappointed that a discussion of the academic reform had focused on property and ownership issues leaving science far behind.
Fortov told journalists that academic institutes leased 7 or 8 percent of their areas on average. The annual collected rent is estimated at two billion rubles. The Russian Academy of Sciences receives 64 billion rubles worth of government subsidies every year.
Fortov emphasized that all the property in question was a federal property, which does not belong either to the Academy or its leaders. The Academy only has the right to dispose of and preserve this property.
Fortov also said that the Academy’s leadership had made a big mistake by failing to build the right policy of public relations and interaction with the media in previous years. The Academy is going to correct this mistake.
Fortov has accepted President Putin’s proposal to head a new federal agency that will manage the Academy’s property.
Property management is one of the key issues of the current Russian Academy of Sciences reform. Fortov explained that it was decided to return to a scheme that had existed several years before when a similar agency had existed as part of the Academy.
“It is going to be a federal agency now,” Fortov told journalists.