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Putin Continues Focus on Domestic Development of Russia

Today, President Vladimir Putin met with his Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, an advisory body “created to coordinate the activities of federal and regional authorities, public, scientific and other entities when considering issues related to the strategic development of the country and the achievement of its national development goals until 2030,” about which EIR will report tomorrow.

Domestic development is a theme of the end-of-the-year period. Yesterday, Putin held a video conference with the people in charge of Russian Railways’ Eastern Operating Domain “to review progress in upgrading the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway.” The discussion followed on the perspective for a greater national network, which he had laid out at the annual Railway Congress the week before. In today’s meeting, those in charge of the Eastern Operating Domain were to render an account on their efforts to complete the national goals for their area.

Most interesting in Putin’s opening public remarks was his emphasis that the rail people must think about the development and upgrading of these railways, not just as rail lines, but as part of the overall infrastructural development which those rail lines serve:

“I would like to draw the attention of our colleagues in the government and the Russian Railways to the fact that the railway’s plans must be synchronized with the projections of freight forwarders, sea port owners, those involved in building the related infrastructure, including power generating capacity and distribution networks, as well as with the efforts to expand capacity at our border crossings. Not only do we have to achieve our targets, but also to build what we call reserve capacity in order to be able to quickly increase railway shipment volumes whenever needed….

“Once again, the single most important priority for us is to provide for the effective development of the Eastern Operating Domain’s railway network by expanding its throughput capacity in a timely manner for the benefit of our country, all our regions and the national economy as a whole, which means for the benefit of our people. After all, new infrastructure means more jobs, higher household incomes, more business opportunities and opportunities for reshaping cities and villages.”