KEY THOUGHTS ABOUT YAKUTIA
At the last press-conference, President of Yakutia Vyacheslav Shtyrov said the republic is going to have a great future. If Yakutians change their main principle.
What can we do for Russia?
Yakutia ought to contribute to the power of the country. And if before it was the prosperity of Yakutia to be our priority, now our motto must be changed into “What can we do for Russia?”
Having confused the audience with such a sudden change of policy, the president continued:
- Well, what are our abilities and responsibilities? First, we need to work on the development of traditional industries (diamonds, gold, coal), as well as on that of new ones (nonferrous metals, oil, gas, timber, electric power industry, etc.).
There are two tasks for us to solve until the year of 2020: to develop transport network and begin cheap electric power production. Because it will be uneasy for Russia to extract our resources without roads and light.
Why until 2020? In fact, the nearest 15 years involve the special plan initiated by Putin. During his Christmas visit to Yakutia, the president Putin charged Yakutia's government to prepare the scheme of productive forces, transport and power resources distribution. This scheme is to be implemented until 2020.
Uranium to be extracted in Yakutia. Ust-Maya and Tompon Regions to become oil province.
The president emphasized that the republic needs also to promote non-traditional industries, i. e. that on nonferrous metals, and carry out the plans on uranium deposits, which, already in the USSR period, were searched for on the Republic's territory. To be more informative, the president announced that a number of strategic value deposits had been revealed across Yakutia.
Also, President Shtyrov covered the prospects of oil-and-gas complex, transport, power and timber industries. Talking about oil extraction, the president shared, as he named it, another "secret". He told about prospecting works to have started in East Yakutia, Ust-Maya (map), Tompon (map) regions in 2005, and some deposits to be discovered as a result. “We will get another oil or gas province perhaps,” the president assumed.
Although diamonds have always been the "brand" of the republic, the president emphasized that they will not be among the priorities of the new program. Why? The extraction volumes of this scarce mineral will not increase, because the resources of open-pit mining are coming to end. Therefore, underground extraction is to be set.
However, the emphasis can be made on gold. Seeking for that, Polus company unites all the technical and other types of resources. Also Vyacheslav Shtyrov explained why Yakutugol and Elgaugol need to merge. The coal from Nerungri, mined by Yakutugool, will last 10-15 years. Yakutugol's potential thus will be realized more effectively on Elga. So, extraction volumes will be three times increased.
Hopes for tourism
"We need to create the sustainable branch of tourism," Vyacheslav Shtyrov said. To his mind, there are good conditions for it in the republic. And there is obvious progress, too – 500 tourists registered in 2001 compared to 3,800 by now.
In addition, Vyacheslav Shtyrov said that the republic was taking part in federal competition among free economic zones, organized by Russia Ministry of Economic Development. In fact, Yakutia has already taken part in a similar competition among special economic zones. The republic suggested creating an industrial- and-production zone to deliver brilliants and jewels, on its territory. Unfortunately, the attempt wasn't successful and Shtyrov didn't make a flashback.
“We hope our project will be approved and the development of tourism will get support,” the president said.
The railway will reach Yakutsk
Also the president announced that the railway will reach Yakutsk, not only the Lena river. Moreover, internal railroads will be built, for example, one through Khandyga to Magadan. Also, the building of local railroad lines directed to Olekminsk is to start – in order to develop the deposits of iron, gold, oil and gas.
Another prior task for the republic is to build the basic network of motorways; thus, Yakutsk will become the central transport station. “All this needs enormous expenses and efforts. Motorways network is #1 in our agenda”, the president concluded.
Vyacheslav Shtyrov also explained the efficiency of nine hydroelectric power stations that are being built in Southern Yakutia. In order to decrease the price of electric power, the republic needs to change the current resources for cheaper and at the same time maximum effective ones. In this case, hydroelectric power stations are the best choice. The president thinks that such stations will make it possible to export the energy. Why not? In fact, some countries, Paraguay for instance, make their living by selling the energy.
Shtyrov's destiny depends on Putin
As for his own political destiny, Vyacheslav Shtyrov said that it is to be determined by Vladimir Putin. The president of Russia is to address his proposals to Il Tumen State Assembly till November 27, 2006; that is two months in advance the region head's term of office ends.
“As for the plans, they should exist in any case. My duty is to work. And I cannot give up everything halfway, before my president career ends. The captain should stay on the bridge till the very end…. Therefore you should ask Vladimir Putin,” the president added.
Other quotes in short:
•the financing of old houses demolishing, ordered by Putin, was not carried out - the republic to rely on its own means.
• if not enough hay for this year, we'll have to import it.
• this year rain (related news) happens once in 250 years.
• Yakutsk's budget is equal to that of Orlovsk territory. In spite of Yakutsk's population being three times smaller than that of Irkutsk, the budget of the cities is equal.
// Oct. 1, 2006.
Translated by Alexandra Markova, a YSU student.
Resource: Yakutsk Vechernij Weekly Newspaper.