The President held, via videoconference, a meeting on implementing the adopted measures on supporting the economy and social sphere. The agenda also included proposals on the stage-by-stage lifting of anti-epidemic restrictions imposed to counter the novel coronavirus infection.
Before starting our today’s meeting, I would like to pass along best wishes and greetings from Mr Mishustin. He is recovering. Everything is okay. He is running a temperature, as often happens in his condition, but he is getting better. I am in contact with him every day, and he takes part in drafting all our decisions. Let us wish him a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, he sends you his best regards.
Our meeting today consists of two parts: first, reports on implementing the March and April decisions on supporting people and the economy during the coronavirus epidemic, and second, steps on lifting restrictions.
I would like to recall two packages of measures that were introduced gradually, expanded and supplemented each other according to a uniform logic of actions. Considering the development of the situation, we did this gradually. The decisions were adopted taking into account the problems that people, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, are now facing.
Priority decisions included direct payments to families with children and employees of medical facilities and emergency medical services; increased allowances for those who temporarily lost their jobs after March 1; state subsidies and easy payroll loans for companies that retain their employees, their teams; and deferments of tax, loan and rent payments.
Additional support measures were adopted during a series of meetings on the situation in key sectors of the national economy: the automotive industry, the construction industry, the banking sector, the fuel-and-energy complex, the defence industry and the aerospace industry. I would like to add that tomorrow we will discuss the transport situation.
Today, I would like to hear how these support mechanisms are working in practice, and most important, how many people, families and working teams have already received this support or will receive it very soon – not sometime in the future but within the deadlines.
I would like you to report in detail on any obstacles – what has been done for prompt, immediate resolution, including adjustments in the legal framework.
And there is one more important item on our agenda. I said we would discuss two questions.
As you know, I asked you to prepare, by May 5, recommendations on the parameters for the careful, gradual lifting of the forced restrictions. The Government and Rospotrebnadzor have evaluated this in cooperation with the State Council working group. Today we will listen to the proposals.
I would like to remind all regional governors that they, in turn, must draft their own action plans for the period after May 11, based on these recommendations.
Of course, life is much more complicated than any pattern or plan. Nevertheless, it is important to have a justified algorithm of actions for every region with due account for expert opinion.
As we have seen, the spread of the coronavirus varies region by region. And as we have discussed, some regions need to maintain and even step up tough, justified prevention measures, whereas other regions may plan a reasonable loosening of restrictions, but such decisions must be made with consideration for the opinion of researchers and experts and taking into account all factors and potential risks.
I would like to emphasise that we cannot skip ahead. Any negligence or haste can lead to a breakdown or a backlash. The cost of even a minor mistake is the safety, life and health of our people. This is why our colleagues from the Government and the regional governors bear extremely high responsibility for each adopted decision. We can never forget this.
Let’s go over to the first item on our agenda, notably, reports on implementing our adopted decisions.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, as you know, in an effort to effectively counter the coronavirus infection, we have introduced restrictions throughout most of Russia’s territory and have transferred considerable authority to the regional governors for obvious reasons. We have a large country, and as I said, the situation varies and so we had to use a case-by-case approach to what is happening in different areas.
Practice shows that we have done the right thing. Moreover, we are seeing that many other countries have followed suit. And it is good if they are also succeeding.
At the same time, I would like to address Mr Belousov as the Acting Prime Minister and our colleagues in the Government and the regions of Russia. We have a State Council working group, which is headed by the Moscow Mayor. However, it is the Government of the Russian Federation that must be in charge of the general coordination of the quarantine measures and of lifting them, and also measures for the economic rebound.
I am hoping that the regions will listen to this and the Government itself will work actively to directly influence the situation both in the economy and the social sphere because we are now moving to a fairly important stage. As I said in my opening remarks, we cannot jump ahead only to fall back again; it is pointless to go around in circles. We must move forward gradually. So, Government coordination is absolutely essential. I am hoping we will work hard together, just as we have been up to now.
Source: President of Russia Kremlin