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  Friday, August 23, 2019
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Kamchatka region and the Koryak autonomous district should be carried through only if there is not the slightest doubt about the need to form a new subject of the Federation
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds the merger of the Kamchatka region and the Koryak autonomous district should be carried through only if there is not the slightest doubt about the need to form a new subject of the Federation. “Any doubts, if they do exist, should be resolved in advance. The aim is to create better conditions, to avoid their worsening in any way,” the president said at the meeting with the chiefs of the two regions and the Kremlin administration. “I believes the process (of the merger) has sense only if it will create better conditions for solving problems of people who reside there, improve conditions for the development of the economy, the solution of social problems, and of the budget,” the president said. “It there is the slightest hint at the possibility of problems arising (after the merger), this should not be done,” Putin said. Putin agreed with speaker of the Duma of the Koryak autonomous district Nina Solodyakova who said: “Approving the idea of the merger, the residents of the Koryak district are concerned least their problems should be submerged in the problems of Kamchatka. We would like the regulations of the new subject to be adopted prior to the regions’ merger, so that people should have no doubts as to where and how they will live.” “This proposal is absolutely right,” the Russian president said. “There is a need to give thought to everything, to work out the documents so that the questions of preliminary natures be fully resolved before the merger.” The president stressed particularly that the leaders of Kamchatka and the Koryak district should persuade the population of the regions to go to the referendum on the unification of the Kamchatka region and the Koryak autonomous district. “To carry through the merger, the chiefs should explain to people that if they stay away from the polls and do not vote, the decision will not be made,” the president said. “This should be the decision of the citizens who inhabit these territories,” Putin holds. The referendum on the merger of the Kamchatka region and the Koryak autonomous district is scheduled for October 23. Putin recalled that the merger was suggested by representatives of Kamchatka and the Koryak district in the summer of this year and asked that representatives of the regions describe their plans for the development of the unified region. Konstantin Pulikovsky, the presidential envoy in the Far East, said, “The separation of the regions took place in the early 90s and was artificial, as Kamchatka and the Koryak district had existed jointly. So there is a need to return to the previous condition.” The presidential envoy believes it is the transportation problem that, above all, prompts the merger. “The Koryak autonomous district has been separated not only from the mainland but also from Kamchatka. The existing transport system does not ensure the delivery of the necessary cargoes -- fuel and food stocks for the winter,” he said. Mikhail Mashkovtsev, the governor of the Kamchastka region, said the fisheries is the main branch of the region’s economy. “The joint economic complex will make for a more profitable use of the main wealth – fish, instead of exporting the raw material,” the governor said. Nikolai Tokmantsev, the chairman of the Council of People’s Deputies of Kamchatka, supported this view. He said the maximum fish catches in the previous years amounted to 1,300,000 tonnes, double the figure, as compared with the present. Governor of the Koryak region, Oleg Kozhemyako, believes the merger of the regions will “enable forming the joint systems of education, medical aid, ship repair, and transportation.” “People presently cannot afford travelling to the mainland. A ticket to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky costs as much as a ticket from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Moscow,” Kozhemyako said. Speaker of the Duma of the Koryak autonomous district Nina Solodyakova holds that the interests of the indigenous people should, above all, be considered in the merger. “Indigenous people on the territory of the Koryak district account for about 50 percent of its population,” she said. Chief of the Kremlin administration Dmitry Medvedev and his deputy Vladislav Surkov also participated in the conference in the Kremlin on Wednesday.
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