The message 2017: ''The major factor is not the form of relations between the republic and the federal centre but the essence''

Minnikhanov makes it clear that the contract is only a form, rebukes Engel Fattakhov for ‘’poor performance, causing a fair criticism’’ and urges the bank ‘’sufferers’’ to draw the moral

Rustam Minnikhanov addressed with a message to the State Council. The theme of the messages is traditional from year to year – the president reports on the leading economy sectors and social work and charges the deputies, heads of the enterprises and ministries with tasks for the following year. The recipients were waiting for the current message with special excitement – the intrigue was whether the sensitive topic of non-prolongation of the treaty with Moscow and the language issue raised by Vladimir Putin, which Tatarstan paid special attention to, would be raised or delicately avoided. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Kazan, September, the State Great Concert Hall

The Big Concert Hall is the traditional meeting place of the political elite of Tatarstan at the end of September. Closer to 10 a.m., the loudspeaker asked everyone to take their seats. In the hall — a full house. According to the theatre etiquette, ''the performance'' is delayed a little, the guests are given five minutes to take their seats. The speaker, members of the Presidium of the State Council and Rustam Minnikhanov appear on the stage to the applause. The MPs sit at a long table in the right part of the scene, Rustam Minnikhanov has a separate table on the left.

The event opens with the national anthem, and, looking ahead, we will tell that it end the same. A solemn moment, everyone stands up, but nobody decides to sing or to pretend to.

The Big Concert Hall is the traditional meeting place of the political elite of Tatarstan at the end of September. Photo: Maksim Platonov

''For about a quarter of century our relations with the federal centre were determined by the treaties''

Minnikhanov welcomed everyone first in Tatar then in Russian. The president began with an introduction about the leading position of Tatarstan, comfortable conditions for life and business here, and quickly moved to the relations of Russia and Tatarstan.

''The Russian Federation is home to many peoples of our country...'', ''We are integrated into the Russian state...'', ''Only a strong Russia can act as a guarantor of successful development of our republic and all Tatars wherever they lived...'', ''The achievements of our republic are impossible to imagine without trust and support of our national leader Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin...'' — with these phrases Minnikhanov turned the speech to the subject of the contract with the federal government.

''About a quarter of century our relations with the federal center were determined by the treaties on the delimitation of powers, which played a crucial historical role, contributed to the strengthening of statehood and improvement of the Russian federalism. Many of their provisions were enshrined in the legislation of the Russian Federation and became the natural state of relations with the regions. Today Tatarstan as one of the leading regions of the country in the implementation of initiatives and projects takes full advantage of wide opportunities available in the Russian Federation — a democratic state of law. Moreover, in the present circumstances the leading factor is not so much the form of the relations between the republic and the federal centre as their content, their essence, the opportunity to find mutually acceptable solutions to emerging issues in the common interest,'' said Rustam Minnikhanov.

Engel Fattakhov was instructed ''to focus on ensuring a high level of knowledge and proficiency in the Russian language'', and at the same time, ''to improve the teaching methods of the Tatar language''. Photo: Maksim Platonov

In the language issue it was found a culprit and it was instructed to draw appropriate conclusions

The message contained more clearly stated issues of the language policy that have excited discussions in the public of the region following the orders of Putin. The culprit and responsible in one person was identified – it was the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan. Engel Fattakhov was instructed ''to focus on ensuring a high level of knowledge and proficiency in the Russian language'', and at the same time, ''to improve the teaching methods of the Tatar language'', and in the study of languages ''to develop, first of all, communicative skills''.

''These problems have been repeatedly raised for the Ministry of Education. However, the effectiveness of the work is still low and causes reasonable complaints of the citizens. The ministry, as a responsibility centre, should draw appropriate conclusions and take necessary measures,'' said Minnikhanov.

It should be noted that the statements in the address of the ministry of education were roughest. During the reading of the message, Minnikhanov assessed the work of other ministries, but it could be called criticism, rather, recommendations. Not surprisingly, after the event finished, Engel Fattakhov vanished: journalists watched him it in the lobby of the concert hall to the last, but he did not come up. His counterpart, Makzyum Salahov, President of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan, had to take the rap.

''Here the problem is not confined to that we take two hours from here and add there. It is a more subtle problem. Now the tasks that have been set for language studying are being criticised, maybe rightfully. But the education system is conservative. That what was adopted 10-15 years ago bears fruit now. What we adopt now will bear fruit not tomorrow but in 5-10 years,'' tried not to stand on someone's side Salakhov.

Salakhov himself also came in for the blame. ''The Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan has not become a centre of integration of scientific research and development of applied nature yet. The main scope of the work is in little demand. The capacity of the Academy is huge. It should be used effectively,'' Minnikhanov asked the government to take control of the development of the plan of applied research for the National Academy of Sciences.

Alexander Sidyakin: ''our officials, state and federal ones, do not talk about blockchain, development of big data and the fourth industrial revolution. It is only discussed at forums, as well as businessmen, but here it is the head of the region tells. Of the leading one! It is a benchmark!'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence: ''It is difficult to imagine a better speech''

Traditionally, a large part of the message was devoted to the economy. This topic Minnikhanov started from the fourth industrial revolution, blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence that ''are becoming the realities of today'', and this knowledge caused a great excitement of Duma Deputy Alexander Sidyakin.

''It is difficult to imagine a better speech. It's not a laudatory ode, but our officials, state and federal ones, do not talk about blockchain, development of big data and the fourth industrial revolution. It is only discussed at forums, as well as businessmen, but here it is the head of the region tells. Of the leading one! It is a benchmark!'' admired Sidyakin.

From the economy of the future to the present: Tatneft was instructed to make a technological breakthrough and become ''the absolute leader in the oil industry in Russia for the development and implementation of innovations''. Nail Maganov started the implementation.

''The era of light oil has finished, and innovations become the only development factor for us. It is not an easy task, but we are ready for it and move. Everything related to the economy 4.0 — digital enterprises, ''digital twins'' — all this we are actively introducing. The second task is refining with a depth of 98 per cent — it is a very powerful purpose, and it is necessary to work,'' said General Director of Tatneft PJSC to Realnoe Vremya.

In the petrochemical industry, as the main project Minnikhanov called the construction of the new ethylene complex Ethylene-600. The launch of new plants by 2021 will double the production of plastics and synthetic rubber at Nizhnekamskneftekhim. In general, after implementation of the projects by the Group of companies TAIF Tatarstan will become the country's largest producer of polymers.

Nail Maganov: ''The era of light oil has finished, and innovations become the only development factor for us. It is not an easy task, but we are ready for it and move.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

In the mechanical engineering complex of the republic they are waiting for the end of KAMAZ plant construction of cabin frames and bringing to market of a fundamentally new model range of vehicles, including buses and drones. At the Kazan Helicopters plant — a serial production of helicopters Ansat and Mi-38, at The Kazan aviation plant — the upgraded TU-160, at the plant named after A. M. Gorky — an increase in production and exports of ships.

''The development of industrial infrastructure should always be accompanied by a development of public spaces. According to the program of improvement of public spaces, there have been built and repaired 189 objects — parks, squares, boulevards and promenades. This work will continue in the current year, declared Year of Ecology and Public Spaces. There are another 73 objects. A large contribution has been made by our entrepreneurs. I want to highlight the group of companies Tatneft and TAIF,'' said Minnikhanov.

Sink or swim: investors failed due to a lack of knowledge

''I would like to comment on the financial markets. The incident, the situation in the banking sector [the crisis in the banking sector of Tatarstan] is a great lesson for all of us. We need to make proper conclusions,'' told Minnikhanov.

He reminded that ''Tatarstan's leadership established the Republican Fund of Support that will allow to solve the problem in relation to most bank customers,'' and instructed the government jointly with the Fund ''as soon as possible to implement support mechanisms for victims''.

''Not only businesses have suffered from the suspension of the activities of banks. The situation has exposed the problem of lack of a necessary level of knowledge in building relationships with modern financial and credit system among the population,'' said Minnikhanov.

Minnikhanov reminded that ''Tatarstan's leadership established the Republican Fund of Support that will allow to solve the problem in relation to most bank customers.'' Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

''Special attention should be given to the issue of quality of audit of financial statements of financial institutions. It is important to prevent distortion, which can lead to inefficient decisions. A quality audit should improve the economic security of organizations.''

He also touched on the topic of the shareholders, who are in Tatarstan not less than the affected depositors. ''Besides, we have made the decision to allocate in the capital of the republic the land area of 17 hectares for the investment project for the further solution of problems of the shareholders. The authorities of Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny with the support of the government are to intensify work on the problem of equity objects.''

''Our main task under instructions is to organize the work together with the municipal authorities. We have no tablet, unfortunately, for each residential house there is an individual decision,'' said First Deputy Minister of Construction of Tatarstan Aleksey Frolov.

This year two houses were commissioned for 275 shareholders, another 12 objects are being under construction, said Minnikhanov.

The hour of triumph and applause ratings

The theme of the messages from year to year is traditional — the president reports on the leading branches of the economy and social life and sets tasks to the deputies, heads of enterprises and ministries for the coming year. Minnikhanov spoke exactly an hour. Some of the points were supported with applause. The first claps all the time came from one point of the room. Their applause was quickly picked up by the whole room. For example, they were fervently clapping after the speech that the Assumption Cathedral of Sviyazhsk was included in the UNESCO list. The following ovations were intended for the block about the digitalization of the economy. The information about that the program on the parks and squares became the basis of the federal programme for the development of the urban environment and about the allocation of 7,5 billion for the renovation of clinics were met with applause. Especially warmly they applauded after a lecture to the ''young citizens of Tatarstan'', who should be an example ''of traditional spiritual values, commitment to healthy lifestyle and creative activities''.

The theme of the messages from year to year is traditional — the president reports on the leading branches of the economy and social life and sets tasks to the deputies, heads of enterprises and ministries for the coming year. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

''Dream, create, build ambitious plans and never stop learning. The only way to move forward!'' Rustam Minnikhanov concluded his speech.

Permanent listeners of the message noticed an interesting detail — this year almost the entire text was delivered in Russian. Only three phrases — when it was about the Bolgarian Academy, agriculture and family values, the text was translated into Tatar.

By Darya Turtseva

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