Rustam Minnikhanov: ''Every change and metro station is 4-6 billion rubles''
The second line of the Kazan metro is built fully with the republic's money. The Tatarstan president said this at a meeting with journalists, which traditionally was on the eve of 8 March. Realnoe Vremya tells what the republic is ready to do to improve the demographic situation, the fate of Luna tiger cub and what the president thinks about Ak Bars's elimination from the Gagarin Cup.
About improving demographic situation
This time a tour to the Republican Clinical Hospital's perinatal centre preceded the meeting with the president – Tatarstan Minister of Health Care Marat Sadykov invited the journalists to it. Demographic situation logically became the first topic at the meeting with Rustam Minnikhanov. 'What is the republic ready to do to improve the demographic situation?' Realnoe Vremya's correspondent asked the regional leader.
''A big programme was approved by the president [of Russia]. I think unprecedented approaches will be applied,'' noted Rustam Minnikhanov. 'It's clear that the mechanism hasn't been polished thoroughly. The most important thing for us is to communicate it to every family. This is first. Secondly, it's all supporting measures we already have, including for the countryside, for mothers under 25 years. The problem is that the first child is born late, which means chances are reducing. The social mortgage programme also presupposes support: if a child is born, some part of payments is written off. Our president has said the same thing now. This is why we need to communicate what was said in his message to every family, to have it applied. This is the most important thing. We will carefully look at what other problems we have. Kindergartens are needed somewhere, social guarantees are needed somewhere for women when getting maternity leave.''
About celebration of centenary of TASSR foundation
The centenary of the TASSR will be celebrated in 2020, the celebration will be held at the expense of the republic, municipalities and companies. According to Rustam Minnikhanov, it's necessary to tell the road the republic has covered for 100 years.
''Talking about cultural sites, we want to complete the national library in Kazan. A big job is done in museum complexes, Chulpan, Saydash culture centres, the centres in Yudino and Derbyshki aren't in a good state, and we want them to be for the people. We also have a number of facilities in Naberezhnye Chelny. Something will be done everywhere,'' the Tatarstan president promised.
About metro construction
One of the journalists' questions was about the construction of the second line of the Kazan metro. It will be 20 km long; the line is to have 12 stations and 11 changes.
''We began the first stage, it's 5 or 6 kilometres. It won't be fast, everything will depend on money. The metro is fully built with the republic's money. If previously there was federal money, now it is falling on the republic's shoulders. Every change and metro station is 4-6 billion rubles, it's big money, but we include it in the budget every year,'' the president said.
About Talgat Abdullin's retirement
Executive Director of the Tatarstan Housing Fund Talgat Abdullin who had been occupying this post for 21 years retired last October. The Tatarstan president commented on this event, too.
''Firstly, he was one of the founders. Due to their age, people should find a calmer occupation. Mr Abdullin has a white-and-black method at work. There are a lot of positive things, but he is also a very stubborn person. On the one hand, it's good,'' Minnikhanov noted.
About vocational skills and preparation for WorldSkills
All 2019 WorldSkills venues have been built, now specialists from Tatarstan and Moscow are equipping them. This event is to elevate the prestige of work skills. Now, according to Minnikhanov, ''there is labour force, but it doesn't meet today's economy's needs''.
''We need to slightly change the attitude to the youth's education. Parents have a great influence on young people, it seems to them if their child enters an institute, a university, he or she will become better. Vocational skills have higher intellectual demands than a university. A person with vocational training can get higher education at any time,'' the president noted.
About Luna tiger cub and construction of new zoo
''We won't give the tiger cub to anyone,'' Rustam Minnikhanov promised when talking about the fate of Luna tiger cub, which was recently taken away from a drug baron in Naberezhnye Chelny. Now they need to solve legal issues, so that the owner will refuse the animal. The tiger cub could be placed in the new zoo of Kazan – general construction works have finished there today, and employees are choosing animals.
''We will open the zoo in the short run. We look at how they are doing every week. Many changes were made, this is why it dragged. But the final stage has begun now,'' the Tatarstan president said.
About Ak Bars's elimination from Gagarin Cup
On 3 March, Ak Bars lost to Avangard for the fourth game in a row and finished its performance in the Gagarin Cup. Minnikhanov urged to support the Barses.
''I met with the team before the play-off, it's our team in any case, whether if it won or lost. It's sport. We didn't consider, overlooked something, we weren't in good physical shape, the defence turned out weak. We will find out. Ak Bars is a serious club not only in Russia but Europe, it's a good time. My attitude to the club hasn't changed,'' said the head of Tatarstan.