This year, the directive specifies the provision of 40 state guarantees worth a total of 265 billion roubles for loans issued to 26 defence industry companies. This state support measure allows them to take out loans and to fulfil their respective orders.
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of the Government Staff Sergei Prikhodko and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak
Dmitry Medvedev: First I would like to say a few words about our plans. Under a presidential instruction to the federal executive agencies, it was suggested that action plans be drafted for the next five years. I would like the deputy prime ministers to monitor this work in their respective areas of coordination and in line with their authority. Of course, the documents must be specific, with clear deadlines and parameters. I would like to hear reports about how these plans are being drafted at the next Government meeting. Mr Prikhodko (Sergei Prikhodko), please pay attention to this, too.
And now let’s discuss current issues regarding state guarantees on loans extended to the country's defence industry. Very recently, on May 23, I signed a government directive on this issue. In fact, these are the first state guarantees issued this year. Mr Rogozin (Dmitry Rogozin), is that correct?
Dmitry Rogozin: Yes, they are.
Dmitry Medvedev: And, of course, the fulfilment of defence contracts remains a task of national importance. The entire Government, and not just the defence sector, the Defence Ministry, is working to achieve this objective. How effective and timely a defence order is fulfilled depends on the order itself. Apart from the transfer of technology created in the defence industry, there is a certain multiplier effect, so that everything invested in the defence sector ultimately has an impact on the overall situation in industry. In fact, the defence sector helps to salvage related industries. This year, the directive specifies the provision of 40 state guarantees worth a total of 265 billion roubles for loans issued to 26 defence industry companies. This state support measure allows them to take out loans at a time when they don’t have enough working capital, and when they are unable to use other sources to obtain loans and of course to fulfil their respective orders. Two of these guarantees will go the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Centre. This guarantee covers the executor concerned. Mr Rogozin (addressing Dmitry Rogozin), as I see it, you are planning to go there and assess the development of the Angara launch vehicle on site. What is going on there? And could you please say a few words on the situation surrounding state defence contracts?
Dmitry Rogozin: Thank you, Mr Medvedev. The situation is as follows: Indeed, the Government has established control over all the work related to these strategically important Angara launch vehicles, including lightweight and heavy-duty versions of them. The important thing is that this will allow us to launch military spacecraft from the Plesetsk Space Centre, rather than from Baikonur, by next year. We plan to launch a lightweight Angara rocket from the Svobodny Space Centre in 2015. We recently inspected the launch facility. Also important is that all these launch vehicles will be equipped with kerosene/oxygen engines, which are more environmentally-friendly than heptyl, which, of course, doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
Dmitry Medvedev: Apart from the transfer of technology created in the defence industry, there is a certain multiplier effect, so that everything invested in the defence sector ultimately has an impact on the overall situation in industry.
In this regard, the plan was just recently approved by chiefs at the Defence Ministry, the Federal Agency for Special Construction and the Federal Space Agency. This plan and schedule is monitored daily by the Military Industrial Commission under the Government of the Russian Federation. Tonight at around midnight, the countdown to the first launch of Angara will start. The missile has been loaded on a train of the Khrunichev Missile Plant and will be taken to Plesetsk today. This operation will by taking place under my personal control. I will report to you tomorrow morning. We believe the tests will begin immediately after the lightweight Angara is delivered. The system will be tuned up to be ready for operation by next April and launched next May. Even now, the Khrunichev Missile Plant stores an assembled heavy Angara, for a later stage. However, there are plans to implement the heavy missile by the end of 2014, in order to place the service load, which is much more substantial than the current load, in circumterrestrial space. Everything is under control, Mr Medvedev.
Dmitry Medvedev: These are indeed very important facilities. When I was in Plesetsk, I saw the models of these missiles. It is excellent that the work is nearing completion. Let’s hope for the best quality. But returning to the defence order and Government guarantees, I would like you to keep this project under control in terms of wise spending and fulfillment of those contractual obligations that our defence enterprises are taking up. I’ll repeat once again that not only their own prosperity, but the improvement of the industry in general depends on this. Significant money is involved in this project. State guarantees are also very important financial instruments. Everything must be under state control.
Dmitry Rogozin: Mr Medvedev, we receive and discuss weekly reports from the Federal Service for Defence Contracts to the Military Industrial Commission. I have one of these with me today. The Government Staff is also involved in overseeing the defence order. This Wednesday, May 29, the Military Industrial Commission will hold an extended meeting on the placement and oversight of the defence order. I will report to you at the Government meeting on Thursday.
Dmitry Medvedev: Alright.
The unified state exams begin today and there is a lot of fuss about this online and in the media. Students are taking the Russian language exam. We even have the first results, but only those that leaked online. This is not right, because it diminishes the value of the state exam. Everything must be under control. Ms Golodets, please tell us what will be happening next.
Olga Golodets: Mr Medvedev, it is true, the unified state exams started in schools across Russia. This year 753,000 students are graduating. The arrangements for the exams have been completed in all the regions. Also, we addressed both the officials and the general public to be really serious about the state exam. We need honest results and we are confident in the proficiency of our students. It is very important that the regulations are observed.
Olga Golodets: Some of the most popular subjects are Physics (27%), Biology (21%) and History (23%). The percentage of students taking an exam in a foreign language is higher than last year. For the first time, the share is over 10%, which is also a positive development.
I will comment briefly on the additional subjects that our students selected this year for exams. Some of the most popular subjects are Physics (27%), Biology (21%) and History (23%). The percentage of students taking an exam in a foreign language is higher than last year. For the first time, the share is over 10%, which is also a positive development.
The number of funded places at the most popular universities has been significantly changed this year. Enrollment has been increased by 6% at medical schools and by 6% for those Engineering programmes that are in greatest demand in the industry. It will be a good guiding indicator for applicants who, I hope, will successfully pass the Unified State Exam and will get accepted to universities or choose a different career path.
Dmitry Medvedev: I hope that their success will not be in any way related to cheating. During these exams I wish there was only one time zone in our country, as with some of our large neighbours. When students complete their tests in the Far East, the questions leak online, and this is when cheating begins. This must be monitored very closely. As far as I know, officials at various levels and executive bodies are making inquiries into such leaks. It is a serious enough reason for the commission to invalidate exam results for those who publish questions online, because this causes nothing but harm. Those who make exam arrangements locally must remember that. And please monitor the situation.
Olga Golodets: Of course.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.