The economic development of the Far East and the Transbaikal region will be the government's priority goal for the next few years, said German Gref, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, upon his arrival in Khabarovsk (administrative centre in the Russian Far East). Gref will hold a conference here to coordinate the federal specific programme of the economic development of the Far East and the Transbaikal region. Gref said that the aim of the conference is to discuss additional steps that need to be taken to stimulate the economic development of the Far East and the Transbaikal region. The minister said that the government will do it utmost to liven up the region and resolve social problems. The conference is also attended by Konstantin Pulikovksy, the President's plenipotentiary representative in the Far Eastern Federal District, deputy heads of the leading Russian ministries, administration heads of territories and regions in the area.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign