Source Pravda.Ru

Housing and communal reform is an affair of the regions

The Russian president has urged the regions not to regard ex-St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev, who has been appointed Vice Premier supervising the country's housing and communal sector, as a "scapegoat" responsible for everything that happens in this sphere.

Housing and communal facilities are the responsibility of the regions themselves, Vladimir Putin told a conference of the Cabinet of Ministers.

"The task facing us, the government, and the vice premier is to help the regions," he stressed. According to his words, it is necessary to activate the work of the regions so that they contributed more instead of waiting for help from the Center.

In the meantime, Vladimir Yakovlev confessed that "scapegoat" was what some of the regions thought of his new appointment.

He said the regions' housing and communal facilities were ready for the winter only 30.7%, i.e. 5% less than in the previous year. He was particularly worried about Karelia, Kamchatka, Sakhalin and the Kaliningrad region.

Speaking about the allocation of 5.5 billion rubles /$1 is about 30 rubles/ for the regions's preparations for the winter season in accordance with an agreement signed on July 16, the vice premier said the agreement covered only 76 of Russia's 89 members. "Donor regions will be an exception," he explained.

According to his words, agreements were signed with 56 members of the Russian Federation. The Finance Ministry is beginning to allocate money for them.

Yakovlev also reported the results of his last week's visit to the Ulyanovsk and Ivanovo regions. Saying that the situation with preparations in the Ulyanovsk region was "especially unfavorable," he observed that he would be meeting with representative of these regions in Moscow during the following week.