Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a two-day trip to the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district (West Siberia's north), made a number of important statements.
There are a lot of problems in both northern and southern regions of Russia. Recalling that a few days before, the temperature in the autonomy's capital Salekhard was 25 degrees below zero, the head of state said that the temperature in the Krasnodar territory is plus 25 now, while there are no fewer problems there.
As an example, the president also cited the problem of water supply in Vladivostok (Primorye, Far East), about which everybody knows. However, in his words, not everybody knows that the same problem is urgent in Novorossiisk (Russia's main port in the Black Sea), where there never existed a water supply system.
Speaking about the problem of budget provision of regions, Mr. Putin stressed that in different areas of the North, "this problem is regarded in different ways," but most northern territories' budgets are provided for in no way worse than other Russian regions.
At the same time, the head of state admitted that the problems in the budget sphere voiced in Salekhard by northern regions' governors are just.
The main task for all Russian regions, including northern, is to reveal regional specifics and the most urgent problems of regions and find their optimal solution on the basis of improvement and preservation of macroeconomic indices, Mr. Putin stressed.
He added that for northern regions, one of the priorities remains the issue of "development of the legislative base for the strengthening of the economy and improvement of life conditions of the local population, including for preservation of the small indigenous peoples of the North." Vladimir Putin said the state should not stop controlling the pipeline transport.
"However, this should not hinder attraction of private investments. They are possible and will be welcomed," Mr. Putin stressed.
"How to resolve the issue of property and management is another problem, and it is solvable," he said.
"Private investments are possible with preservation of state control and state property on pipeline transport and with understanding that private investments will be made only if the business is interested. This interest can be created if need be," the president said.
"As for gas pipelines, Gazprom holds a monopoly on them now," Mr. Putin said.
"It's a joint stock company, including with foreign participation, and not a state unitary enterprise," said the president.
Speaking about the construction of private pipelines, Mr. Putin said this issue was discussed, including by the governor of the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district.
"This is an interesting topic, an interesting proposal," said the president, noting that as of today, the state owns the controlling package of the main Russian exporter - Transneft.
Vladimir Putin is convinced that the president should spend most part of his time at his workplace in the Kremlin, but making working trips is necessary as well.
"However, from the Kremlin, it's impossible to rule such a big country as Russia. The practice of working trips will be continued," Mr. Putin said.
"We already have a schedule of such trips for this year and next year," he said.