Governor of St Petersburg Meets with Vladimir Putin to Discuss Preparations for City Anniversary - 6 March, 2003

A meeting between Governor of Saint Petersburg Vladimir Yakovlev and Russian President Vladimir Putin was planned and quite low-key. This announcement was made to a Rosbalt correspondent today by PR manager for the St. Petersburg administration Alexander Afanasyev. He said the meeting took a little longer than expected and the president even had to delay his flight to Tiumen.

According to Mr Afanasyev they spoke about the city's results for 2002 and the growth rate of industrial production, which was ten times higher than the average national rate of growth of 31%. Salaries also increased as did the birth rate. Mr Afanasyev emphasised that these achievements are not always mentioned in the mass media and this was also discussed. According to Mr Afanasyev, when speaking about preparations for the city's celebrations, Mr Putin emphasised that any inconvenience to local residents caused by the arrival of a large number of VIP guests would be kept to a minimum and added that there would be no restrictions on visiting the city centre during the celebrations. The president said that the accustomed way of life may be disturbed but added that these would only be the kind of inconveniences felt when we invite guests to our home.