Rustam Minnikhanov: “I will do everything for my land, for the prosperity of my native Tatarstan”
September 04, 2020
Just a year ago, we could not imagine what events and changes in the structure of the world will bring 2020. It was impossible to foresee that a pandemic would change the way we think about security, health, stability and the economy. Over the past six months, the pandemic around the world has led to a significant reassessment of key concepts of personal freedom and freedom of movement, and the entire health care and social care system has undergone significant restructuring. This applies not only to Russia or our republic, but to the whole world. It is necessary to comprehend the ongoing changes, to find basic ideas, key strengths for the republic, which will allow us to confidently plan the future, despite the global turmoil.
Tatarstan is a unique territory, a place of power. We stand at the confluence of rivers and the intersection of trade routes, we live at the intersection of historical lines and cultural vectors. Our main strength lies in the peaceful coexistence of many peoples, in mutual respect for their languages, cultures and traditions. Undoubtedly, Tatarstan has a special mission in the issue of preserving Tatar culture – we remain the center of attraction for Tatars all over the world. I dedicated a separate article to this, which was published in July. But Tatarstan is equally home to Russians, Chuvashes, Mari, Udmurts and other peoples. Historically, representatives of 173 peoples live here.
Only by preserving interethnic and interfaith peace and harmony, thanks to the sum of the strengths of each culture and national traits of the peoples, Tatarstan has become one of the supporting regions of large indivisible Russia. This is our past, present, and this is the only way for our successful future. This is the first most important part of our ideology.
At the heart of the success of the republic is the creative work of millions of people, it is hard work, and at certain moments of our history – heroic. This year Kazan was awarded the title “City of Labor Valor”. This is an award not only of our capital – it is a recognition of the merits of every Tatarstan citizen who invested his strength in the Great Victory: a collective farmer from Atni, a workers’ plant in Zelenodolsk and Chistopol, an oil exploration worker from the southeast of Tatarstan and others. Diligence and dedication, the ability to keep your home in order and work for the common good are our hallmarks. And we are proud of the labor deeds of our fathers and grandfathers, we consider them our moral guide. Willingness to work is the second part of our ideology.
Selfless work is the key to a strong and stable economy. The economic successes of Tatarstan for many years have allowed us to be one of the leading regions of the country, successfully develop social and cultural infrastructure, build roads, improve the urban environment, fully fulfill all obligations to the Tatarstan people, and improve the quality of life. Today Tatarstan is a territory directed to the future.
We have made huge progress and are implementing major projects. The economy is diversifying. Over the past 10 years, we have increased oil refining by 2.2 times, the share of the processing sector in the total volume of industrial production increased to 70%. Moreover, we are consistently increasing the volume and depth of oil refining, creating added value here, at home, while providing jobs for our residents and increasing revenues to the budgets of all levels.
We are actively engaged in modernization of the industry, machine building and the IT industry are developing. Innopolis has become a Russian platform for development of high technologies. We have the best in the country special economic zone of industrial-production type “Alabuga”. This is the most attractive platform for foreign investors. And they, as you know, bring technologies, capital to us, create new jobs. I would like to emphasize that the economy of Tatarstan today works for people. Economic success is a guarantee of prosperity and stability for every citizen. Striving to be a leader, a region of social and economic well-being is the third component that determines our work.
These three ideas define the decisions we make today. But I often hear questions about what ideas I personally defend, what ideology I adhere to and what is my personal political platform. The pre-election period is probably the time to give answers to these questions.
On the one hand, I have always said and say: politics is not my prerogative. The voters of the republic and President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin entrusted me with the management of Tatarstan, and I must defend the interests of the Tatarstan people, Tatarstan and the Russian Federation as a whole. On the other hand, there can be no political life without politics and politicians, and voters should be clear in what coordinate system and on the basis of what principles certain decisions are made.
First of all, I consider it necessary to note that in my daily work, I and our entire team strive to be guided not so much by political as by moral principles, since we must simultaneously be on the side of people and guard state interests. And only moral principles can be a guideline in finding the right balance in this.
Rhetorical questions: should we protect the interests of workers, pensioners, youth? Undoubtedly, we should! Should we help those who find themselves in difficult life situations? Definitely yes. These answers can be considered leftist ideology. But no less, especially in current situation, we must also protect the interests of business, producers, support entrepreneurs and protect people’s right to private property. Some will say that this is an expression of center-right views. But I would call it a balanced position that simultaneously takes into account the interests of society and the state. This is the main answer to the question about what ideology I adhere to.
Should the state grant a person the right to medical assistance, provide everyone with everything necessary in case of illness? Definitely yes. For this we are working to improve the infrastructure of the healthcare system, build new clinics and hospitals, FAPs, and buy ambulances. This also has social obligations and the so-called left-wing agenda. But should each of the residents be responsible for themselves, take care of their health, strengthen it, take care of it? I think I definitely should. And more than half of the Tatarstan citizens have already made a choice in favor of regular sports. In this part, I am equally right-wing. Only in such a balance is the success of the entire society born, the well-being of citizens increases and life expectancy increases.
To increase budget revenues, we must focus on economic development, business support and private initiative. This is the right aspect in my program. But this, firstly, allows us to raise the level of wages, and secondly, it makes it possible to implement infrastructure and construction projects, as well as provide targeted support to everyone who finds themselves in a difficult life situation. And I believe that this is our inherent function and commitment.
Should we protect the environment, protect the right of citizens to clean air and water? We should definitely. And here there is no division into right and left ideas. There is no ecology for the rich and the poor – we all breathe the same air and preserve our republic for future generations. At the same time, we must ensure that businesses comply with stringent environmental regulations. Otherwise, its support has no moral basis.
This is exactly how, in balance and respecting the interests of all Tatarstan people, we achieve success, ensure the development of the republic. But this success requires constant work and stress from each of us. As in a well-known work – you need to run as fast just to stay in place, and to get somewhere, you need to run at least twice as fast! To face the future with confidence, we must do twice as much today as we can.
Recent months have shown that there may be new shocks in the global economy that cannot be insured against. Thousands of companies, manufacturing, service, trade, have not experienced the forced downtime or reduced demand. We must analyze everything that has been done and develop real, working instruments of direct support for both backbone businesses and small businesses, which are an important part of the life support system of cities and regions of the republic. A lot has been done in terms of providing such state support on an emergency basis, but now we must assess the past period, analyze the effectiveness of all measures taken and be ready for quick decisions in the future.
Despite the challenges, we must remain a republic of opportunities for all citizens. We have achieved a lot – we have a good education system, we are developing higher education as part of the international system, we are creating important innovation centers, we have created a network of resource centers for working youth. We have unique personnel and competencies, are open to the whole world and become the venue for the largest forums and competitions. We embrace the best and innovate wisely. Tatarstan is often a pilot site for new ideas, technologies, laws. We are ready for bold but deliberate experiments that will improve people’s lives. This willingness to innovate has always allowed us to “run faster” than others. And this is part of the policy of Tatarstan as a territory of opportunities: only in the readiness to experiment, to overcome difficulties, a new, promising, successful one is born.
We are competitive, we are a point of attraction for young people. It has become prestigious to live and work here. In Tatarstan, not only rivers and great trade routes converge. We attract investments, best practices, and this should remain in the future.
At the same time, a high level of development gives rise to a high level of expectations. We are presented with requirements that we do not always meet. This applies to many aspects of life. And this is true. This means that we must be open and honest, professional and more efficient. This is expected from each of us, and this is a prerequisite for the successful future of Tatarstan.
Another important condition for the future is a new understanding of the value of health. The health care system should include a health preservation subsystem. An obligatory formula for us should be the unity of three areas: affordable primary health care, modern high-tech medical care and respect for the health of every resident. Over the past five months, I have met with doctors more than ever, visited hospitals, and monitored entire health care system. It is difficult to convey in words our gratitude to doctors and medical staff for their hard work during a pandemic. Today everyone understands that health has acquired a new meaning for us. As never before, we have seen a tough direct link between public health and stability, economic and social well-being. Therefore, the tasks of maintaining health, promoting a healthy lifestyle and creating an effective health care system are becoming one of the most important priorities.
From these judgments, a vision of a successful future for our native republic is formed, based on traditions, health, care, self-development, work and respect. We and our descendants still have a lot to go through so that we can say that we meet the goals that we have defined for ourselves. On this difficult path of improving our economy, political system and social relations, it should be remembered that we have one important landmark – our cultural heritage, spiritual and moral values and traditions.
This is my answer to the question of what views, what ideology I adhere to.
This is my republic. I am proud that I was born and took place on this earth. I am full of strength and will do everything for my land, for the prosperity of my native Tatarstan.