#11 - JRL 7254
Russian president talks to local people during trip to regions
Source: NTV, Moscow, in Russian 1100 gmt 17 Jul 03
[Presenter] Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting the first capital of the ancient Russia. It used to be a town and now it is a village of Staraya Ladoga, not far from St Petersburg. According to official information, Putin will hold a meeting in Staraya Ladoga to discuss problems of development of small towns. The main part of his visit today will be devoted to cultural programmes. Our correspondent has the details.
[Correspondent] Putin is finishing the meeting dedicated to small towns' problems. [Passage omitted]
Putin talked a lot with local people today. They told him about their troubles and asked for assistance. Requests varied from increasing pensions to repairing roofs.
[Unidentified local woman] Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are so glad.
[Unidentified elderly man] We have a serious request to you. Help pensioners.
[Putin] This is exactly what we are doing.
[An official standing next to Putin, uncaptioned] You know about the eight-per-cent [pension] increase, don't you?
[People] Yes, we do.
[The man] Right, but prices have increased more, they are rocketing.
[Putin] Yes, prices are growing, however, they are rising at lower rates than income growth.
[Unidentified man] Could you support agricultural producers?
[Unidentified woman] Please, help us to roof [a building]. We need R300,000. [Passage omitted]
[Video shows Putin talking to a crowd of local people]