The Russian authorities will support large-scale infrastructure projects, first of all those aimed at developing the country’s transport system and ensuring reliable communication with Siberia and the Far East, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
“We have a really paradoxical situation today. Russia, with its vast territory, lacks land plots for construction. The reason is underdevelopment of infrastructure,” Putin said in an article published on his website and in the Vedomosti business daily.
“In Europe, America, Japan and Korea you may build a house or a factory in any place 50 or even 80 kilometers from a big city; in Russia, there are undeveloped plots 20-30 kilometers away - without roads, gas, water or electricity, where land costs nothing because it just cannot be used,” the premier said.
Development of Russia’s territory should start from land plots around big economic centers, Putin, who will run for president in the March 4 elections, said.
Once relevant infrastructure and roads are built by the state, including with the use of private funds, small and midsized businesses will quickly use new opportunities, he wrote.
Putin served two terms as Russia’s president between 2000 and 2008, but was barred from standing for a third consecutive term by the Constitution. He became prime minister after his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, became president.
Putin is considered the most likely candidate to win the presidential election in March. However, analysts say his declining popularity could see him forced into a runoff.