Usually, state functionaries talking to journalists speak a lot and often and mainly positively about themselves regarding their activities on the “battle” post. A fascinating reading hardly could be prepared of such conversations. Though, there are nice exclusions. After the unexpectedly interesting conversation with the head of territorial office of Admiralty District of St Petersburg, a hope appeared: is our life really changing for the best? And will the appearence of young, educated, and energetic professionals at state posts become a tendency? Yunis Lukmanov has recently taken the rains of government in the Admiralty District. However, within five months, people living in the district and big plants situated there could feel his concern.
About investments and investors
The Admiralty district is an integral part of St Petersburg, where on the threshold of 300th anniversary, serious changes are happening. Investments are already being made. Foreign and Russian investors are interested in investing capital into the hotel sector. They address the investment commission and the territorial office with their propositions. Sometimes, they even want to take such “spots” of the district that, to me, (I consider myself to be the specialist in the field, I have even defended a thesis about investments) cannot be interesting as investment projects. I am simply surprised why they want to work there! They confidently explain: “I will settle the residents in new flats and make a hotel in this house. I am sure this will be profitable.” Though profit is not a well-defined word. The potential investors are ready to invest into a future hotel $1,500-2,000 for a square metre, while to settle the people in new flats, $300-400 per square meter are necessary.
Some Foreign mass media still say Russia is an uninteresting country. Though, I suppose, it became very interesting, especially since September 11. Today, an interesting time has started for Russia. Our country has a unique chance to get back the status of a great country on the political scene. It is necessary, without jerky movements, to clear up the situation. I am not sure the situation in Afghanistan will grow to the level when Russia’s participation in landing operations is necessary. Now, Europe and the whole West are carefully listening to us. So, we cannot make mistakes; it is better one more time to think before to act. Actually, in this way, Vladimir Putin acts. Russia is an Euroasian state, so we should consider every decision, while remembering about our historical past and about our predestination.
About international terrorism
If America makes the right conclusions about its relations with Russia, we will be the closest allies, while remaining good allies with China.
They say that misfortune unifies people. In China, there are troubles as well: Taiwan and Tibet. Why is Great Britain friends with the United States? Because it has its own terrorists. In Spain, there is the issue of the Basque. The leaders of one of these countries certainly have bombs or something of the kind. If we unify, everything will be all right. Now, it is not time to think about Russia as about the county with a bad investment climate. And nobody does. Everything has changed after Putin’s visit to Germany. Putin carried out two shocking press-conferences there. I can imagine being a German present in the hall. A nice man came and started to say stupendous things in my native language: Europe has been thinking of Russia as its enemy, while its real enemies are somewhere else, and they are probably somewhere near; they could be even inside ourselves… Why? Because we do not understand what to do, while we should do simple things such as unify ourselves against the common enemy.
Marina Romanova PRAVDA.Ru St Petersburg
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/03/34483.html