In creating the program was attended by Director Institute of agrarian studies, HSE Professor, Yevgeny Serov. She told “RG” on the key program parameters.

what is the main differences of this program from all the previous, dedicated to the village?

Eugenia Serova: the Current program involves a paradigm shift, it should work as a lever for change in the countryside. Early programs relied on Federal funding to build this much housing, so many schools, hospitals, gas pipeline etc. With this approach, the need has been standardized packaged solutions that were developed on top. Officials determined which areas to develop and which don’t. But when the state determines for you, you have the right to develop or not is unproductive. One official explained the logic of the state: because the parents affect the child, the right shoes or textbooks. This position (the state, the parents, and we are all foolish children) need to break. What we tried to do in the new program.


Eugenia Serova: Our program is based on local initiatives. That is, all sentences in it are not from above but from below. They may represent a group of citizens (thus not necessarily rural), municipality, non-profit organization and business. While the state doesn’t have any particular problems with co-financing initiatives of citizens and municipalities. But officials, it was difficult to accept the idea of co-financing of infrastructure projects business. We have many examples of business solely for the money builds roads to its production, housing and Internet for their employees and for rural development. But we need public-private partnership, because not only do businesses need to develop rural areas. Fair would be if we, for example, will hold the gas in the cooperation of business and state.

is now there are no programs which require co-financing government infrastructure and social projects?

Eugenia Serova: in Almost all departments -the Ministry of health, Ministry of transport, etc. – is a program which is supposed to build schools, hospitals, pipelines, including in rural areas. But the government got the idea that if there is a state program for rural development, financed to such a construction should from it. The new program is another approach: it includes funds for construction of facilities that are not needed in the future, and fast. At the end of last year at a meeting of the state Council, which was dedicated to the village, the Russian President clearly explained that the proportion of the village should be present in all social programs.

to bring up the infrastructure in the village, in need of huge funds.

Eugenia Serova: And here is another difference of the new program. We have tried to put in her innovative approaches to rural development. We live in the twenty-first century, and to apply solutions from XX. The gas in our understanding is the pipeline. And if in a small village to pull expensive, it is better to move this village. But we need the opposite: imperative should be to supply the people of this village. I happened to see a programme of poverty reduction in China. There are used solar panels. We Transbaikalia – instalirana area in the world, but where we are there solar panels? We are considering only the construction of a costly pipeline.

do You believe that the program will make the lives of the villagers better and to stop the outflow of population from the countryside?

Eugenia Serova: All of the previous programs wanted to help people who already live in rural areas. And rightly so. But if we want to develop the countryside, there must come “fresh blood”. Rural life needs to be attractive to those who live in the city, but for some reason wants to move to the countryside. To attract to the village a good doctor or teacher half the battle.

We long before the coronavirus was talking about what to bring to the village are good doctors and teachers now, can and will succeed. But if you do not create a nice environment in four years they degrade.

We already talked about the need for development in rural areas of the Internet, distance learning, telemedicine. Sometimes we spinning finger to his temple. But the coronavirus has shown that man can live and work in rural areas – there would be good Internet, good roads and power supply. There are many professions for which it does not matter where the employee is located geographically. For him do not have to rent an expensive office in the centre of Moscow. Last summer we conducted a survey of three thousand students of different specialties. Asked on what conditions they would go to work in the village, in addition to decent housing and wages. In the first place in the answers was the Internet. And, of course, the development of engineering and sotsinfrastruktury. It is the priorities that need to be addressed through the programme of integrated development of rural areas.

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Jennifer Alvarez is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.