Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the authorities of every level to constantly monitor the socio-economic situation in Crimea.
"A great deal has been done. The residents of Sevastopol and Crimea accepted the inevitable problems and difficulties of a transitional period involving the integration of new federal regions," Putin said at a meeting that focused on Crimea's development.
He thanked the people of Crimea who, he said, are nevertheless expecting their problems to be resolved in an organized, smooth fashion.
"I am pointing this out to the authorities of all levels, federal, regional and municipal. You need to be in continuous contact with people, public organizations, respond to questions that people put to us. Basically, you need to constantly monitor the situation in the region, primarily the socio-economic one, control over the quality of public and municipal services must be tightened," Putin said.
The main issues that currently worry Crimean people are: rising prices, high unemployment, low salaries, bad roads, urban and rural planning improvements, housing problems, and the affordability and quality of health care and education services the president said.
"Drug addition is, of course, one of the pressing social issues," he said.
Dealing with all these problems requires a systemic and long-term approach, he said. "Our goal is to make Crimea and Sevastopol self-sufficient, dynamically developing Russian regions," Putin said.
One of our first priorities is to develop infrastructure, including energy, housing, utilities and transport, the president said, adding that he is expecting a report on progress in construction of the key facility, the Kerch bridge.
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