New head of Yakutia: "The time of successes of the opposition in the republic has passed"

The new head of Yakutia Aisen Nikolayev spoke about the first steps at the head of the region, the mistakes of his predecessor Yegor Borisov, the "chicken with golden eggs" and the prospects of the Yakut opposition.
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On Monday, May 28, President Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of Yegor Borisov, who headed Yakutia for eight years. The head of the region was appointed Mayor of Yakutsk Aisen Nikolaev. The new head of Yakutia told RBC about the budget hole in the region, appreciated the work of Yegor Borisov and explained why the republic should not sell shares of ALROSA.

Changes have already begun

- How and when did you learn that you will be appointed head of the region? With whom did you meet in the presidential administration, who told you about this?

- Finally, I became aware of this after meeting with the president of the country on May 28. Before that, of course, there were meetings with the heads of the presidential administration and the government.

- Did you belong to the president's staff reserve?

- No.

- Do you know any other candidates who were considered for this place?

- No.

- Are you going to conduct an audit of your predecessor's activities? Will you change the team?

- Everything that has been done by a good team of Yegor Afanasyevich [Borisov] over the past eight years must be preserved and continued. At the same time, we should not stand still. The President sets fundamentally new development goals, in which a great responsibility is placed on the region. The Republic needs to be changed, updated. Regardless of age, approaches, people will be selected in accordance with my requirements: a person must be professional and honest.

- Change the team in percentage terms what will it be?

"I need to work to understand." Everything depends on how the assigned tasks will be accomplished in one direction or another. According to the government, I will judge with time, although, of course, certain changes will still happen. And according to the administration of the head of the republic, since this body directly works with the head, the changes have already begun.

Sacrificed health

- What do you think, what is the reason for Borisov's resignation? With what he did not cope?

- To say that Yegor Afanasyevich could not do something with something, I would not now. He also in his speech very clearly indicated that now the republic faces other tasks - to update, to rotate staff. Of course, issues related to health were also important. Man, you can say, sacrificed his health, leading the republic.

- They say that you had a conflict with Borisov. It's true?

- We have never had any personal conflicts with Borisov. In any case, the mayors of the capital of the subject and the heads of regions are always, for objective reasons, in certain contradictions on various issues, primarily financial and economic ones. To inflate this some personal dislike of some turns out, but in our case this did not happen. Maybe there were some issues related to the relationship between the capital and the region in the implementation of certain programs, but we never had personal conflicts.

- In Putin's presidential election in March, Putin had the lowest result in the country, while the Communist Party had the highest score. Experts expect that in September elections to the regional parliament will also be very difficult. Are not you afraid that the Communists will take the majority - and what will you do with it?

- Communists will not get a majority in the parliament of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). I'm pretty sure that they do not have a base for this. The fact is that in the presidential elections the entire opposition - right, left, and radical - was able to concentrate around the figure of Grudinin. The mistake of the electoral headquarters of the head of the republic was that they allowed this consolidation. In the case of elections to the regional parliament, everyone will be for himself. Each party there has its own specific tasks and interests. Therefore I think that the time for the success of the opposition of Yakutia has passed.

It is necessary to estimate the scale of the hole

- What will be your first decisions in the new post?

- We face a serious task - the elimination of the consequences of the largest flood in recent decades. The damage already exceeds a billion rubles. At the same time, the flood has not yet ended - in the north it is still going. We must do everything in order to restore the infrastructure as soon as possible, to compensate the victims, so that we can start the loads without losses and enter the heating season. Summer in the north of Yakutia is literally two or three weeks, and already in August it is necessary to sink. Before this, it is necessary to carry out work to restore the destroyed.

- Are there any other questions that require immediate resolution?

- Issues related to budget efficiency and our budget expenditures. Having a huge budget, about 190 billion rubles. taking into account federal subsidies, we have a very significant cash gap, and there is even accounts payable by 2017 on state contracts. I think that this is unacceptable. Therefore, I have the most questions to the heads of the financial and economic block.

- Representatives of Legislative Assembly mentioned "a hole in the budget of 25 billion rubles."

"I can not talk about such a hole now." But as a professional financier, I am confident that in the coming weeks we will understand the scale of this gap that exists in the budget, and we will take some measures. In order to talk about something specifically, you need to analyze the current situation. Tomorrow morning I must receive the documents from the chairman of the government of the republic, which I instructed him to prepare. First of all, they concern the financial and economic situation in the republic. Already in the process of their analysis, I will understand what steps should be specifically taken.

- Is the republic ready for the fire-dangerous season of 2018? Last summer, fires in Yakutia became the largest in the country.

- Last year we had very serious fires. A huge amount of wood burned out. And unfortunately, until now the federal budget has not paid its debts to the budget of the republic on this issue. We hope that these issues will be resolved in the near future. We will do everything to prevent such a scale of fires this year.

"What exactly are you going to do?"

- The action plan for this part has already been adopted. With the support of the federal center "Avialesoohrana" has already opened its enterprise in the territory of Yakutia. Also, of course, it is necessary to work with the population. Unfortunately, a lot of fires are caused by people. And we need to improve our mobility in responding quickly to reports of fires.

What's the point of selling a chicken that carries golden eggs?

- Do you think that Yakutia should sell its stake in ALROSA on the exchange?

- No. What's the point of selling a chicken that carries golden eggs? Those dividends that are currently received by the diamond regions and the republic itself are sufficient, and we understand that by selling the shares at once, we will eventually lose a lot. And today, due to dividends, we solve a lot of issues of social and economic development of the republic and specific areas every year.

- Who will join the supervisory board of ALROSA instead of Borisov?

- To date, I can say that Borisov will be included in the ALROSA Supervisory Board, which is to be elected on June 26 at the annual general meeting. Today, in order to change the members of the Supervisory Board, we must carry out certain corporate procedures, to which we no longer fit. The members of the Supervisory Board will change, but it will happen later, not earlier than August.

- Do you support the accession to ALROSA of the largest cutter, the Smolensk company Kristall?

- If today such decisions are taken, it should be done. At the same time, I believe that the domestic lapidary industry needs support - both Kristall and other producers. We must develop a cut in Yakutia, too, because before the diamond industry, before the jewelry industry are very serious challenges, including including synthetic jewelry, with diamonds in the first place. It is necessary for all of us, regardless of who we are - mining, cutting or jewelry - we need to pursue a common policy. I believe that this is the biggest challenge that the entire industry has experienced in the last century.

Who is Aisen Nikolaev

Actually the head of Yakutia is 46 years old. Aisen Nikolayev graduated from the Physics Department of the Moscow State University and the Academy of National Economy, specializing in financial management. In 1997, he became the youngest member of the republican parliament at the age of 25, and was elected from the Union of Right Forces. From 1998 to 2003 he headed the board of Almazergienbank. Since 2014, the chairman of the board of the bank is Nikolayev's wife Lyudmila.

In 2004, Nikolaev was appointed Minister of Finance of Yakutia, and three years later transferred to the post of head of the presidential administration and the government of the republic. The administration of Yakutsk he supervised from March 2012.

Until last year, Nikolaev headed the republican federation of equestrian sport, his wife is chairman of the Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics of Yakutia.