Kremlin assured that the regime of self-isolation does not apply to the President. As Dmitry peskov explained, this is a “relative concept” for him, since the head of state does not live in his apartment, but in state residences, and works in them.
On March 24, Putin went to the” coronavirus ” hospital in Kommunarka, and on March 26, he held a meeting with representatives of the business community in Novo-Ogaryovo. However, starting this week, GDP, like millions of Russians, switched to remote work. Now he does not contact not only ordinary citizens, but even members of the government.
Dmitry Peskov told reporters in the morning that the traditional meeting with Ministers will be held remotely this time: everyone will be in their office and get in touch via videoconference. In this format, before the coronavirus, Putin usually opened new production lines or facilities in the regions. For example, I launched an energy bridge in Crimea.
A recent meeting of the heads of state of the G20 countries dedicated to the fight against the pandemic was also organized in the form of a videoconference. Dmitry Peskov said that journalists will be able to see the entire meeting in a live broadcast. No closed part was originally envisaged.
However, in the end, the live broadcast was abandoned: the Cabinet meeting was cut into pieces and parts were shown on television only a few hours after it ended. At the same time, according to the picture, in addition to the Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers, the head of the AP Anton Vaino, assistant to the GDP for economic Affairs Maxim Oreshkin and Dmitry Peskov took part in it. They were communicating from the situation center in the Kremlin.
At the beginning of the meeting, Vladimir Putin said that the situation, which remains very tense, forced him to switch to remote operation. “But this should not affect the quality of our joint activities,” he stressed. However, even from the first shots, it was obvious that the mood of the head of state is bad and he is clearly thinking about something of his own-perhaps about some important decision that we all have yet to learn.
Mikhail Mishustin, in turn, spoke about what the government has already done to support citizens and the economy. First of all, these are amendments to the draft laws that will automatically extend monthly payments for children, remotely issue sick leave based on the amount of at least one minimum wage, increase the amount of unemployment benefits, ease the procedure for bankruptcy of individuals, and so on.
The head of the Cabinet of Ministers has already spoken about helping businesses several times at various meetings in the White house. The President also knows about the decisions taken: this topic, in particular, was discussed very emotionally at his meeting with entrepreneurs. However, Mikhail Mishustin repeated once again: small and medium-sized businesses will receive tax deferrals (except VAT), and microenterprises will also receive insurance premiums.
The Federal tax service has introduced a direct ban on sending tax claims to companies operating in the most affected sectors of the economy (catering, consumer services, hotels, air transportation, etc.) until may 1. “All small businesses operating in these industries will also be able to postpone loan payments for six months.
The government decree will be signed in the near future, ” Mishustin informed. The second package of measures, he said, will include a provision on commercial leases. As you know, deferred payments for Federal property have already been introduced, but many people rent space from private owners.
Measures to counteract the spread of coronavirus can be considered as force majeure under lease agreements,” the Prime Minister encouraged small businesses. However, this is an extreme case. The authorities hope that owners will agree to lower rates or introduce deferrals on rental payments in exchange for lower property taxes.
Also, as part of the second package, small businesses, according to Mishustin, will get the right to temporarily not pay fines and penalties for non-payment of housing and utilities services. And they will not be able to turn off the light and heat for this: the government will introduce an outright ban.
The head of the Cabinet of Ministers also told how the President’s instructions on taxation of dividends that rich Russians withdraw to offshore countries are being fulfilled (the tax is proposed to be levied at the rate of 15% instead of 2%). “We started with Cyprus. A letter has been sent to the government of the Republic to change the agreement in order to avoid double taxation, ” he said, adding that the next steps will be prepared by April 24.