Vladimir Putin: Structure of Russian Economy Must Be Changed

'The structure of the Russian economy needs to be changed: the use of high-technology products must replace the dominance of raw materials,' said Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday at a meeting of the President's Council for Science and High Technology. According to the presidential press service, the President noted that 'the potential of our scientific sector is greater than the demand of the Russian economy,' so 'it is necessary to enter the international market and sell our intellectual property for a fair price.'

Among possible measures to develop the country's scientific infrastructure, the President named improving the system of state control over intellectual property, the possibility of leasing out assets and land belonging to research centres, and the 'debureaucratisation' of the scientific sphere. In addition, President Putin believes that it is essential to unite the country's economic, industrial and scientific interests, taking into account the state's resources and the interests of the scientific community.

The President called on members of the council to devote their attention to the issue of innovational policy, and also proposed examining 'the issue of harmonizing state financing of science, state orders, and the investment possibilities of business.'

The Russian President also touched on the problem of how to concentrate the country's scientific potential. Putin believes that scientific institutions have built up 'a unique economic and, more importantly, unique human resource potential.' According to Putin, 'the key task today is to preserve this potential and use it wisely in the new conditions.'

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