After noting positive dynamics in Russia's development in his Address to the Council of Federation, President Putin said there were no reasons to get excessively carried away. He said, 'The problems haven't gone away'. He noted that poverty in the country had diminished just a bit and Russia practically could not shorten the distance between her and the leading countries. The President continued saying, 'The time of confrontation is over. We are developing normal constructive relationships with all the countries out there. But tough competition is the norm in the modern world so Russia also must become tough and competitive'. Competition has become global, the President believes, and 'in the time of weakness' Russia has lost the niches of the world market she once occupied, no one being about to just let us back. The president explained that by that he meant the supplies of crude oil, steel, air transportation, etc. 'No one is our enemy in today's world, yet no one is especially waiting for us out there either. We must struggle for our place under the sun of economy'. Mr. Putin said, Russia must set more ambitious goals and achieve higher rates of growth and this must be supported by the whole nation. The President further said the objectives set by the government were far behind what was necessary so every resource must be used to heighten the potential of entrepreneurship. The principal task is creating conditions allowing Russia's citizens to make money enough to invest in domestic economy.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated