RF President’s annual address to the Federal Assembly. Government, ministries and departments are to be reformed first of all

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an annual address to the Federal Assembly today. This solemn event took place in the Kremlin’s Marble Hall. In addition to members of the Federal Assembly, the President was listened to by members of the Russian government, foreign diplomats and hundreds of specially invited persons. The text of the President’s address, meant to determine the political course of the country for the next year, was kept a secret until the last moment.

The central subject of Putin’s speech was probably a deficiency of the administrative, legislative and economic systems. The President announced that the system of legislative and executive bodies itself, hampered reforms in the country. Putin called upon parliamentarians to start preparation for an administrative reform in the country. According to him, the government, ministries and departments are to be reformed first of all. Not only its structure and staff, but also (and primarily) functions should be modified, stressed the President. Restoration of the order between the federal and regions legislation was mentioned by Putin as an obligatory condition for the strategic development of the country. The strict division of powers between the Center and regions and territories must be guaranteed by federal laws, RBC reports. Vladimir Putin attracted the attention of the Federal Assembly to “the danger of progressive economic lag of Russia.” The head of the State reminded the audience that the economic growth slackened at the end of last year, and pointed to the fact that an unfavorable business climate remains in the country. Putin called upon deputies to actively implement structural reforms, so as not to enter an economic stagnation. According to the President, the main incomes are received from purchases of oil, gas, metal and other raw materials. At this, the received incomes are either wasted or invested in the same industry. As the first step, the President offered to change the present principle of hard currency restrictions. According to him, these measures not only affect the interests of Russian people, but also hinder the competitiveness of Russian businessmen. In the opinion of Putin, Russian citizens should not be prohibited from what is permitted for citizens of other countries in their motherland.

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