Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Putin: Russia did not start in 1917 or 1991

In his first post-election Address to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on fundamental issues of Russia's progress, "for the present and for the future of Russia."

The President stressed that he had expressed Russia's position in all areas of work in a series of his pre-election articles. "In these documents, all our plans are described in detail, sometimes with numbers and deadlines," said Vladimir Putin. He explained that there was no point to return to what has been said before. One needs to discuss additional fundamental issues of Russia's advance.

One of them is the question of Russia's entry into a new technological level. "A country that will not be able to get into the circle of developers of new innovative technologies, is doomed to dependence and not only that. The share of the global pie, which its businesses and the people of these countries get, will be much less than that of the leaders," said the head of state.

Patriotism and responsibility

In recent decades, the Russians have made an important step in recovering the value of their private interests, he said. But "working for yourself" has its limits," the President said. " One can not achieve prosperity, if there are ruins, disorder and insecurity outside your house. One not live separately without helping the poor, without expanding the responsibility beyond one's family, professional group or association."

More citizens of the country come to realize this, said Putin. "It is civic responsibility and patriotism, in which I see the consolidating base of our policy, - he said. - Being a patriot means treating your history with love and respect, and it's not only that, although, of course, this is very important. First and foremost, it means serving your society and the country."

Patriotism and responsibility should be formed by everyday actions of the authorities, rather than slogans.

Russia should be a sovereign country, and it must be expressed in the preservation and growth of the geopolitical relevance of our country, in the demand of Russia on the part of its neighbors and partners in the economy culture, science and education.

The outlook for the active population

At present, the share of young and active population in Russia is one of the highest in the developed world. "Right now, we are able to open lifelong perspective for these generations, to have good and interesting jobs, to build business, acquire housing, create large and strong families, raise and educate many children and be happy in our own country," said the president. If we do not do this, in a few decades Russia will turn into a "poor, hopelessly aged (in the literal sense of the word) country that will be unable to preserve its independence and even its territory," said Putin.

Demographic programs adopted in the past decade work, noted the President. He stressed out that additional benefits will start to be paid from 2013; regional population programs will be launched. "I am convinced that a family with three children should be a norm in Russia. There is a lot to be done to make it work," he said.

In this regard, Vladimir Putin paid attention to the development of the network of preschool institutions, professional retraining for women with children, their employment and flexible forms of employment. "We have a unique opportunity to fundamentally solve another long-standing Russian problem in the next decade - the housing problem," said the president.

In addition to issues of demography, the President touched upon issues of healthcare, the development of mass physical culture and sports.

Finally, "we set a goal to create and upgrade the 25 million jobs by 2020, - said Vladimir Putin. - This is a very ambitious and difficult task, but we can solve it. We can help people find good and interesting work. High-quality jobs will be the engine of growth in wages and living standards. This is the main line of our attack, so to speak. We need to revive engineering schools and the training of skilled workers. Generally, one needs to pay more attention to people of labor."

History is not limited to 1917 or 1991

In his speech, Putin touched upon the issue of "revival of national consciousness." We need to link the historical eras and return to the understanding of one simple truth - Russia did not start in 1917, not even in 1991. We have a single, unbroken, history of thousand years, relying on which we find the inner strength and sense of national development," he said, prompting applause from the audience.

The president said that Russia originally developed as a multinational state, sealed by the Russian people, Russian language and Russian culture. "It is with great care and respect that we treat every ethnic group, to every people of the Russian Federation - we should and will be treating them so. But we must not forget that any nationalism and chauvinism cause direct damage to the people or the ethnic group, whose interests supposedly concern nationalists most," he stressed.

"We will not let closed ethnic enclaves appear in Russia with their informal jurisdiction," said Putin.

Migration issues

"Russia needs an influx of new forces," said the president, however, pointed out that existing rules do not contribute to this process. In this connection, Vladimir Putin put forward three initiatives: to develop an accelerated procedure for granting Russian citizenship to compatriots, the carriers of Russian language and culture and direct descendants of those who were born in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Those wishing to relocate to Russia will have to abandon the previously acquired citizenship.

On the other hand, the president said, one should toughen the punishment for illegal migration and violation of the rules of registration. Also, not later than 2015, one should allow entry to Russia for foreign citizens exclusively on foreign passports, rather than internal passports of their states. Of course, this restriction will not affect the Customs Union.

Continuing political reforms

Russia's political choice is democracy, the president said: "Russian democracy is the power of the Russian people, with its own traditions of national governments, and not the implementation of the standards imposed on us from outside." "Direct or indirect foreign interference in our internal political processes is unacceptable, - said Vladimir Putin. - An activist, who receives money from abroad for their political activity, thus serving somebody else's national interests, can not be a politician in the Russian Federation."

Among domestic initiatives, which the president pointed out, including the following: to give members of the Federation Council and State Duma deputies the right of legislative initiative in legislative assemblies of their regions; to ensure equal access of political parties to the media; to return to a mixed system of elections to the State Duma.

In addition the president offered to think about the possibility of revisiting the idea of election blocs.

"All this can make our political system more fair, open and competitive," said Putin.

New model of public administration. To outlaw accounts abroad

A new model of public administration in Russia, according to the president, should be based on the transparency of power on all levels and the results of work that would be clear to the general public. New control methods, based on public opinion, should be introduced everywhere. Employees of state and local government agencies should be motivated to high-quality performance of their duties: a competitive salary, a system of moral, physical, career promotions. However, "the level of remuneration of the heads of organizations that are financed from the budget, must be linked to the quality of the organization and to the average wages of basic personnel."

"If a person has chosen public service, he or she should be ready for restrictions, public scrutiny, for fulfilling specific requirements, as it is practiced in almost all countries of the world," said Putin.

In this connection, he appealed to lawmakers to support the bills limiting the rights of officials and politicians to foreign accounts, stocks and shares. "This requirement should apply to all officials taking key decisions: the heads of state and government, officials of the Administration of the President, their immediate family. This, of course, should also apply to members of the Federation Council and State Duma deputies," said Vladimir Putin." As property abroad, it must be declared in accordance with law, and officials must submit a report on the cost and the origin of income that allowed him to make the deal," said the president.

In addition, Vladimir Putin proposed a practice whereby parliamentary parties should be entitled to nominate candidates for the positions of Chairman, Deputy Chairman and auditors of the Accounts Chamber; to change the work principles of supervisory bodies - in particular, to introduce public reports on the results of inspections and checks, as well as on the financial and human resources spent on the checks.

Eliminating offshore zones in the economy

Nine out of ten significant transactions concluded by Russian companies, including state-owned companies, take place outside the Russian jurisdiction, Vladimir Putin said. "It takes a system of measures to de-offshorize our economy." "I entrust the government to make appropriate proposals on this complex issue," said the head of state.

For the full-fledged development of the country, we need to strengthen our position in space, nuclear energy, to revive key industries: aviation, shipbuilding, instrument-making. Of course, this should happen on a new basis, a new level, on a new technology, he said.

"We have already started to rebuild our national electronic industry, including with the active participation of private capital. I believe that we need to prepare a "road map" for the development of new industries ... It goes about composite and rare earth metals, biotechnologies and genetic engineering, IT technologies,  new urban development, engineering and product design," said Putin."

Development of territories, the financial basis of local government

"We need to build and strengthen the economic base of territories, to help those who work proactively in the regions. As part of immediate steps, the bulk of taxes from small businesses will be handed over to themunicipal level. Moreover, many federal benefits on taxes on property and land for legal entities will be canceled. These funds will also be wired to regional and local budgets," Putin said addressing the Federal Assembly.

The president called it a priority to achieve a twofold increase in the road construction during the next decade. "There should be a real breakthrough achieved in the construction of roads," Putin said.

The list of priorities includes regional aviation, maritime ports, the Northern Sea Route, Bailak-Amur Railway, Transsiberian Railway and other transit corridors. "We need to ensure transport connectivity in the full sense of the word - the unity of the entire Russian territory," said Putin.

Anton Ponomarev


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