Today, Russians will have an opportunity to have a real conversation with President Vladimir Putin by means of a special phone hotline.
Russians will have a chance to pose their questions to the country's leader live through several TV channels: "Russia", "ORT" as well as through "Mayak" and "Radio Russia" radio stations. A conversation with the president will be broadcasted live starting at 12:00 PM Moscow time.
Live video communication with Kremlin will be enabled by means of special portable antennas installed in numerous towns and villages throughout Russia. Everyone will have an opportunity to pose a question to the President not only live but also in advance.
The following is a phone number that can be dialed from anywhere in Russia: 8-800-200-40-40. A phone call from any mobile or feral phone is free. Questions can also be asked through the Internet at www.linia2003.ru.
This is President's third time to have an open conversation with Russians. Putin has kept his last year’s promise. A hero of the Russian Federation, for instance, has been issued Russian citizenship. A little girl has asked Putin for a real Christmas tree. Her wish had been granted.
Last year, information center received about 800,000 phone calls from enthusiastic Russians, reports "Echo of Moscow". Questions tend to vary. Some of them are quite traditional about politics, Chechnya, economy and so on. Others appear to be rather personal.
President Vladimir Putin answers:
Q: Isn’t it the time to end with privatization and begin nationalization?
A: I think the question is related to results of economic policy of 90ies. I have my own opinion. When the country begun the privatization, when we switched to market economy, we thought the new owner would be more effective. It is usually that way. But there’s one thing about this: in developed economics there exist an well-organised administration system; company’s effectiveness is directly related to the social problems of the country. We have a lag: even well-working companies do not provide money to the state budget. But we have to go other way: not to end the privatization, but work for better administration, so that effects of well-working firms would be of benefit to every citizen.
Q: Some politic parties used slogan “Russia for Russians” in their propaganda, despite provoking national hatred is prohibited by law. Why those politicians were allowed to be on TV with such slogans?
A: It’s hard to remain silent of such people. Russia is a multinational country. They either don’t understand this, and then they’re just stupid fools, either, more likely, they’re provocateurs, who want to gain cheap capital on those problems. Prosecution has to react accordingly. Around 50 files were started in the last year for national hatred provoking, 20 of them went to the court. During this year already 100 files were lodged. I will definitely speak to our chief persecutor on this matter.
Q: During the last three years there were 12 acts of terrorism in our region (Stavropol). When will this be stopped? What can be done with this?
A: You’ve raised one of the most hurting problems. This is what other countries face too. Where’s the root of it? We often look towards Chechen problem. But it’s not only about Chechnya. There are people in the world who owned a right to thing that they can influence thinking of those people who profess Islam. And not only thinking: they believe they have a right to control territories of Muslims’ compact living. We have such territories in Russia, and attention of internationalterrorist is at these citizens of ours. They used problems of USSR crash and of what happened in Chechnya.
In fact they have aims not to make Chechnya independent, but to separate Muslims’ territories from Russia. We will not let this happen, otherwise our situation would be worse than was in Yugoslavia. It would be Islamization of Russia in its worst way.
We should not let this. Last events on Caucasus show that the band being followed is only half consisting of Chechens. Others are various Caucasian nationals, Arabs. Some terrorists are also Russians, Ukrainians, even Germans and other European citizens. We should not bend under their pressure, or panic, but to act consolidated and rough. The enforcement bodies have to do their job better too.
Q: What are the main threats to Russia in the XXI century?
A: The foremost threat is lag in economic development. If we would not raise the rate of economic development, we’re doomed to backlog.
Q: Will there be a mechanism against corruption in the executive power bodies, in persecution and court offices?
A: Just recently I’ve got back to this topic many times. I think we’ve to take steps besides roughing policies in this area. What I mean? We have to start administrative reform. The less opportunity has an official to intrude into decisions, the better. Laws should be straight in actions, courts have to be transparent. There is already a mechanism of self-clearing in courts. I hope for the recently approved laws greatly.
Q: What do you think about the right politicians’ failure in recent elections?
A: Their failure doesn’t make me glad. It’s the result of their late years’ politics. It is their faults in tactics and strategies of elections campaign. Union of the Right Forces wasn’t short in administrative resource, if you bear in mind Anatoly Chubay’s position of CEO for RAO UES. I hope this failure would not make them disappear from political arena.
Q: Americans finally captured Hussein. But I think it would not better situation in Iraq, and another Vietnam can become of it. Will there be chaos, how do you think?
A: We’re not interested in the USA losing their fight against international terrorism, we are their partners in it. But Iraq is a special case, there were no international terrorists there under Hussein. Use of force out of one’s borders can be allowed only by UN Security Council sanctions, this is international law. Hence everything done without such sanctions can not be approved as legitimate, neither be justified. And it is speaking softly. But in the history of humankind great countries, empires, have always suffered a number of problems: feelings of invulnerability, of greatness, of infallibility. This has always worked against them. I hope it wouldn’t happen to our American parners.
Q: What do you think about extending the presidential term and possibility for three and more terms?
A: I am opposed to this.
Q: The year is running out. What do you expect from the coming one?
A: It’s a natural question. I think we have to ask a question in return: what do we expect from the government, why do we need the state? There can be dozens and more answers. But it seems to me that I count on to be understood. We expect the state to raise our well-being, make our life secure, supported our children’s’ future. There are basis things in today’s world in absence of which it’s impossible to achieve. The state now has to provide rights and freedoms for its citizens. Nothing at all canbe done without this. Strengthening democracy has an applicable value for Russia.
Nothing can also be done without effective economic development. There’s plan for raising people incomes, pensions, wages and overall economy development rate is to rise. But we need to support basis things. We have to go on with tax reform, lower the taxation burden. Value-added tax will be lowered by 2%, the trade tax of 5% will be fully abolished. We need to correct both taxation and budget codices.
Finally, vary important questions are those on more effective use of natural resources. We need to stop wasting national resources.
There’s a need to substantially widen credit schemes.
We’ll be strengthening army, and hence Russia’s position in the world.
And of course, battle with poverty.
We need to work hard, consistently, with all the strength. I want to believe these problems would be solved.
more to follow shortly
early Q&A review:
Russia needs defence industry, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised conference, answering a question of Kirill Borodulin, a worker at a ship-building plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the Far East.
In recent years "proceeds from weapons export have been growing and have amounted to several billion dollars annually," Putin pointed out.
"The fact that you work for export is a positive factor," the Russian leader emphasised. He recalled that last year the country had adopted a programme of weapons production till 2010, and next year a similar programme for 2005-2015 is to be worked out.
At the same time, "recent financing has been complete and dynamic", he added. The President hopes that the programme of army re-equipment will be carried out in full, he said.
In the near future Putin intends to visit Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted a positive sign - an increase in the birth rate in Russia, reports RIA “Novosti”.
The President hopes that the Russian government and the State Duma will work well together.
On the question regarding the Duma and Russian government relationship, Vladimir Putin commented in the following way.
"The well-being of every Russian citizen will depend not only on the routine work of the State Duma and the government, but also their contribution to the development of the state," the Russian head of state announced in a televised conference Thursday.
Vladimir Putin believes that the development of the mortgage system will end the problem of dilapidated housing in Russia.
Live on air, a Siberian miner, who lives in a dilapidated house in a dangerous zone where work is carried out, asked the President when the housing problem would be solved.
"The problem has mounted up for decades," said Vladimir Putin, reminding those present that Russia had 89 million square metres of dilapidated housing.
"A few years ago, the state did not allocate any funds to deal with this," the Russia leader said. "Three years ago, only about 200 million rubles were allocated." (1 dollar is worth approximately 30 rubles).
"This year, we allocated 1, 300, 000, 000 rubles from this budget for the first time," Putin stressed. According to him, another 50% should be added to this figure by the regions.
The head of state assured the press that the same figure would be allotted next year.
Source: Lenta.Ru, RIA Novosti