Putin Delivers Annual Address to Federal Assembly in
Video and Transcript
Russian President Vladimir Putin is delivering his
annual address to the Federal Assembly of Russia in
Moscow. Both houses of the Russian Parliament, members
of the government, as well as other officials and public
figures have gathered at the Kremlin’s St. George Hall
for the event.
"I certainly count
on joining efforts with the United States in the fight
against real rather than fictional threats,
international terrorism being one of them."
Posted December 01, 2016 -
Putin Speech Begins at 9 Minutes 37 seconds
President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Good afternoon colleagues, members of the Federation
Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,
as usual in these annual addresses, I will speak about
our tasks in the economy, the social sector, domestic
and foreign policy. This year’s address will focus
particularly on the economy, social issues, and domestic
to address all of these different matters in complicated
and highly unusual conditions, which is not a unique
event in our history. The people of Russia have shown
convincingly once again that they can rise
to the difficult challenges and protect and defend their
national interests, sovereignty, and independent course.
I have already said publicly on other occasions what
I want to say today, but let me say it again now.
have united around patriotic values. We see this unity
and we should thank them for it. They have united around
these values not because everyone is happy and they have
no demands, on the contrary, there is no shortage
of problems and difficulties. But people have
an understanding of their causes and, most importantly,
are confident that together we can overcome these
problems. It is this readiness to work for our country’s
sake and this sincere and deep-seated concern for Russia
that form the foundation of this unity we see.
expect at the same time to have broad and equal
opportunities for self-realisation and for making
reality their business, creative, and civil initiatives.
They expect respect for their person, their rights,
freedoms, and labour.
The principles of justice, respect, and trust are
universal. We are consistent in defending these
principles on the international stage, and, as we see,
not without result. But we must put the same effort into
guaranteeing these principles here at home, with regard
to every individual and to society as a whole.
any injustice and untruth very much to heart. This is
a distinguishing feature of our culture in general. Our
society resolutely rejects arrogance, conceit, insolence
and selfishness, no matter in who they see it. Our
people place greater value on qualities such
as responsibility, high moral standards, concern
for public interests, and readiness to listen to others
and respect their opinion.
reflected in the election campaign that took place this
year. As you know, I supported in my 2012 Address
the idea of returning to a mixed model for elections
to the State Duma. This was a principled step towards
meeting public opinion’s demands.
that our course of developing the political system,
the institutions of direct democracy, and of making
elections more competitive is completely justified,
and will certainly continue.
Duma has bolstered its role as a representative body
and the legislative branch of power’s authority has
strengthened in general. We must support and confirm
this with concrete action. This concerns all political
forces represented in the parliament.
Russia, of course, bears particular responsibility here.
Incidentally, the party is celebrating its 15th
anniversary at this time. United Russia has
a constitutional majority in the State Duma and is
the Government’s main support in the parliament. We must
organise work together in such a way as to ensure that
all promises and commitments made to our people are
decided the election campaign’s result and chose
the road of constructive development. They proved that
we live in a healthy society that is confident in its
fair and just demands, has ever stronger immunity
against populism and demagogy, and values highly
the importance of solidarity, closeness and unity.
I am not
talking, of course, about any kind of dogmas or a false
unity put on for show, and I am certainly not talking
about imposing a particular world view. We have already
gone through all of this in our history, as you know,
and we have no intention of returning to the past.
does not mean that we can juggle eloquent words and use
talk of freedom as a cover for insulting others’
feelings and national traditions.
might consider themselves more progressive, intelligent
and cleverer than someone else, but if this is the case,
be respectful towards others, and this would be
the natural thing to do.
At the same
time, I think it is unacceptable to take an aggressive
attitude in return, all the more so if it degenerates
into vandalism and breaking the law. The state
authorities will respond with firmness to such cases.
the Council for Culture will meet, and we will certainly
discuss these issues that provoke broad discussion,
and will talk about the principles of mutual
responsibility of civil society representatives and arts
But let me
emphasise that whether in culture, politics, the mass
media, public life, or in debates on economic issues, no
one can ban freedom of thought and the freedom to openly
express one’s position.
Let me say
again that when we speak of solidarity and unity, what
we mean is conscious and natural consolidation of our
people in the interests of Russia’s successful
possible to achieve major strategic goals
in a fragmented society? Is it possible to resolve our
tasks with a parliament that instead of productive work
spends its time on competing ambitions and fruitless
develop successfully on the shaky foundation of a weak
state and apathetic government controlled from abroad
and that no longer has the people’s trust? The answer is
years, we have seen a number of countries where this
kind of situation has opened the road to adventurists,
coups, and ultimately, anarchy. Everywhere, the result
is the same: human tragedies and victims, degradation
and ruin, and disappointment.
worrying to see that around the world, even
in the seemingly most prosperous countries and stable
regions, we witness the emergence of an ever greater
number of new divisions and conflicts on political,
ethnic, religious and social lines.
This is all
unfolding against the background of the very serious
migration crisis that countries in Europe and elsewhere
face today. We know well the consequences that these
great upheavals can bring. Unfortunately, our country
went through many such upheavals and their consequences
in the 20th century.
2017, will mark the 100th anniversary
of the February and October revolutions. This is a good
moment for looking back on the causes and nature
of these revolutions in Russia. Not just historians
and scholars should do this; Russian society in general
needs an objective, honest and deep-reaching analysis
of these events.
This is our
common history and we need to treat it with respect.
This is something that the outstanding Russian
and Soviet philosopher Alexei Losev wrote about. “We
know the thorny road our country has travelled,” he
wrote. “We know the long and tiring years of struggle,
want and suffering, but for our homeland’s sons, this is
all their native, inalienable heritage.”
I am sure
that the vast majority of our people have precisely this
attitude towards their homeland, and we need history’s
lessons primarily for reconciliation
and for strengthening the social, political and civil
concord that we have managed to achieve.
unacceptable to drag the grudges, anger and bitterness
of the past into our life today, and in pursuit of one’s
own political and other interests to speculate
on tragedies that concerned practically every family
in Russia, no matter what side of the barricades our
forebears were on. Let’s remember that we are a single
people, a united people, and we have only one Russia.
the basis of our entire policy is to take care of people
and increase human capital as Russia’s most important
resource. Therefore, our efforts are aimed at supporting
the traditional values and the family, at [implementing]
demographic programmes, improving the environment
and people’s health, and promoting education
I cannot but say a few words about what is happening
in reality, about what we have here and what we have
achieved. The natural population growth continues.
In 2013 –
the demographers have the term fertility rate – it was
1.7 in Russia, which is higher than in the majority
of European countries. For example, it is 1.2
in Portugal, 1.3 in Spain and Greece, 1.4 in Austria,
Germany and Italy, and 1.5 in the Czech Republic. These
are 2013 figures. In 2015, the total fertility rate will
be even higher in Russia – 1.78 – the rise is slight but
it is still a rise.
continue to introduce changes in the social sphere so
that the system meets more of people’s expectations
and needs, and becomes more modern and just. The social
spheres should attract skilled professionals
and talented young people. That is why, we are raising
specialists’ salaries and improving their working
Let me note
that competition to enrol in medical and teacher
training universities grows steadily (whereas not so
long ago it was hovering around zero). In 2016, it was
7.8 persons for the teaching professions, and after
the 2016 enrolment the general competition
for state-financed openings was almost 28 applications
per opening. God grant all of them – the young
specialists – good health and success in their future
well how my colleagues and I discussed hi-tech medical
aid projects and networks of perinatal centres, which we
lacked at that time. In 2018, Russia will have 94 such
doctors save newborns in the most complicated cases. We
have reached the level of the advanced countries
in these indicators as well.
in 2015, Russia’s infant mortality indicators were 6.5
per 1,000 live births, whereas the European Region
of the World Health Organisation had 6.6; this means
that our [indicator] was slightly better. After 10
months in 2016, Russia reached the level of 5.9.
the past decade, the number of high-tech medical
services has increased by a factor of 15. Hundreds
of thousands of complex operations are performed not
only at the leading federal centres but also at regional
hospitals. While in 2005, when we launched
the programme, 60,000 people in Russia received
high-tech medical assistance, in 2016 the number will be
900,000. It is also essential to move forward. Still,
compare: 60,000 and 900,000. Some difference.
we will need to introduce mechanisms to ensure stable
financing of high-tech assistance. This will make it
possible to make it even more accessible and reduce
waiting time for operations.
On the whole – to put it bluntly – problems
in the healthcare sector remain and there are still
plenty of them. They are related mostly to the primary
care level. Its development should be given priority.
are often confronted with waiting lines, a perfunctory
attitude and indifference. Doctors are overworked and it
is difficult to get an appointment with the required
specialist. What often happens is that outpatient
clinics are provided with the most modern equipment but
medical specialists simply lack qualifications to use
next year, regular retraining programmes will be
organised at federal and regional medical centres
and universities. A specialist will now obtain
an advanced training voucher and will be able to choose
where to undergo training.
also continue to enhance the IT level of the public
healthcare system to facilitate the procedure
of scheduling doctor’s appointments and keeping records.
It is important to free doctors from routine tasks, from
the need to fill in bundles of reports and statements
and give them more time for attending to patients.
technology will also be used to significantly tighten
oversight over the market of vital medications. This
will make it possible to get rid of counterfeit
and illegal products and deal with inflated prices
in the procurement of medications for hospitals
and outpatient clinics.
connecting all of our country’s hospitals and outpatient
clinics to high-speed Internet over the next two years.
This will enable doctors even in a remote town
or village to use the advantages of telemedicine
and quickly receive consultations from their colleagues
at regional or federal clinics.
like to bring this to the attention
of the Communications and Mass Media Ministry.
The Minister has assured me that this task is absolutely
realistic and feasible.
mentioned this in my Address, and the whole country will
now follow the issue carefully.
Russia’s geography, its vast expanses and certain poorly
accessible areas, Russia needs a well-equipped air
ambulance service. Next year, the air ambulance
programme will cover 34 of the country’s regions, which
will receive funding from the federal budget.
of all, I am referring to Siberia, the North and the Far
East. For this purpose (the parliament members should
know this, as it was partly their initiative), in 2017,
we will allocate 3.3 billion rubles to pay for aviation
services as part of the air ambulance development
project (the proposal should be adopted in the second
in every corner of our great country, children have
to be able to study in a pleasant, user-friendly, modern
environment, so we will continue the programme
for the reconstruction and renovation of schools. There
will be no more rundown and dilapidated school buildings
with no basic amenities.
necessary to finally resolve the problem of the third
shift, and hopefully eliminate second shifts as well. We
should certainly make extra effort to improve
the qualifications of teachers. As you know, a programme
is being implemented to expand the number of students
served by educational institutions in 2016. This
programme is planned for 2016−2025, with 25 billion
roubles envisaged annually.
Incidentally, we all know that it is primarily
the regions’ responsibility. However, we decided
to support the regions in this important initiative.
Overall, from 2016 to 2019, we plan to create 187,998
new openings for students in schools.
At the same
time, the greatest concern for parents and teachers,
and the general public as well is the content
of the educational process and how well school education
meets two basic goals that Academician Dmitry Likhachev
listed: to give knowledge and to foster morality. He
rightly believed that morality is the basis that
determines the viability of society: its economic,
public, and creative sustainability.
certainly important to preserve the depth and solidity
of national education. Compositions have been returned
to the school curriculum, and more attention is being
paid to the humanities.
the hours of tuition according to the school curriculum
will clearly not be enough here. We need projects
in the theatre, cinema, television and museums,
and on the Internet, that are of interest to young
people, that attract the attention of young people
to the national classical literature, culture
must promote creativity. The children must learn
to think independently, work both on their own
and as part of a team, address unusual tasks
and formulate and achieve goals, which will help them
have an interesting and prosperous life.
experiments have been held in Russian schools
and abroad. We should consider experiments carefully,
but we certainly must move forward. We must promote
the culture of research and engineering work.
of cutting edge science parks for children will increase
to 40 within two years. They will serve as the basis
for the development of a network of technical project
groups across the country. Companies, universities
and research institutes should contribute to this, so
that our children will see clearly that all of them have
equal opportunities and an equal start in life, that
Russia needs their ideas and knowledge and that they can
prove their mettle in Russian companies
We can see
the success of the Sirius educational centre for gifted
children. I believe that we need a network of such
centres, and I propose that the regional authorities
consider creating centres for gifted children at their
best universities and schools.
At the same
time, there are several things I would like to stress.
Our education system must be based on the principle that
all children and teenagers are gifted and can succeed
in science, in creative areas and sport, in careers
and in life. Our task is to help them develop their
talents. When they are successful, Russia is successful
I view the young generation as Russia’s reliable
foundation in a turbulent and complicated 21st
century. I believe that they are able not just to rise
to challenges but also to make their contribution
to the development of the intellectual, technological
and cultural agenda of global development.
It is not
surprising that so many students at schools
and universities take part in volunteer projects in such
vital areas as patient care, assistance to the seniors
and people with disabilities, education, sport, culture,
local history, search parties, and the protection
of nature and animals.
a trait of our times that large numbers of people are
now ready to contribute to all kinds of charity
initiatives, such as petitions on social media
and in the media to collect funds for treating the ill
or helping children. Many people are quick to respond
to such calls and do so sincerely without seeking
to gain any profit.
it is even surprising to see that people who do not make
that much money have the urge to help those in need.
the Civic Chamber and the Agency for Strategic
Initiatives to become proactive in supporting volunteer
organisations, charities and non-profits. Through their
commitment and generosity, people who contribute to such
projects promote collective efforts that Russia needs so
much right now. They create significant social potential
that must be used effectively.
necessary to remove all barriers that undermine
the development of the volunteer movement, and also
provide every assistance non-profit organisations might
need. The key decisions in this respect have already
been taken. Starting next year, non-profits with
the required experience will be authorised to provide
social services funded from the budget.
I would now like to call on many of you, and I want
to be sure that governors and municipal authorities hear
what I say. I ask you not to be, as they say, greedy,
to refrain from working only with state-run
institutions, and enable non-profit organisations
to provide social services as much as possible. It is
very important to establish cordial relations with
people. I propose that we all keep an eye on these
What we all
want is to improve the quality of social services
by engaging non-profits in this sphere. I instruct
the Government and the Parliament to finalise efforts
to devise a clear legal framework for non-profit
organisations as providers of socially important
services and establish requirements in terms of their
competence, without creating additional red tape,
of course. We must value the people’s demanding, engaged
and proactive attitude in this respect.
like to once again address many of you with the appeal
to not hide in your offices and not fear dialogue with
the people, but go to meet them, speak with them
honestly and openly, and support their initiatives. This
is particularly important on urban development issues
and matters concerning preserving the historical
appearance and creating a modern living environment.
Unfortunately, such issues are sometimes decided
in the corridors, and when this happens, it is hard not
to ask, “Are you sure that what you are proposing, based
only on the opinions heard in officials’ offices, is
the best proposal? Is it not better to consult with
the people and ask them what they want to see in their
streets, yards, parks and embankments, sports fields
and children’s playgrounds?”
we will send 20 billion rubles for urban development
programmes to the regions, including in the single
industry towns. It is a matter of principle that
residents should take part in deciding how this money
should be spent and which projects should take priority.
I ask the Russian Popular Front to take an active part
in this work too. We need to organise effective
oversight of this work so as to ensure the concrete
results that people want to see, and we must support
people who wish to join in these urban development
important that civil society takes an active part
in deciding issues such as improving environmental
protection legislation, protecting rare plant and animal
species, and establishing a humane system for dealing
with stray animals.
declared next year, 2017, the Year of the Environment.
I am instructing the Government to draft programmes
for protecting such unique symbols of Russia’s nature
as the Volga, Lake Baikal, and Lake Teletskoye in Altai.
the country, we need to clean up polluted areas
and clear the dumps that have grown up on the outskirts
of many towns, as we heard recently from Russian Popular
Front activists. This problem exists not just in big
towns but also in small settlements.
and St Petersburg are already carrying out large-scale
road modernisation programmes. Starting next year, we
will begin similar projects in other big cities too,
in urban areas that are home to around 40 million
people. Over the next two years, at least half
of the roads should be modernised. I will not go further
into the details now. The decision has been taken
and the needed funds earmarked. Now, we just need
to work effectively.
also pay the needed attention to important federal roads
and to building the bridge to Crimea, which is
an infrastructure project of national importance. This
bridge’s construction is going to schedule.
two years ago, we encountered serious economic
challenges and a difficult situation on global markets.
We found ourselves facing sanctions that were an attempt
to get us to dance to another’s tune and ignore our own
fundamental national interests.
But let me
say again that the main reasons for our economic
slowdown are to be found above all in our internal
problems, and above all in the lack of investment
resources, modern technology, professional human
resources, insufficient competition, and shortcomings
in our business climate. The real sector of the economy
has stopped falling now and we have seen a small
increase in industrial production. Last year, our GDP
fell by around 3.7 percent, but I think that this year,
the figure will be small. Over the first 10 months
of 2016, it came to 0.3 percent, and I think the final
figure will be close to this.
programmes for a number of industrial sectors, including
the housing market, have played a big part. I will say
more about this now. We see the increase in industrial
production, and it is small, but the trend is a positive
one and we should certainly work now to keep it going.
the housing market, more than 85 million square metres
of housing came onto the market in 2015. This was
a historic record for our country.
housing must be sold now, and of course, we need
to increase people’s purchasing power. I will say more
about this too, in relation to our mortgage support
continue to provide targeted assistance to economic
sectors still facing a negative situation. I already
mentioned that modest growth in industrial production is
seen a slight overall decline in the automotive
industry, although trucks have shown an increase of 14.7
percent, light commercial vehicles, up 2.9 percent,
and buses, up 35.1 percent. In railway engineering,
there is a 21.8 percent growth, and freight cars are up
26 percent. Agricultural machinery and equipment have
shown very good momentum, 26.8 percent. The light
industry is also demonstrating an upward trend.
ensured macroeconomic stability, which is very
important, and have maintained financial reserves.
The Central Bank gold and currency reserves have not
decreased, but have even grown. Whereas on January 1,
2016 they totalled $368.39 billion, now they stand
at $389.4, almost 400 billion. Here, too, we can see
a significant decrease in inflation by the end of this
year, to below 6 percent. Here, too, I would like
to cite a few figures. If you remember, the inflation
rate in 2015 was 12.9 percent. I hope that it will not
rise above 6 percent this year, will stop around 5.8
percent. Obviously good, positive dynamics.
to remind you that the lowest inflation rate was
recorded in 2011, 6.1 percent. I will repeat, this year
it might be even lower. This means that next year, we
could really achieve the target of 4 percent. This is
a very good prerequisite for achieving substantial
growth relying on a healthy economy.
I would like to emphasise that stabilisation does not
mean an automatic transition to a sustainable recovery.
If we do not address the underlying problems
of the Russian economy, if we do not launch new growth
factors at their full force, it will stagnate for years,
and we will have to constantly scrimp and save, to delay
development. We cannot afford that.
follow another path, which requires a clear statement
of objectives and phased, system-based work towards
achieving these objectives. This approach has yielded
significant positive results more than once,
and in a fairly short period of time. There was a time
when we thought our agriculture issues would exist
forever. We know what was said about this and how it
offended our farmers when we spoke about agriculture
as a kind of black hole that can swallow any amount
of money and still produce no results. No, it turned
out, even that sector could be rearranged. We found
weighted solutions, adopted a state programme, created
a flexible system of support for agricultural producers
and agribusinesses, and today farming is a successful
industry that feeds the country and is gaining
as the proverb goes, every cloud has a silver lining.
Our partners imposed the sanctions I mentioned, and we
took measures in response and at the same time ended up
helping our agricultural producers on the domestic
market. They should remember though that this cannot
and probably will not continue forever, and in any case,
consumers need a competitive market environment. Our
producers should therefore make the most of the current
Agricultural produce exports bring in more revenue today
than arms exports. Only recently, we would probably have
scarcely imagined such a thing possible. I have already
spoken publicly about this and can say it again here
today. Incidentally, as far as our arms exports go, we
are still a serious contender on this market. Our
exports came to $14.5 billion in 2015, and our
agricultural produce exports came to $16.2 billion. This
year, we expect a figure of $16.9 billion, which is very
good. Let’s thank our agriculture sector workers
for this result.
depends on the regions when it comes to developing
the agriculture sector. I think we should give them
greater independence in setting the priorities for using
federal subsidies for the agriculture sector. The volume
of subsidies should be pegged to increases in cultivated
land, yields, and other quantitative indicators
of effective production. This would encourage producers
to bring idle agricultural land under cultivation
and start using advanced agricultural technology.
I want to stress that if we give the regions more
independence in using federal budget money and federal
support, this places greater responsibility on them
for producing results, effectively investing
the resources received, strengthening their own economic
base, resolving social problems and problems
in the housing and utilities sector.
to give our farmers greater opportunities for finding
markets, we need to pay greater attention to supporting
agricultural cooperatives. I ask the Agricultural
Ministry, Rosselkhozbank and Rosagroleasing to work
on this matter, as well as the Corporation for Small
and Medium Business Development that will receive
a capital injection of 13 billion rubles next year.
carried out far-reaching modernisation at our defence
industry enterprises. This has resulted in increased
production and, particularly important, in a significant
increase in labour productivity. The defence industry
has posted very good results and gives a good example.
In 2016, we expect growth in the defence industry
to reach 10.1 percent, and a labour productivity
increase of 9.8 percent.
direct the defence industry to produce up-to-date
competitive civilian products for healthcare, energy,
aviation and shipbuilding, space exploration and other
high-tech industries. The share of civilian products
must increase to at least one-third of the defence
industry’s total output within the next 10 years.
recently held a meeting on this issue, or rather several
meetings, and I want to share our plans with you.
In 2016, civilian goods will reach 16.1 percent
of the defence industry’s output, and we plan
to slightly increase this percentage by 2020.
The increase will be relatively small because
the Defence Ministry has placed many rearmament
contracts with the industry. The share of civilian goods
will reach 30 percent in 2025 and at least 50 percent
the Government to organise systemic work to achieve
these goals with support from our development
institutions, including Vnesheconombank (VEB),
the Russian Export Centre and the Industry Development
industry is one of the most rapidly developing sectors,
which is heartening. Russian IT companies have doubled
their exports over the past five years. I have just
cited the figures for the defence industry
and agriculture: the figure for the defence industry is
$14.5 billion. Our IT exports were almost zero only
recently, but they have risen to $7 billion now.
industry has also improved other performance indicators,
such as revenue and tax payments, in part due to reduced
insurance payment. The Finance Ministry has not
recommended me to say that all these achievements were
due to incentives, and so I am telling you that we also
used other support instruments, although it should be
admitted that incentives are very important
for supporting our IT companies. This instrument has
allowed them to effectively use their innovative
intellectual potential. At the beginning of their
development in 2010, the IT companies’ tax payments
amounted to slightly over 28 billion rubles, while two
years later the figure reached 54 billion rubles. You
can judge the growth for yourself. Considering
the incentives, the national shortfall in revenue was
only 16 billion rubles. In other words, even the federal
budget benefited from the IT companies’ growth.
To maintain this positive trend, I propose that we
extend these incentives to 2023. I am confident that
the IT industry can become one of our key export sectors
within 10 years.
On the whole, we have good potential for increasing
non-commodity exports. At the same time we see
protectionism growing in the world and, unfortunately,
trade barriers being raised. I can tell you that
I recently had a meeting with my colleagues in Lima,
Peru and we discussed world trade issues. One
of the main problems is growing protectionism. But what
does this mean for us? It means that we should fight
for access to external markets more actively
and decisively. Intense international competition will
temper and strengthen our economy and ensure Russian
companies reach a new level of efficiency, the quality
of goods and services and labour productivity.
The examples I cited earlier show that we are already
changing the economic structure in a focused way,
modernising corresponding sectors and creating new ones,
and establishing modern companies that can work
on international markets. It is essential to continue
moving in this direction systematically and assertively.
What is needed are not abstract scenarios, which are
mostly irrelevant, but a professional, thoroughly
calculated development forecast. It is important
to define clearly how a better business climate, major
investment projects, an expansion of non-commodity
exports, and support for small and medium-sized
businesses will contribute to economic growth and what
the role of regions and particular production sectors
the Government, together with the leading business
associations, no later than May 2017, to develop
a detailed plan of action through 2025,
the implementation of which will make it possible
to achieve economic growth rates higher than
in the [rest of the] world as early as 2019−2020,
and therefore strengthen Russia’s positions
in the global economy.
and gentlemen, to reiterate, it is important that this
plan be supported and trusted by the business community
so that entrepreneurs become actively involved in its
implementation. Today, there is obviously a growing
demand in society for an expansion of economic freedoms
(we have talked about that more than once), stable,
steady and predictable rules of doing business,
including the tax system.
It may be
recalled that in 2014 we took the decision not to change
the existing tax requirements for business over the next
four years. We did not review them despite the changes
in the economic situation and that, without a doubt, has
had a positive impact on companies’ performance.
At the same
time, we should steer our tax system to work toward
the main objective: to stimulate business activity,
ensure economic growth and investment, and create
a competitive environment for the development of our
companies. It is necessary to streamline the existing
fiscal benefits, making them more targeted, and abandon
that within the next year we carry out a detailed
and comprehensive review of proposals to fine-tune
the taxation system, and we should by all means involve
business associations in this effort. Despite
the domestic political timetable, we still need to draft
and adopt in 2018 all relevant amendments to laws
and the Tax Code so that they can come into force
on January 1, 2019, setting new, stable long-term rules.
At the same
time, I am asking the Government to explore ways
to improve mechanisms that guarantee stability
of the budget and public finances, while delivering
on all our commitments regardless of external factors,
including the price of oil and gas.
we have overhauled the legal framework that regulates
business activity. At the current stage, it is important
to ensure that the adopted provisions are enforced,
especially in the regions. Let me draw your attention
to the fact that in every region of the country
the basic services provided to businesses, such
as construction permits, infrastructure access and so
on and so forth, should be consistent with
the requirements as per the federal laws and the best
we discussed this issue during a recent meeting held,
I believe, in Yaroslavl. This issue cannot be treated
superficially. This is an extremely important area
for our joint work. We will monitor developments
in the regions very closely and evaluate the performance
of regional authorities using these indicators. This is
a major task that has to be achieved as early as next
year. By doing so, we will make sure that all Russian
regions operate within a single business environment
and all provide quality services to the business
years now, we have been discussing the issue
of streamlining the activities of supervision
and regulatory bodies. Beginning next year, they will
become much more transparent by releasing to the public
data on who inspects whom, how frequently, and what are
the results achieved.
provide an opportunity to promptly respond to abuses
and every violation of entrepreneurs’ rights
by an inspector. I will not go through the list of all
the decisions that were adopted to this effect. There
are quite a few of them, so all we need is to make sure
that they are implemented. We must do away with
instructions that have nothing to do with the quality
of services or security, while creating unsurmountable
barriers for businesses.
Let me draw
to the Government’s attention that the regulatory
and supervisory bodies should speed up their work
to introduce a risk evaluation-based approach that makes
it possible to reduce substantially the number
of inspections while making them more effective. I add
that the inspection bodies should concern themselves not
just with identifying violations, but also with
prevention, and not just through formal measures, but
in substance and, particularly important, provide
consultative assistance to entrepreneurs, especially
to those who are just starting their business.
already given the direct instruction to make sure that
self-employed people’s work is not considered unlawful
business activity. We should not start creating problems
for these people for invented pretexts. In order
to exclude the possibility of this kind of situation
arising, I ask you within the coming year to formulate
a clear legal status for self-employed people and give
them the chance to work in calm and regular fashion.
person engaged in honest business, whether self-employed
or as hired labour, should know that the state
authorities and society are on their side. Justice is
not about putting everyone in exactly the same
conditions. It means giving people greater freedom,
creating conditions for pursuing activity that brings
respect, prosperity and success. Everything that limits
these opportunities and violates people’s rights is
year’s Address, I spoke about pressure on business from
some people in the law enforcement agencies. This sort
of action often leads to successful businesses
collapsing and people having their assets taken from
to thank the deputies for supporting the draft law that
considerably toughens criminal penalties against law
enforcement personnel for fabricating cases, including
with the aim of hindering the work of businesspeople.
to say a few words about the fight against corruption.
Over recent years, we have seen a fair number
of headline-making cases against officials at the local,
regional and federal levels. I stress that the vast
majority of civil servants are honest and decent people
who work for the good of our country. But neither one’s
office, nor connections in high places or past services
can serve as a shield for corrupt officials. At the same
time, and I want to stress this point, no one has
the right to pronounce a person’s guilt or innocence
before the court has delivered its verdict.
Unfortunately, it has become common practice here
to raise a fuss in the media over these
headline-grabbing cases. We see that people from the law
enforcement agencies are often also guilty of this.
I want to stress the point that the fight against
corruption is not a show. It requires professionalism,
and a serious and responsible approach. Only then will
it produce results and receive society’s broad support.
it is obvious that the external constraints and domestic
borrowing rate increase have reduced the availability
of financial resources for businesses and individuals.
Nevertheless, the banking system has been able
to replace foreign loans to our companies and stabilise
the situation, and this is an obvious fact.
Now we need
to reinforce business activity, the implementation
of major economic projects, the available funding,
especially since inflation is going down as I already
said – this creates objective conditions for making bank
loans cheaper. I repeat, the situation has improved
slightly, but only for individual sectors. Overall,
lending to the economy is still showing unstable
827 billion rubles into the banking system as part
of the 2015−2016 anti-crisis support programme.
According to estimates, this resource allowed banks
to significantly increase lending to the non-financial
the volume of these loans has not grown this year, but
even went down slightly. I know about the calculations
in rubles and in foreign currency, but the decline is
still there, even taking into account the exchange rate
difference. I would like those experts who believe
the exchange rate differences are important to take note
is clear that the ruble rate has changed against
the dollar and the euro, and this must be taken into
account, but even with this in mind, all the same,
the decline in lending is evident.
certainly no doubt that we need to stimulate lending
to the real sector. But the key question remains, what
methods and means should we use to do so? Obviously,
only stable banks with a solid capital reserve are
in a position to develop lending.
Russian banks have regained their profitability.
The sector’s profit for the 10 months of last year was
193 billion rubles, and rose almost four-fold, to 714
billion rubles for the same period this year.
Furthermore, thanks to the Central Bank’s consistent
and decisive efforts, the banking system is being
cleared of outfits that break the law, violate clients’
rights, and carry out dubious financial operations. Many
of them, at least the weak players, have left
the market. The Central Bank has made an effort to clean
up the banking system and continues this work now. This
forms a good foundation for rapid pick-up in the economy
and for developing lending to the real sector.
of countries have offered banks incentives to stimulate
lending to the real sector of the economy. Some
countries are also discussing the possibility of setting
limits on how much borrowed funds banks can place
in financial instruments.
I am not
saying that we should copy blindly everything that is
done abroad, all the more so as the Russian economy
and its structure differ considerably from other
countries that are taking these measures, but we can
and should analyse these practices and borrow what would
be suitable here.
countries, a non-banking financial sector works with
success. We should develop this sector here too, as this
would enable us to bring more money from investors
and citizens into the economy through bonds and other
something we have been discussing for quite some time
now. I hope that the Central Bank and the Government
will draft proposals on developing the financial market.
Of course, this work should focus on our economic growth
tasks and any changes made should not lead
to the emergence of macroeconomic imbalances
or to bubbles in the economy.
It is very
important to support lending for small businesses. This
lending continues to fall for now. What additional steps
should we take to change this? The financial authorities
think that this situation can be remedied.
for reasons of the scale and complexity of their
operations, apply strict requirements in accordance with
international standards (some experts think that these
standards are overly strict for our situation, but let’s
not go into the details of this debate now), but small
regional banks that carry out the vital function
of lending to small businesses and the general public
usually have simpler banking operations and so could
work according to simplified regulations
and requirements. These banks account for only 1.5
percent of total banking assets, and so this would not
create any risks for the banking system as a whole. This
kind of differentiated banking system regulation would
enable clients to go to the bank that best suits their
needs, and small businesses would not have to compete
with big companies for credit resources.
our fundamental requirement has not changed: each level
of the banking system must be healthy and stable, so
that the clients and investors will be confident
of the safety of their funds.
to move up to a higher development level in the economy
and social sector we need our own advanced research
and scientific solutions. We must focus on the sectors
where a powerful technological potential is accumulating
for the future, that is, digital and other cross-cutting
technologies that now determine all spheres of life.
The countries that generate such technologies will get
a lasting advantage and an opportunity to generate huge
technological revenues. Those who fail to do this will
be placed in a dependent and disadvantaged position.
Cross-cutting technologies are technologies that can be
applied in all sectors, such as digital, quantum,
robotic, neural and other technologies.
should be wary of the inherent risks of the digital
technology. We must strengthen our protection against
cyber threats and greatly enhance the stability of all
infrastructure elements, the financial system and state
launching a large-scale system-wide programme to develop
an economy of a new technological generation,
the so-called digital economy. We will rely on Russian
companies and Russian scientific, research
and engineering centres to implement this programme.
national and technological independence, in fact, our
future depend on this. We need to conduct an inventory
to remove managerial, legal and any other barriers that
hinder the advance of our business to existing
and emerging high-tech markets. We must allocate
sufficient financial resources for these projects,
including by setting this task to the refurbished VEB
(Bank for Development).
need skilled personnel, engineers and workers, who will
be ready to fulfil next-generation tasks. This is why we
are cooperating with businesses to create an up-to-date
system of secondary vocational education and college
and vocational school teacher training based on advanced
increase the percentage of state-financed students
at engineering, IT and other key departments on which
our economic development depends. Next year, our leading
universities, including in the regions, will establish
competence centres, which will provide intellectual
and personnel support to projects that are connected
with the emergence of new sectors and markets.
research is a powerful factor in accumulating scientific
and technological expertise required for economic growth
and social development. It faces a dual task: to assess
and predict future trends and offer the best solutions
to the emerging challenges.
just as in every other sector, we will promote
competition and support the strongest, those who are
able to produce practical results. The Russian Academy
of Sciences and all research organisations should take
this into account. We will continue building
the research infrastructure that will allow us
to perform large-scale scientific tasks.
laboratories have already been established under
the mega grants programme. It would be no exaggeration
to say that they are operating on a global level. They
are led by scientists who determine the trends of global
scientific development (incidentally, many of them are
our compatriots who went abroad in the past).
I met with a group of such researchers. Now many of them
are spending most of their time in Russian laboratories.
They are successful and enjoy their work. They can see
for themselves that Russia is setting interesting
scientific tasks, and creating a sound research base
and decent working conditions.
of course, people have the right to understand that
there is a horizon of work and planning and in this
context I would ask you to ensure long-term funding
for productive research projects, in particular, using
the resources of the Russian Science Foundation.
It is very
important to support Russia’s talented young scientists
and there are many of them. They should have
an opportunity to establish their research teams
and laboratories. A special category of seven-year
grants will be launched for this purpose. Another 3.5
billion roubles will be allocated for these purposes,
as well as the development of the research
infrastructure and the opening of new laboratories
in 2017 alone, in addition to the already announced
budget for science.
to say, the activities of research centres should be
closely integrated with the education system,
the economy and high-tech companies. We must turn our
research projects into successful commercial products.
This has always been a weak spot for us. A lot of time
passes from developments to their introduction
and sometimes even… This applies not only to our time,
and not even to the Soviet time. Things were the same
in the Russian Empire. We must overcome this trend
and we can do this. To resolve this issue, we launched
the National Technology Initiative two years ago. It is
called upon to ensure the leading positions for Russian
companies and products in the most promising markets
of the future.
all of what I said now, all of these priorities are set
out in the National Science and Technology Development
Strategy. I have signed the executive order approving
know that we have encountered attempts to pressure us
from abroad over these last years. I mentioned this
twice. They have used every means: from spreading myths
about Russian aggression, propaganda and meddling
in others’ elections to persecuting our athletes,
including our Paralympic athletes.
as I said, every cloud has a silver lining,
and the doping scandal, I am sure, will help us to put
in place the most advanced system here in Russia
for fighting this scourge. I say this based on the fact
that our national doping prevention programme will be
ready at the start of next year.
What I want
to say is that everyone has more than had their fill now
of media campaigns carried out to order, the fabrication
and publication of compromising material, and moralising
lectures. If need be, we can lecture whoever, but we
understand our responsibility and we have a sincere
desire to take part in resolving global and regional
problems, in situations, of course, where our
involvement is fitting, wanted and needed.
We do not
want confrontation with anyone. We have no need for it
and neither do our partners or the global community.
Unlike some of our colleagues abroad, who consider
Russia an adversary, we do not seek and never have
sought enemies. We need friends. But we will not allow
our interests to be infringed upon or ignored. We want
to and will decide our destiny ourselves and build our
present and future without others’ unasked for advice
At the same
time, we desire well-intentioned and equal dialogue
and we affirm the principles of justice and mutual
respect in international affairs. We are ready
for a serious discussion on building a stable system
of international relations for the 21st
century. Sadly, the decades that have passed since
the end of the Cold War have been wasted.
security and development opportunities not just
for the select few, but for all countries and peoples,
and we support respect for international law and global
diversity. We oppose any monopoly, whether it be a claim
to exceptionality or attempts to bend the international
trade rules to suit one’s own needs, limit freedom
of speech and, in fact, introduce censorship
to the global information space. We were always
reproached for supposedly imposing censorship here
in Russia, but now we see that others are taking this
proactive in promoting a positive agenda
in international organisations and informal
associations, including the UN, the Group of Twenty
and APEC. Together with our partners we also promote our
own frameworks, such as the CSTO, BRICS and the SCO.
Further strengthening cooperation within the Eurasian
Economic Union and with other CIS countries has always
been a foreign policy priority for Russia.
attaches great importance to the idea of building
a multi-level integration model for Eurasia in the form
of a Greater Eurasian Partnership. We are already
discussing this idea on various international
and regional levels. I am confident that we can have
conversation with the European Union countries, where
the demand for political and economic independence is
currently on the rise. This is what we see judging
by election results.
great potential for Russia in terms of cooperation with
the Asia-Pacific region, as we saw at this year’s
Eastern Economic Forum. I ask the Government to make
sure that all decisions regarding the development
of the Russian Far East are implemented without
exception. Let me reiterate that Russia is proactive
in its Eastern policy not because of any momentary
considerations we may have, not because of the cooling
in relations with the United States or the European
Union, but for the reason that it serves Russia’s
long-term interests and is consistent with the global
challenging environment, the comprehensive partnership
and strategic cooperation between Russia and China have
become one of the key factors in ensuring global
and regional stability. This partnership can be regarded
as a model for shaping a world order free from
the domination of a single country, no matter how strong
it is, and taking into account the interests of all
countries in harmony.
China is about to become the world’s largest economy, so
it is very important that every year adds new
large-scale projects in various areas, including trade,
investment, energy and high technology, to our mutually
a special privileged strategic partnership with India is
another major foreign policy priority for Russia.
In October 2016, Goa hosted Russian-Indian top-level
talks, confirming that our countries have great
potential for strengthening cooperation in a number
expects to achieve substantial progress in relations
with Japan, our eastern neighbour. We welcome
the commitment of the country’s leaders to promote
economic ties with Russia by launching joint projects
also ready to work with the new US Administration. It is
important to put bilateral relations back on track
and to develop them on an equal and mutually beneficial
between Russia and the United States in addressing
global and regional issues will benefit the whole world.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure international
security and stability, to strengthen non-proliferation
like to emphasise that attempts to break the strategic
parity are extremely dangerous and can lead to a global
catastrophe. We must not forget about it even
for a second.
count on joining efforts with the United States
in the fight against real rather than fictional threats,
international terrorism being one of them. That is
the task our servicemen are fulfilling in Syria.
Terrorists have suffered significant losses. The Russian
Army and Navy have shown convincingly that they are
capable of operating effectively away from their
permanent deployment sites.
By the way,
we also appreciate the work that special services
and divisions are carrying out inside the country
to combat terrorism. We have suffered casualties, too.
All of that is certainly in the focus of our attention.
We will continue this work. I want to thank all of our
military for their professionalism and dignity, their
courage and bravery, for the fact that you, Russian
soldiers, cherish your own and your country’s honour.
feel they are doing the right thing, they act in close
solidarity, and advance with confidence along the chosen
path. In recent years, we have had a hard time, but
these trials have made us even stronger, truly stronger,
helped us better and more clearly define those areas
in which our efforts must be even more persistent
overcoming the current difficulties, we have created
a foundation for further movement forward. We never
stopped working on the development agenda, which is
extremely important. That is, we did not get bogged down
in some trivia of the day, like dealing with survival
issues, but we thought about the development agenda
and contributed to it. This agenda is coming
to the forefront today.
The country’s future depends on us, on all our citizens’
work and talent, on their responsibility and success. We
will certainly achieve our goals, resolve the challenges
of today and tomorrow.
It is unacceptable to slander, smear or engage in personal attacks on authors of articles posted on ICH.
Those engaging in that behavior will be banned from the comment section.
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)