The President heard the reports made by the Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin and Governor of St Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko on aid to the families of the victims of the plane crash in Egypt.
Taking part in the meeting were Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Aide to the President Andrey Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
I asked you to get together to discuss matters dealing with our social and economic agenda for the next few years.
I would like to note here that the purpose is not only to overcome negative developments in the economy – we are now proceeding from the idea that we have reached a certain balance – our job is more complicated: we need to restore positive dynamics, achieve stable growth rates, ensure a balanced budget and maintain the trend towards reducing inflation.
The conditions we operate in are, of course, constantly changing, and changing very quickly. In this connection, as I have already said before, I find the Government’s decision to form the budget for one year feasible. It is now undergoing an advisory study at the State Duma, where discussions have already begun.
At the same time, our plans to develop the economy are not designed for a year, but for 2–3 years, for a longer period. All measures directed at strengthening the industrial base, the infrastructure, education, healthcare and other spheres should of course be coordinated with our budget and financial policy.
Therefore, already today we need to look beyond the horizon of the year the budget covers and assess our development possibilities and prospects – both external and internal. We should ultimately achieve an optimal balance between resolving development tasks and retaining the financial safety margin while complying, of course, with all our social commitments.
As you may know, work has begun on the Address [to the Federal Assembly]. The Address is a product of joint efforts. Without the Government or the Central Bank, it cannot be done professionally, in a way that would allow us to join the efforts of all branches and levels of power to achieve our development targets. Let us consider this today.
However, before we tackle the main topic that brought us together, I would like to ask our colleagues whom I have invited here deliberately – these are Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin and St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko – to tell us what is being done primarily to fulfill our social commitments to the families of the victims of the plane crash in Egypt.
Vladimir Putin: The entire country has shown great sympathy for the families of the victims. However, special thanks go to the residents of St Petersburg. It was clear that the people sincerely shared this great feeling of sorrow. We need to ensure that the people who have found themselves in this difficult situation do not feel lonely and receive the necessary care and attention.