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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, Mr Kudrin,
I wanted to inform you that I have just signed the law on the federal budget for the next year and the 2012–2013 budget plan.
Our national and economic priorities have not changed. Our main goal is economic modernisation: we are working to make our economy more modern and effective, more open to investment. This requires us to spend budget funds to the extent planned. Our other priority is to maintain the budget’s social focus despite the crisis.
As we have discussed on a number of occasions at the end of 2008, 2009, and now, at the end of this year, we have managed to maintain practically all of the social gains achieved over the last decade. I think this is very important for preserving social peace and stability in our country and ensuring that people see that their lives are getting better, even if only a little every year.
We also should keep our attention too on national security and defence. We are trying to build friendly relations with everyone who wants this, whether neighbours near or far, and are trying to develop our relations with NATO too, but this does not mean that we must disarm, for sadly, this is not the way the world works.
We are therefore carrying out our approved state armaments procurement programme and programme for modernising our armed forces. We have spoken much about this and have taken the difficult decision to put substantial investment into this sector. I hope that this investment will help us to carry out all of our planned efforts to modernise our armed forces and law enforcement agencies in general. It is essential that these modernisation efforts encompass not just the military component per se, but also security and ensuring law and order too. This is the goal pursued by my latest initiatives to set a new legislative framework for our police, investigative agencies and other bodies. I ask you to pay the closest attention to this.
Deputy PRIME MINISTER AND FINANCE MINISTER ALEXEI KUDRIN: Mr President, next year’s budget will be executed in full, and we have all the conditions we need for this: stable inflow of revenue, and stable planning of all of the decisions required this year and early next year in order to execute the budget.