During the meeting, Dmitry Medvedev announced that he had signed the law which establishes a system of social guarantees and increases the insurance premiums and lump-sum payments for Interior Ministry employees.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I would like to begin by congratulating you and all Interior Ministry officers, who are celebrating their professional holiday today.
We will have the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations later, because there is going to be a concert traditionally held on this day.
But first I wanted to talk to you and hear your opinions about your service in view of the changes in the Interior Ministry system, the aspects that you believe to have been beneficial and those that have not been so successful, what should be done to improve the regulatory framework as related to the investigation of crimes, that is, criminal legislation and criminal procedure, the legislation on investigating crimes and operations, and legislation on the social status of all those who serve in law enforcement bodies.
I would also like to tell you that I have signed a law that has been in the works for a long time, a law that is very important for everyone who serves in the Interior Ministry. I am referring to the law on social guarantees for the Interior Ministry officers and the consequent obligations associated with the financing of expenditures for the payment of salaries to all Interior Ministry officers. These funds have been provided for 2012 and for a period up to 2014.
This is a major change for our country, for all your colleagues and for some of those who serve in Moscow because the average salary will go up by 100% and pensions for Interior Ministry officers by 50%. We debated this for a long time; there were some budgetary issues involved but the decision has been made. The minimum wage for a lieutenant who has just started service will be 33,000 rubles ($1100). For the vast majority of Russian regions this is a very substantial salary, although the situation in Moscow is somewhat different because the standard of living is higher in the city. We will discuss this today as well. Nevertheless, it certainly should give a boost to all those who serve in the Interior Ministry and in Moscow, in our capital, as well as in other larger cities, where the average level has always been slightly higher than in other places. Incidentally, I also signed the law which establishes a system of social guarantees and increases the size of insurance premiums and lump-sum payments for Interior Ministry officers.
Not so long ago I held a meeting with the Ministry’s senior officers in Tver; there was a fairly extensive discussion, in the course of which we talked about amendments to legislation. I would like to say that I have issued all the necessary instructions. Mr Nurgaliyev [Interior Minister], please join in these efforts in the part that relates to the Interior Ministry, because some of the issues involve drafting new laws and you have the expertise required in this area, so get to work, please.
I am sure all of you understand the aims of the reform: the Interior Ministry should be an efficient, mobile, strong agency, disciplined and able to meet the challenges facing the law enforcement agencies in the entire world – the police and other Interior Ministry bodies. I am confident that we will succeed because these reforms are overdue; their implementation has not been completely smooth because change is never easy. On the other hand, there can be no alternative because all of us understand that the Ministry’s resources, let alone the incomes of those who serve in the Interior Ministry, have lately been lagging behind the living standards in our country and the demands that are made on such agencies around the world.
Today we have met in a showpiece department, the Interior Ministry Department for the Akademichesky District. I congratulate all of you working here on moving into the new offices. The department makes an outstanding impression. This is a modern office that you can be proud of and where you can work productively. As your chief has told me, almost all the staff have their own offices, which is excellent. I hope that we will see more and more offices like this around Moscow.
Are there two other sites that are about to open?
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin: This year we will complete two buildings which will house Interior Ministry departments for administrative areas of Moscow, and they will be even more impressive than this office here. In addition, there are plans to erect two buildings for district departments of the Interior Ministry.
Dmitry Medvedev: You see, this is Moscow. Construction here is harder and easier at the same time. In general, new modern premises must be provided across the country so that we don’t have any gaps or imbalances, when some parts of the country have everything while others are experiencing huge difficulties. We have to think about the people working in the system, your colleagues, and we must even out the conditions of service as far as possible. That is why we made the decision to transfer the funding for the Interior Ministry to the federal level.
I have already spoken out on this subject and I can tell you about it too. I believe this is a necessary measure but nothing in this life is absolute or final. Perhaps, in 10 or 15 years we will go back to the old system, but even in that case we will do it at a different level, where the officers will have high incomes, and at the same time we will be able to take into account each region’s needs, as it is often done in federative states. But that is not an issue for today or even tomorrow.