Later, the President and Prime Minister laid a wreath at the monument to Pyotr Stolypin, unveiled for the 150th anniversary of the statesman on the Svobodnoi Rossii Square. In July 2011, Vladimir Putin took part in laying the monument’s foundation stone.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
We have an excellent tradition to meet in this expanded format on the eve of the New Year holidays. It is an opportunity to review what has been done and to make short and medium term plans.
I would like to begin by saying that we have successfully completed the first stage in the formation of the complex system that the Government is. We have put together an effective and hard-working team of professionals.
This is above all the Prime Minister’s achievement, and I very much hope that with the awareness that this initial phase has been completed, all of you will begin to apply yourself to the full and use your intellectual, organisational and administrative capabilities to tackle the challenges that we face and bring the plans we drew up together to life.
I want to repeat what I have already said many times. First, during the elections, people voted not just for a particular candidate but for the programme that we formulated together, at least with a significant number of colleagues present here today.
Therefore, we must certainly focus on working together to fulfil the election promises. We cannot allow a situation where the Government is working on its own agenda, and the promises made to the country are pushed to the sidelines.
”We have successfully completed the first stage in the formation of the complex system that the Government is. We have put together an effective and hard-working team of professionals.“
This does not mean that the Government cannot propose its own ideas about the development of one sector or another. Under the Constitution, the Government is the supreme executive authority, with all the ensuing consequences.
One agenda should not push out another. We must not replace the programme we took to the polls with new goals and objectives. That's a fundamental matter because in some time we will have to report to the people for what we have or have not achieved, and explain why.
In this regard, I want to point out that the most important task, or one of the most important ones, is to improve the effectiveness of our efforts in every area: in formulating our medium term objectives, in the proposed measures for achieving these goals and in our work with the public.
Here I think that the Government is on the right track. You have created a very good environment and additional ways to communicate with the public, with public organisations and professional associations, and you have established the Open Government.
This openness must be evident in all our actions. This also applies to socially important, high profile matters, as well as our day-to-day efforts.
Another very important factor of success is coordination between ministries and agencies, between the Government and the Federal Assembly, between the two chambers of the Federal Assembly – the State Duma and the Federation Council – and between the Government and the Presidential Executive Office.
In the previous four years, we have built up a very effective system of interaction between the Presidential Executive Office and the Government. I hope that this tradition will continue in the future, during our entire term in office as accorded by the Constitution.
”During the elections, people voted not just for a particular candidate but for the programme that we formulated together. In some time we will have to report to the people for what we have or have not achieved, and explain why.“
I want to wish all of you a happy New Year and to thank you for your work over these past months. I hope that we will continue our joint efforts with the same attitude and professionalism, and let’s not forget that while the process is important, the crucial thing is the result.
We will work together towards the goals we have set, we will work effectively for the benefit of our nation.
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!
Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr Putin.
Mr Putin, colleagues, I would like to expand on what the President has just said. Indeed, the outgoing year was not easy, because we were forming the Government in 2012, and I’m here to tell you that we have effectively formed the Government in a short period of time. The Government is operating properly, and Mr Putin as President has played a very important role in this, because a lot in our country depends on the stance and the support of the President, including the coordinated work of the supreme executive authority.
Mr Putin has just mentioned our goals. These goals are very ambitious. These are perhaps the most ambitious goals formulated by the President, the Federal Assembly, and the Government over the past 12 years. Why is this so? Because it’s time to address these issues. Of course, I am absolutely sure that we must contribute to resolving the issues outlined in presidential executive orders, government programmes, and numerous other decisions that we have taken in recent years. There’s no place for doubt: we are all moving in the same direction.
The year 2012 was also difficult in financial and economic terms. Unfortunately, the global recession is still here, with many countries still plagued by it. The crisis has left its mark on the work of our Government as well. We had to draft a fairly tight budget. I believe that the introduction of a budget rule, although it was a not easy, was successful. Our current goal is to carry out all our decisions: we are to carry out our investment and social development plans, and make good on the promises that we made in the course of the election campaign and in all other policy documents.
I would like to thank Mr Putin for his support of the work in the new format, the work with civil society and experts, including the Open Government. Indeed, our people should understand what the Government is doing. People change, and they are no longer content with hearing about us in the news. They want to understand in detail what decisions are adopted by the executive branch, and they will judge these decisions by our achievements.
On behalf of the Government, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to Mr Putin. I wish all of us and our families every success in the New Year. We will continue to work together. Thank you.
”One of the most important tasks is to improve the effectiveness of our efforts in every area: in formulating our medium term objectives, in the proposed measures for achieving these goals and in our work with the public.“
Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev has just mentioned the budget rule. I would like to say that it was a highly professional and courageous decision of the Government, and the main thing is to carry it through.
The rule imposes certain budget constraints for a number of sectors, but we are aware and have spoken many times of the need to optimise performance in various fields. Virtually every sector has resources for optimisation. All we need is to work, to continue persistent efforts in this area. I am confident that you are absolutely on the right track. That is the first point.
Second, I want to make sure that there is no misunderstanding regarding the matter I referred to in the Address to the Federal Assembly, namely that we can open the Reserve Fund a little earlier than planned and use 100 billion rubles [$3.3 billion] for on infrastructure projects. This is not a wishlist of some kind and it is not intended to derail the budget rule. We agreed on this with the Finance Minister in advance and intend to take only concerted actions, which will always follow a number of formal procedures.
The total amount of accumulated reserves will exceed 9% of GDP by the end of the year. Overall, this sum is not sufficient for large-scale infrastructure projects. We must take some administrative measures. However, we can gradually begin this work while retaining all of the parameters that were agreed by the Government and various agencies and approved by the Prime Minister.
The main thing is that we must not go back on these agreements and we must make sure that various sectors and their leaders do not prevent the implementation of the fundamental decisions that have been adopted. I hope that the Prime Minister will not allow it.
Happy New Year!