Vladimir Putin: Mr Ulyukayev, I know that you are ready to join the Government Cabinet as economic development minister. You are someone with experience and have already worked in the government before. In what post exactly?
Alexei Ulyukayev: I was first deputy finance minister for four years.
Vladimir Putin: Four years in the Finance Ministry, yes, we all know just what a responsibility it is to be first deputy minister. You have been working so many years now in the Central Bank too.
I think that your ability and your work experience at the Central Bank, our main financial regulator and supervisory body, will be very useful indeed in your new appointment, given the ongoing discussions on the priorities in terms of developing the economy and ensuring high growth rates.
Mr Ulyukayev, what do you see as the priority tasks in your new job?
Alexei Ulyukayev: Mr President, first of all, I want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in me and for these kind words of yours.
I realise that I now have to live up to this confidence and I am well aware of the responsibility that we all bear, and of which I have my share too. The situation is certainly not easy. It’s one thing to take the helm when we have 7 percent growth, but quite another thing when we are barely managing 3 percent. I think that we have short-term and medium-term tasks to tackle. The short-term task is to prevent recession and ensure that the authorities fulfil all of their commitments to the public, to the country’s citizens, and then to lay the foundations for real and substantial long-term economic growth, so that the state can fulfil its commitments without having to resort to frantic last minute efforts and without having to worry about whether we will strike lucky or not and oil prices will be high or not. Rather, we need to rest our efforts on the guarantees of a diversified economic structure, clear and transparent incentives, and effectively functioning mechanisms. This applies also to long money and to investment possibilities.
”It is my deep conviction that investment is the solution, and we therefore need to make a common effort to ensure good conditions for private investment, support it with state investment, and ensure the best selection of projects.“
It is my deep conviction that investment is the solution, and we therefore need to make a common effort to ensure good conditions for private investment, support it with state investment, and ensure the best selection of projects, so as to achieve the level of demand and economic activity that will bring us high, sustained economic growth rates.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Ulyukayev, the Economic Development Ministry is one of the key areas of any government’s work, and of the Russian government in particular. How effective your work will be will depend a lot on the working relations you build with the State Duma, the Federal Assembly, the Presidential Executive Office, the Central Bank of course, and your colleagues in the Government, including your former colleagues from the Finance Ministry.
We have discussed at length how best to organise the economic side of the Government’s work. You took part in these discussions. But no matter how things are organised on paper, I take the position that you are all people united by common aims and goals, people who think and speak the same language. I wish you success.
Alexei Ulyukayev: Thank you very much.