President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, in line with Russian legislation the Prime Minister is to report on the Government’s activities in the previous year. As I know, you are now working on this report.
“The Russian Federation has maintained the positive dynamics of economic development despite the complicated international economic situation.”
I would like to note in this connection that the Government of the Russian Federation has maintained the positive dynamics of economic development despite the complicated international economic situation. Although we are witnessing economic stagnation and even zero and negative growth indexes, the Russian Government has managed to achieve positive growth. I know that this is not entirely what the Government had planned; however, you have managed to show good results. Most importantly, you fulfilled all our social obligations.
The development of agriculture has been given significant attention, along with other economic sectors. I know that there have been quite a few debates regarding macroeconomic stability, which continue to this day. We will get back to this later today. Generally, many good, positive things have been done, though it is only natural for such a big job to also encounter setbacks. Now you must focus on the problem areas, tackle all the challenges that we come across and move on to develop our economy and the social sphere.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, you are absolutely right in saying that last year, despite the rather complicated international economic situation we have managed to achieve economic growth, which is good. It is not as great as we expected, but this is forward movement nevertheless.
Unfortunately, all the problems in the global economy and our internal issues, including structural ones, have clearly remained this year. However, the Government will do everything to achieve the main goals and implement the programmes that we have: beginning with the strategic Presidential Executive Orders, the main directions of the Government’s activities and through to the state programmes.
“Only a few years ago it was hard to imagine that agriculture would become such a powerful instrument in the development of our economy, but this is what we are seeing now, and it is a very good indicator that our efforts have not been in vain.”
This will require significant resources; however, despite what some people are saying, it is clear – I would like to assure you now, and I will say this in my report to the State Duma – that we have the resources necessary to meet all our social commitments. Challenging as they are, these commitments will all be met in every detail, including salaries and support for the social sphere. We will implement everything we have planned.
We will also work hard to stimulate further industrial growth and modernisation, despite the overall complicated economic situation and the tough situation in industry. Attention will also be given to investment into agriculture.
In the past ten years, agriculture has turned into a driver of the country’s economic development. We are hopeful there will be a good harvest this year. I will speak of all this to the State Duma deputies, pursuant to the Constitution.
I would also like to touch upon what you said regarding the macroeconomic situation and the debates that are underway. Generally speaking, we are drafting proposals for discussion with the President.
Vladimir Putin: Only a few years ago it was hard to imagine that agriculture would become such a powerful instrument in the development of our economy, but this is what we are seeing now, and it is a very good indicator that our efforts have not been in vain and we are creating additional opportunities for overall development.
Dmitry Medvedev: We are a country that was destined by God to have a strong agriculture. It has always been so and it is our duty to do everything for the development of rural areas.