The discussion focussed on measures to support the Russian economy, particularly the use of the National Welfare Fund.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
The Government has compiled a plan of immediate action aimed at ensuring economic and social stability and is starting its implementation.
We have already discussed these issues on numerous occasions. I know you and the parliamentarians are actively working on them. The plan’s top priority is support for industrial and agricultural production, the banking system, the labour market and small and medium sized businesses. However, the principal issue, of course, is to ensure qualitative economic growth, keeping in mind system-wide tasks and diversifying the economy – the plan covers all these matters.
We have to proceed from the fact that we will certainly need additional resources. I am referring to the difficult times we are going through now. Just as in the past, when we came across problems on the external market, we turned to our reserve funds, including the National Welfare Fund. I would like to remind you that as of January 1, 2015 it amounts to 4 trillion 388 billion rubles.
At the same time, as you may know, a large part of these resources have been placed in various financial instruments, including 169 billion rubles worth of Ukrainian government bonds, which equals $3 billion. They are due in December of this year.
We should first of all use these funds for our own needs. We already considered what could have a system-wide, complex effect on the economy of the Russian Federation. These are primarily major infrastructure projects – something we have also considered on many occasions.
At the same time you all know quite well that in the current situation far from all co-investors, especially the private ones, will be able to support the implementation of all our plans. Therefore, we must carefully consider what the state can and should do in these conditions.
Let us analyse all this and come to a final decision.