President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, friends, colleagues,
I would like to start by thanking you for our joint work and delivering on the objectives Russia has had before it.
The past six years were very busy, packed with new challenges and extraordinary developments both in Russia and around the world.
The Government and the executive in general faced a broad range of issues and matters, from current affairs to non-standard and often emergency situations. We had to act with resolve and consistency, be ready to assume responsibility and implement the decisions that were taken based on up-to-date approaches.
There is no doubt that you have lived up to this task. Your work as a team was laudable, which is of course due to a large extent to the efforts by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
What matters the most is that all these years the country has been developing. The country did not just respond to the challenges that emerged along the way but moved forward and broadened its opportunities. Specific undertakings, projects and initiatives to develop the economy, social protection, defence, security and public governance all added up to form the potential for quality changes, enabling us to articulate new, even more ambitious goals.
The Government was guided in its work by the May 2012 executive orders. Yes, there were challenges in this area, and not all indicators were achieved in full. This is inevitable when you engage on a large-scale and long-term project. But the situation was constantly changing, creating new objective factors. Let me reiterate that we do see tangible results and momentum. Change is underway. We have set the strategic development vector on the right path.
As I said in my Address, life expectancy is an integral indicator showing not only the development of a country but showing people’s well-being too. It has been increasing in Russia over the past years. This is a sign of qualitative changes when it comes to healthcare, education as well as the way housing and other problems are addressed.
New opportunities for people, for Russian families include additional demographic development measures, a programme to relocate residents from dilapidated housing, almost a hundred percent availability of kindergartens, and the nationwide network of Multifunctional Service Centres which deliver modern and comfortable public services to citizens.
Other key results are the growth of wages in the public sector, enhanced prestige of the jobs of teachers, doctors and workers in other spheres that are crucial for the country’s future. Pay in these fields must grow.
Generally speaking our key task for the coming years is a sustained increase of people’s real incomes. A solid basis for this exists. The economy has become more stable, it has coped with the sharp drop of oil prices, the attempts to bring pressure through sanctions as well as global market fluctuations.
The government has overcome the economic slump and achieved recovery and revival in many sectors. On the whole the economy is entering a growth trajectory.
We have managed not only to ensure stability and effectively create a new low-inflation macro-economic reality. This is the most important joint achievement of the Government and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation which paves the way for further development, launching of major infrastructure and industrial projects and, coupled with measures to improve the business climate, for the work of small and medium-sized businesses.
And of course, a special mention should be made of the Government’s work to integrate Crimea and Sevastopol in the country’s socioeconomic space, and prompt solution of the problems that the people in the region face.
A distinctive feature of this Government is openness and readiness for dialogue, constructive interaction with the parliament and the regions, reliance on the civil society, the building of feedback mechanisms and the commitment to broadening people’s participation in the country’s affairs.
It is important to preserve and develop such modern approaches and in general ensure continuity and consistency in the country’s development, as well as put in place a clear-cut schedule during the period the new government is being formed. I count on your support, responsibility and professionalism.
I would like to once again thank Prime Minister Medvedev, his deputies, ministers, and the heads of government departments, the Government staff for their teamwork, dedication, responsibility and diligent work.
Thank you for your attention. Thank you.