President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zhirinovsky, the year is coming to an end. I watched carefully the discussions and debates in the State Duma. I heard some of your speeches. Your speeches always stand out and I can see that both you and your parliamentary party faction have your own position. I know it does not always match the views of the Government but overall, the party holds a constructive position on key issues, for which I want to express my special appreciation. Please pass on my words to other members of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Head of the Liberal Democratic Party faction in the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: I expect to continue our constructive dialogue next year.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Yes, we are ready for this.
We are marking the 25th anniversary now. We were proactive participants in the adoption of the Constitution. Now everybody is content. Twenty-five years but who campaigned for it? The leftists said it was against the people while the right-wing pro-westerners claimed it was authoritarian. But we realised there was no other constitution. And the LDPR supported it with its votes, hence securing its approval.
It was thanks to the new Constitution that the State Duma elections happened. We won immediately because the people voted a party between the right and the left. And for the past 25 years, we have tried to pass laws that bring about only positive change.
This year, we passed a law that cancels roaming charges. The LDPR had been asking for it for ten years but the Government would not agree at the time. Now, finally, the law has been passed and it was our idea.
Now, animals. We constantly raised this issue urging the law to be passed. There must be a regulation because people are dying. Stray animals bite and spread diseases. Now, after eight years of advocating for it, the law has been passed.
Article 282. It does not affect everybody. However, there are people who suffered from it. They reposted something or posted a picture. So what? Now they have to go to prison for two years? This is not right. These laws may not affect the entire population but we fixed them. It was the LDPR that was working on it. We constantly raised those issues. I think it matters.
The budget is the main matter, of course. One can disagree on certain aspects, but Russia has now posted a budget surplus. In the second reading of the budget, we added education and healthcare funding. Therefore, there are some benefits in adopting these laws as well.
Roads have always been our favourite subject. We need a transport-oriented economy. Of course, we would like to exert maximum possible influence, and we need to build more roads.
Regarding housing, I spoke with you two years ago, and you suggested that a bank should have control over the money of the people who had been defrauded in participatory housing construction projects. Overall, this problem has already been resolved to some extent, although many institutions can still issue mortgages ahead of term. This is not very good because people might be defrauded again. Nevertheless, we protect the people, we work and we strive to help, so they know that we care.
We meet with voters. We do not organise street rallies just for the sake of rallying, because we see any street rally as a cause for concern. We can see the situation in France: everything is burning merrily, and looters are running loose. The same can be said of other countries, does not matter which.
As far as Russia is concerned, negative emotions flare up when people take to the streets. Therefore, we should work indoors, so that people can meet and talk in a warm room. They will always voice some critical opinions. This happens all over the world: children reject their parents, and the middle-aged generation rejects the younger generation and the older generation. This is the way it has always been and will be in the future.
If you have the time, the LDPR will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. This is a far cry from the 100th anniversary of the Soviet era, that was all stained in blood. If you have time, but I know that you do not have enough time…
Vladimir Putin: Nevertheless.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: But if you do not have a lot of time, an hour and a half would be enough.
Vladimir Putin: All right.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Or topical brochures containing some interesting ideas of our analysts about the West and the United States opposing Russia…
Vladimir Putin: I remember that you already mentioned a noteworthy subject that has something to do with the federal districts.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Yes, we suggested this idea even before the executive order was issued; all this exists.
Vladimir Putin: Let us discuss your high-priority agenda for 2019.