Journalists, bloggers, editors-in-chief and heads of federal media organisations are discussing the implementation of national projects and other topical issues as part of the media forum organised by the Russian Popular Front.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
I am happy to see all of you.
I believe this is the sixth event of this kind and I would like to thank the Russian Popular Front for not just initiating it but keeping it going and, I think, really promoting the cause that we all serve – improving living standards.
Obviously – I have already said these generalities at previous meetings, but I think it will do no harm to reproduce them again – you are the closest to the people, you feel, understand and see with your own eyes what is happening at the local level. And it is extremely important to give you an opportunity to bring what you see, feel and understand to all levels of government, including your humble and obedient servant, to the Government of the Russian Federation, to governors and local government.
This is especially important today, because we have already launched major national development projects in key areas: construction, demography, healthcare, housing and so on. You already know them well.
I have said this many times and will repeat it again, the main funds are earmarked from the federal budget but the biggest developments should take place at the local level. Therefore, it is very important to see what is happening there and whether these funds are properly spent.
What we need is not just to spend the money but to see the results of this investment and make sure that the people see them. We must develop and consolidate this country, make it powerful, comfortable, and with prospects for the future.
At this point I would like to complete my opening remarks so as not to water down what you want to and could say. I asked my colleagues from the Government to come here as well. So I suggest planning our work today in the following way: you will express your views, your positions, formulate your ideas and proposals, and I will address my colleagues from the Government, ministers and department heads. Then we will discuss with you what could be done, what is premature for the time being and what is too difficult to carry out, including from among your proposals. But I rely on them very much. Thank you.