President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,
We agreed a while back to hold regular meetings and discuss in an informal atmosphere the problems of concern to our country and people today. Today’s meeting continues this series of discussions.
I propose of course that we discuss the Address to the Federal Assembly I delivered last week. It raised many important and complex issues for our country. So I propose that we run through these issues and have thorough consultations on each of them, giving you the opportunity to state frankly the positions you have as leaders of the parliamentary factions. We will also discuss the development of the political system of course. We could discuss the ten initiatives for developing the political system that I set out in the Address, as well as the proposed adjustments to provisions in the Constitution, and proposals concerning the social sector, in particular education, schools, and healthcare, including the medical insurance system, which is especially relevant for people today.
I think we should also definitely discuss the financial and economic situation taking into account the crisis that has spread around the entire world and has created a mass of complicated problems for our country too. The Government is addressing this situation and taking the necessary decisions.
I would like to thank the State Duma for working quickly on adopting the measures aimed at stabilising the financial situation. We need these laws today. Some of them have already been passed. It is entirely likely that further laws will be required.
Another subject that we usually discuss is the international situation. We met just after the events in August, and I would once again like to thank all the Duma factions for their consolidated support for the Russian Federation’s position following Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia. But the international situation is not becoming any easier. I think that we could have an exchange of views on these matters too. There is no limit therefore to the range of subjects we can discuss, but I do propose that we concentrate on the main points made in the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.