President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, tomorrow you are presenting an annual Government report to the State Duma. Thank you for the draft report. However, I would like to talk about the points you will prioritise in your speech at the State Duma. Perhaps we can go beyond 2017 and cover several years.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, indeed, this report to the State Duma is to a certain degree special.
First of all, this is the tenth Government report to the parliament. Second, I would like to present a picture of the country’s development not only over the previous year, as the Constitution requires, but beyond this period, for the period of cooperation between the Government and the State Duma of the previous and current convocations, which is almost six years. This was a very difficult period and the resulting picture is rather colourful.
We started with a period of economic recovery when everything was developing generally well. Then we faced some very serious problems due to both external factors such as energy price drops and the sanctions, plus domestic factors and some disproportions that have accumulated in the economy over the past decades.
Nevertheless, I will report to the parliament that overall, the economic situation post-2017 is stable and the macroeconomic indicators are at proper levels and are moving towards the goals set by the President.
Specifically, as you know, the GDP is growing – perhaps, not as fast as we would wish, but the growth is obvious and tangible. Our task is to maintain this. Inflation is at an absolute low, which gives us room to develop the loan sector in and for solving most crucial tasks.
The state debt, both domestic and foreign loans, is low, which is also conducive to stable economic development.
I would also like to note, to emphasise the fact that our social obligations for 2017 were carried out in full, as promised. The Government took as guidelines all presidential instructions and fulfilled them in full. Considering that this report is extended in nature, I would also like to tell the deputies that it is already possible to present some results of implementing the Presidential executive orders of May 7, 2012.
You have held several meetings on this, but it is still necessary to present the whole picture, including the most important indicators that have been reached, for instance those showing an increase in salaries for the categories that were mentioned in the executive order.
Despite difficulties and disproportions and the situation in some regions, the planned figures established by the executive orders have been achieved. I think that in general this is a very good result.
Vladimir Putin: But look, not everything has been done to 100 percent in every area. I would like to ask you to analyse this and discuss it with your colleagues.
Dmitry Medvedev: We will analyse this by all means, Mr President. Practically everything has reached the established level in this respect. True, this was done not in the end of the last year but in the beginning of this year. We managed to catch up on some things during the past few months. Naturally, these issues should be focused on in the Government. This is absolutely true.
Our industries, like chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and high-tech produced a number of good results in the areas also established by the relevant executive order. I will tell my colleagues, the deputies about all this.
There are some areas that need more work. In your Address you spoke about investment in fixed capital because for the time being growth in this investment is fairly sluggish. This needs to be resolved soon.
I would also like to inform the deputies of other issues based on the document you have in front of you.
Vladimir Putin: All right. I wish you good, positive and constructive work with the deputies in the State Duma.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr President.