As part of his working trip to the Siberian Federal District, Vladimir Putin visited Omsk, where he chaired a meeting on socioeconomic matters.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
We will talk about issues related to socioeconomic development. We have just discussed the development problems in the Omsk Region and Siberia with the Governor.
But in my opening remarks, I will mention only one of the most serious current problems: the pension system reform proposed by the Russian Federation Government.
As is known, the Government launched an initiative to reform the pension system and submitted a relevant draft to the State Duma, which the parliament adopted in the first reading.
Of course, it was expected and sparked rather fierce debates in society.
It is understandable, because for everyone, especially for older people, a pension age rise is an important and sensitive matter which hardly anyone is going to approve of. This has always been the case when reforms like this were carried out. Always and everywhere.
At the same time, we must look at the real situation in the economy and the labour market. We must understand what awaits Russia in ten, twenty or even thirty years.
We agreed that, while preparing the draft law for the second reading, our colleagues in the Government would hold consultations with political parties, trade unions, civic organisations, regions and the expert community.
Today I would like to hear what amendments you propose to make to the draft law, following these discussions.
Of course, I, for my part, constantly monitor the discussions. I have my own opinion on a number of issues. I will speak about this later. And now I will point out the approaches I believe essential.
I understand that in developing the draft law, our colleagues in the Government followed strict economic, financial and demographic calculations. This is how it must be. It is important and necessary.
But please do not forget that all our decisions will concern millions of people, therefore, they must be fair and take into account Russian citizens’ interests. It is not enough to act in a formal and mechanical way. It takes careful and well thought-out action. It is important to consider and contend with very different life situations. The human dimension must be taken into consideration in the provisions of this draft law.
Of course, all the decisions to ensure the interests of older citizens, their labour rights, healthcare and social welfare, must be made in advance. We cannot follow the principle of Louis XIV of France who said “After us the deluge.” We cannot act this way if we have a responsible attitude towards our country.
Before we begin sharing our opinions, I would like to repeat: if these reforms are necessary, it is so that the Russian pension system can do more than just live up to today’s realities. Also, it is not enough for the system to be financially stable for decades ahead.
Most importantly, these changes must ensure a decent quality of life, protect the interests of today’s pensioners and future generations of our citizens. Therefore, all our steps must be system-wide and thoroughly calculated.
Very soon, perhaps tomorrow, I will elaborate on my attitude and make a statement. But first I would like to hear what you think.
Let’s start working.