President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Nechayev, deputies from your party and its faction in Parliament head two State Duma committees – on small and medium businesses and on tourism. But the interests of the party and its faction in the Duma are, of course, much broader – you deal with many issues.
Let us talk about your priorities.
Leader of the New People party Alexei Nechayev: Mr President,
We, the New People party, understand that there is no other choice than to build a strong country, a state that enjoys respect in the world, and we are already achieving this.
It is very important to have economic and technological self-sufficiency. Only this will allow our children and grandchildren to live in a rich, prosperous and peaceful country. But we will not achieve peace if we do not have superiority over our opponent. I do not have to tell you that our opponent is a top professional with a bad conscience – he can do one thing face-to-face, while tacitly feeding subversives that are aiming at historical Russia. Therefore, superiority is a must.
Our party supports your adopted course of building a strong and independent Russia. We are working for this in cooperation with the Government and our colleagues in the State Duma. Over the past year, the government reviewed over 70 of our initiatives and over 30 of them were carried out. This is certainly a very good result.
As for the State Duma, there is an atmosphere of unity there. It is very important to realise that unity does not mean uniformity where everyone is the same. Unity lies in diversity when different positions are expressed and honest debate begins. The debates may be heated but the goal is, of course the same – the benefit of Russia.
There were heated debates: should we put the economy on a military track? Should we introduce state regulation of prices? We are reassuring our colleagues by pointing to the fact that the military industry has already been put on a military track.
As for market principles, Russia is so strong largely because it has a market economy. I can see that people hear this. It would be rational for the country to have an industrial policy, a new industrialisation and even protectionism, although we are still not accustomed to talking about it. We have always been open and friendly, but we are all sick of playing a game where the deck is stacked against us.
Thank you for supporting the same common-sense positions because people are certainly listening closely to you. Thank you for seeing it this way.
Vladimir Putin: I would like to thank you for your position, It is very important today.
Alexei Nechayev: A year ago, I told you about a big project called I’m in Business. It is aimed at developing youth entrepreneurship. You listened to this with great interest and supported this project.
We did a lot in the past year. We opened branches in 62 regions and involved over 85,000 students and schoolchildren in this educational programme. Firstly, it is obvious that there is a big demand for this – people want to do things themselves, achieve their goals and, frankly, make money. I am all for that – it is great when people are in business. Practical patriotism comes in all different varieties, and this is one of them.
This year, we are planning to launch this programme in the new regions as well. I know from our activists that people in Lisichansk and Severodonetsk mostly earn money through what is called small business. Moreover, they not only make money but ensure that all the necessary supplies are available. Strange as it may seem but there is a big business boom in Donetsk and Lugansk. Not only our activists are telling me about this. Denis Pushilin also confirmed this during our meeting.
So, if you support this, we will be moving there as well.
Vladimir Putin: Of course.
Alexei Nechayev: In general, young people in the country see that there are opportunities to reach their potential. If we want, I am sure we can make them honestly feel that they can make it here. And maybe let the people who left the country develop a healthy sense of envy for those who stayed, because of course Russia needs us more than any other place.
Vladimir Putin: Exactly so. I know you have some proposals.