Remarks by Russian PM Putin in annual report

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 20, 2011 6:37 AM
Remarks by Russian PM Putin in annual report

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Following are some of the remarks Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made in an annual report to parliament on Wednesday.


"In 2010 Russia's GDP rose by 4 percent, which is the highest figure among the G8 countries. The forecast for this year is an increase of around 4.2 percent. For your information I can say that in the first quarter growth totaled 4.4 percent. This means that by the beginning of 2012 Russian economy will fully compensate for crisis-driven losses."

"We think that measures to support the (Russian) financial system have been effective and timely. As a result, the state has earned over 200 billion roubles ($7.11 billion). Take notice: I said earned."

"To ensure the country has enough bread and to control prices we have implemented a temporary ban on grain export. In March-April inflation started to slow down. We expect that inflation will not exceed 6.5-7.5 percent for the full year."

"We want to cut the deficit to 1-1.5 percent (in 2011) and are aiming to avoid a deficit in future years."

"Years before the global financial crisis we were saving reserves. We were criticized for the policy but time has shown that the chosen line was right. Russia met the global financial crisis having a solid reserve power, so called safety cushions.

After such a hard crisis our total state debt is a little over 10 percent of GDP -- it is a safe level, one of the lowest in the world."

"We estimate that growth in energy prices will bring additional 1.138 trillion roubles to the Russian budget. I think it is unwise just to eat that money, using it for current needs. We will accelerate inflation with additional spending and that will hit our citizens right in the wallet."

"The country needs a decade of strong, calm development. Without different kinds of swings, poorly thought out experiments based on at times unjustified liberalism or, on the other hand, on social demagoguery."

"Let's be frank: In the modern world if you are weak, there is always someone who will come in and unequivocally recommend which way to go, what policy to conduct, what path to choose. ... One must be independent and strong, and most important, one must conduct policy in the interests of one's own people."


"The current beneficial environment in the raw materials and hydrocarbons (markets) should not make us relax. The oil boom we are witnessing only underlines the need to move quickly to a new model of economic development."

"Before the crisis we had the opportunity to increase raw materials exports and secure affordable loans from outside Russia. These sources played a significant role in our economy's growth. But today the sources are significantly limited. I won't say they have disappeared, but we have to bet on the domestic market, on dynamic development of the non-oil and gas sector."

"Speaking of oil, we have reached a production level of 505 million tonnes per year, putting us in first place in the world... a level which we must maintain. The increase in production came from new oilfields in East Siberia, as well as the Caspian Sea."

"Taking into account what is going on in Europe after the Fukushima-1 catastrophe, the need for raw materials will only increase. Surely you have heard that Germany's government, for example, has taken a decision to gradually shut down nuclear power plants. And there is the same trend in other European countries -- the need for energy resources will increase.


"We expect that along with measures to improve the investment climate, lifting barriers for investments in strategic sectors will enable us significantly to improve the flow of foreign investment. We are aiming for $60-$70 billion in annual foreign direct investment in Russia in the near term, and of course to increase that level further. In 2010, FDI was $40.5 billion.


"If inflation for the first six months of 2011 exceeds 6 percent we will implement an additional increase in pensions from August 1. We will propose ... reserving the means to do this, some 75 billion roubles ($2.67 billion), from extra budget revenues.


"I want to say something in particular to our farmers, who in the most difficult conditions managed to harvest 61 million tonnes, in addition to the stocks from past years that let us guarantee the security of Russia's food supply."

"State support will reach all large farms, small and medium size business. ... I propose to change the budget to add 13 billion roubles for support for the countryside."


"Now we are closely watching Siberia and the Far East, where a difficult situation with fires is unfolding. One must do everything to minimize the possibility of repetition of full-scale catastrophes."


"New weapons are being introduced, strategic and tactical missiles, including the Yars and Bulava, and the Iskander M. From 2013 the production of missile systems should practically double.


"We spend billions on orders of medical equipment from foreign companies. I think it's natural to state that the foreign partners would also gradually move to Russia."


"We have decided to grant an additional 5 billion roubles ($177.7 million) for the car scrappage program, (to) help people to buy new cars."

"There are known facts that automobile sellers overvalue the cars which are sold under the scrappage program and eating up the discount. Measures must be taken."


"By 2016 we have to double volumes of housing construction and reach 100 million square meters of housing per year. ... Volumes of mortgage loans rose by 2 .5 times in 2010, while interest rates are falling."

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin, Melissa Akin and Steve Gutterman)