Putin had a meeting with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin

Sergei Sobyanin updated the President on Moscow’s socioeconomic development in 2016, the implementation of several large transport projects, including the launch of the Moscow Central Circle (MCC) railway line, and renovation of the housing stock.

Vladimir Putin with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
Vladimir Putin with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Mr. Sobyanin, let us talk about Moscow’s performance in 2016 and plans for 2017.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin:
Mr. President, it was a difficult year because we did not know what would happen to the economy, investments and the ruble exchange rate, as well as because of other expectations. There were many things that alarmed us. However, the main trends turned out to be positive last year.

The industry, in particular the manufacturing sector, has begun to recover; we will see a 2 percent increase, according to preliminary results. The manufacturing sector increased exports considerably, which is a positive trend that is based not only on import substitution but also means that our industry is becoming more competitive internationally.

As for attracting investment, the volume of funds invested in the city has increased by 3 percent for the first time in the past three years. In fact, this is a record high in comparable prices. We saw 1 percent and 1.7 percent increases in investment before; the volume of investment did not fall in the past years, while this year it went up by 3 percent. Moreover, foreign investment volumes remained stable. This is evidence of a stable inflow of both foreign and Russian investment. Annual investment in fixed assets is estimated at 1.6 trillion rubles, which is a lot.

Last year, we completed several transport projects that were record-breaking in terms of scale. We launched the Moscow Central Circle railway line together and it was with your support that this unique facility was built. Now 330,000 passengers use this line every day. We built 117 kilometres of roads, which is an absolute record in Moscow history. Those are not just new roads out in some field but roads integrated into the urban environment, including interchanges, over and underpasses, reconstructed roads. It was quite a complicated project. However, despite the current situation, we were able to achieve this.

The scale of housing construction was slightly lower than the peak numbers of last year. However, if we take the mean annual figure for the past five years, it was still higher than that. We can see that the real estate market is growing too. There is no doubt this industry will be developing, including civil construction, housing and commercial properties.

Small and medium-sized businesses caused us great concern. You have repeatedly told us that it is necessary to focus on building the necessary infrastructure and provide support for small and medium-sized businesses. I must say the number of small businesses in Moscow and individual entrepreneurs has increased by 10 percent, which is pretty good growth for last year. Budget revenue from small businesses has reached 17 percent, which is a more objective indicator. This means that profitability is growing, as is the number of businesses. We have achieved some very positive results.
We are finishing the housing renovation programme and demolition of Khrushchev-era buildings [five-storey blocks of flats built during the mass housing construction era when Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union]. Since the beginning of the programme, we have relocated 160,000 families to 6 million square metres of renovated housing, which is a significant number. We have very few buildings left. I think we will complete the programme within the next two years.

However, even though we have succeeded in this part of the programme, there is still plenty of uncomfortable housing in Moscow to put it mildly – basically, rundown housing. I am talking about five-storey buildings of a similar design as those demolished, but their number is substantially higher. A total of 25 million square metres are occupied by 1.6 million people.

Today we are facing a dilemma. We collect money from those people for major renovation of that housing. But when we examined it we found a whole range of serious problems (Sergei Sobyanin continues to describe specific issues of the Khrushchev-era buildings that were expected to last 25 to 50 years at the time but which are now not up to modern housing standards).

Vladimir Putin:
Mr. Sobyanin, we have already spoken about this. I know Muscovites’ sentiments and expectations. Their expectations are that these buildings will be torn down and new housing will be built in their place. It seems to me that this would be the right decision. The only question is whether Moscow can afford it, what its budget can handle, and its ability to attract investors, and so on.

Sergei Sobyanin:
Indeed, this project requires huge financial resources, significant organisational and administrative costs. We know what we are facing. The demolition of the first series of five-story buildings – a far smaller project in fact – required an incredible effort. Many investors were ruined by these projects. The city took these projects over and is bringing them to a logical conclusion.

Today, Moscow's budget is rather stable. We paid off most of our debt that extended from previous years. This year, we expect good budget revenue, as I said, from the profit tax, the personal income tax. We have a safety margin. Therefore, from the financial point of view, we can see that the city has a certain potential. However, there are certain problems associated with the regulatory side of the process (The Moscow Mayor went on to cover the legal issues concerning the demolition and renovation of obsolete housing).

Therefore, Mr. President, if possible, I would like to ask for assistance in changing the regulatory framework and initiating a special law. We are ready to prepare a draft, to coordinate it, so that we could implement the project most effectively, from the legal perspective.

For our part, we will resolve all the financial and organisational issues. This will certainly be a great contribution to the renewal of the city, to improving the environmental situation, the transport situation, and to the creation of a new urban environment. It is no less important that 1.6 million Muscovites will receive new modern housing to replace the old buildings, which, I am afraid will be simply dangerous to use in 10–20 years despite our repair efforts.

Vladimir Putin:
Fine. Let us do it, but assuming everything we do is for the benefit of the people and will improve their lives – this is the kind of work and organisation I will be expecting. The next issue you will need to resolve has to do with resettlement, people’s future place of residence. It is necessary to make sure all the people are satisfied. This means you will need to work this out with the residents you will be resettling, and to do everything transparently, to show them exactly what benefits they will get from these projects.

Sergei Sobyanin:
We will do so, Mr. President, we have a wealth of experience. We usually try to resettle people within the areas they now live in, offering good options so that the vast majority of residents remain satisfied.

After the renovations, the worth of the buildings, their capitalisation will increase by at least 20–30 percent, even if the flats do not expand in terms of square meters, the quality of the housing becomes entirely different. Therefore, I believe the changes will be taken positively, especially given that we are receiving piles of complaints [about these buildings] from the residents, from municipal deputies and their associations, and the Civic Chamber of Moscow. We have grounds to say that this is a people’s project.

Vladimir Putin:
Fine, let us do it.

Sergei Sobyanin:
Thank you.

Vladimir Putin, Sergey Sobyanin.
Vladimir Putin meeting with Sergey Sobyanin.
Sergei Sobyanin.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President's meeting with Sergei Zhvachkin.

Sergei Zhvachkin updated the President on the socioeconomic situation in the region.

According to the Governor, gross regional product (GRP) has grown by 30 percent to reach 500 billion rubles, while high technology products accounted for 15 percent of the GRP. Sibur has overhauled its polymer producing subsidiary Tomskneftekhim, which has become a competitive company. Rosatom is implementing its Proryv (Breakthrough) project in the region, which provides for building a BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor.
Sergei Zhvachkin.
Tomsk Region Governor Sergei Zhvachkin.
The Governor also said that yearend growth in the timber industry reached 170 percent and that new plants have been built. Housing construction and agricultural production are growing rapidly. Over the past four years, agricultural producers bought more than 900 units of agricultural machinery. Other support measures include interest rate rebates and farming grants. New companies have appeared which sell local wild plants, mushrooms and berries. Taxes levied on these products amounted to 700 million rubles last year.

The social sector is developing, with a new haemodialysis centre and a radiological canyon now open to the public at the Tomsk Oncology Centre, and many other projects completed. Speaking about demographics, the Governor said that the region’s population had increased by 25,000 over the past few years thanks to a high birth rate. In this connection, 30 new kindergartens have opened in the past two and a half years and there are plans to build new schools.

As for problems, the Governor mentioned the shortage of workforce and lots of snow this winter, adding that the region is already preparing for possible floods. The Governor also said that he had requested government assistance to deal with the problem of the Siberian moth, which is damaging local forests.

Since his term ends on March 17, Mr Zhvachkin asked the President to appoint him Acting Governor so that he can run for re-election in September 2017.

Vladimir Putin thanked the Governor’s team for the good work and said he would sign an executive order appointing Mr. Zhvachkin Acting Governor of Tomsk Region.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53914

Vladimir Putin, Sergei Zhvachkin.
Vladimir Putin with Tomsk Region Governor Sergei Zhvachkin.

President's meeting with RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.

Vladimir Putin met with Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and member of the Presidential Economic Council. Mr Mau told the President about key areas of the Academy’s work and ways for improving training of future public administration staff.

President Putin, Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.
Mr. Mau said that around 100,000 students study at the Academy. In total, 180,000 people a year pass through the Academy, taking part in re-training programmes, raising their qualifications, and MBA programmes. The Academy’s regional network has 53 branches. 

The Academy puts the emphasis on individualising education and offers around 2000 higher and further education programmes. Around 500 people have gone through the programme for training a reserve pool of management personnel. 

Around 800 people will have completed the two-year regional investment teams’ programme. Alongside Russian specialists, it involves teachers from Harvard University, INSEAD, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, and a number of other top global schools.

Over the past 6 years, 23,000 heads of schools, cultural, and healthcare establishments, and the relevant sector heads at municipal and regional level have gone through the programme for public-sector managers. Over the past 7 years, 20,000 people have completed the anti-corruption course.

One important project concerns Crimea: over the course of a year, 28,000 regional and municipal officials in Crimea went through a programme to train them in Russian legislation in order to pass qualification exams for the relevant posts.

Over the last ten years, the Academy, together with the Presidential Executive Office, developed and introduced a personality and professional diagnostic system for selecting candidates for the reserve under presidential patronage. 

Mr. Mau noted that Russia has 1.5 million state and municipal officials, whose ongoing education requires much attention. 

Mr. Putin and Mr. Mau also discussed the results of the Gaidar Readings forum, which took place in Moscow in January.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53898

Vladimir Mau.
RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Mau.

Putin opened the Winter International Arts Festival.

Vladimir Putin attended the show Don’t Leave Your Planet that opened the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival under the direction of Yury Bashmet.

The show featured well-known Russian actor Konstantin Khabensky and the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Yury Bashmet. The production was staged and directed by Viktor Kramer.

After the show, the President spoke to Yury Bashmet and Konstantin Khabensky.

The 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival will take place in Sochi on February17–26, featuring world classical music stars, soloists of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theatres, and popular Russian theatre and film actors.

At the opening of the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival
At the opening of the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival, directed by Yury Bashmet. Don’t Leave Your Planet, a show based on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Konstantin Khabensky and the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Yury Bashmet.
At the opening of the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival, directed by Yury Bashmet.
Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin at the opening of the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival, directed by Yury Bashmet.
President Putin.
Putin attended the 10th Anniversary Winter International Arts Festival.
Vladimir Putin, Yury Bashmetov, Konstantin Khabensky.
President Putin with conductor Yury Bashmet (right) and actor Konstantin Khabensky after the show Don't Leave Your Planet that opened the 10th Winter International Arts Festival.

Meeting with Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva.

Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva to discuss the current situation in sphere of science, inparticular, support for young scientists.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Ms. Vasilyeva, let us discuss how you see the situation in science. What are the challenges and problems, as you see them?

Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva:
If you do not mind, I would like to talk about young scientists. Up until 2014, we had negative figures, with young people leaving science. 2014 was a turning point, when young researchers started coming into the sector.

This is the result, above all, of work on your instructions, which lay the foundation for the instruments we develop. In 2015, we had 379,000 researchers, of whom 8,500 were new to the sector.

Support for developing these young scientists’ careers takes several forms. Above all, there is the first grant, the seeding grant that young scientists can obtain upon their first application to the fund.

The fund in question is the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Overall, your support and extra-budgetary and budgetary support for scientific funds brought in 40 billion rubles last year.
The RFBR received 6000 applications, and 2,500 young scientists received grants. This was the first time that we had 500 applications for support for internships at various research centers. This is an mportant start for young scientists.

Another important source of support for young scientists is the opportunity to take part in mega-grants. We currently have 160 laboratories established through the mega-grant program – also a result of your instructions – and we will have another 40 beginning work this year, bringing the total to 200 at 79 universities. This means we cover practically the entire country.

One of the most important developments is that the laboratories are headed by scientists who had gone abroad and have now returned, or who continue working both here and abroad. What is important here is that they are forming scientific schools – 5,000 people now, including young scientists: 2,000 postgraduates and 800 students, and this system continues to develop.

Of course, the presidential grants also offer huge support, with 600,000 rubles a year for PhDs, one million a year for holders of the Doctor of Science degree, and 22,800 rubles a year for postgraduate students. This offers substantial material support for those who wish to remain in science and pursue their careers in this field.

There are other matters too, legal aspects, now that we have put this system in place. I see this as our success, modest for now, but nonetheless asuccess, that all research andhigher education organizations now advertise their vacancies onour website. They post up to 800 vacancies a month. This creates a transparent selection system that we monitor, and we can say for certain that organizations are now competing for young scientists.

The post-doc system is another important development we have launched this year, and it offers new opportunities for young scientists to continue their professional growth. After all, after defending their PhD theses, these young specialists need to find a place to start building their careers.

We received 2,500 bids and selected 444 people who now have the possibility to work, receive money, and pursue their research for 2–3 years. 120 of the applications came from organisations. This is also a positive development. 

It makes me very happy to announce another first, this time concerning research at the student level. The rector of the Southern Federal University informed me that the university earned 200 million rubles from intellectual property rights last year. This opens up completely new horizons and is a new step in relations with businesses, a new model.

I would like to tell you about another rather ambitious project. Young mathematicians from the St. Petersburg's school, winners of the Fields Medal, came to the Ministry to discuss an idea they have.

The number of articles is on the increase, but while young scientists make up 52 percent in other scientific fields, in fundamental mathematics they account for only 37 percent, and the number of PhD theses defended in this field has dropped by 13 percent. However, fundamental mathematics is absolutely essential for physics, biotechnology, and all other fields.

They have come up with a very interesting project that we are launching now – the Regional Mathematics Centre. It encompasses 10 venues, regional universities. A team would go out there, headed by a prominent mathematician, with five PhD holders, postgraduates, and Masters students. 

They choose the venues and begin cultivating research there, spend a semester or half a year teaching, perhaps even two semesters during one year. This will give young people from those universities an opportunity to do internships at our best institutes: the Steklov Mathematical Institute, the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, and at various universities, and in this way, this school of mathematics will gradually grow and develop. What is important here is that the idea came from the young scientists themselves. In other words, this means a lot to them, and I think this is very important for our project’s success. 

Finally, implementation of the National Science and Technology Development Strategy, which you approved, has opened up new horizons for developing science, and we have set the ambitious task of creating chains that run from research right through to the final product.

To date, we have 100 business organisations that want to work with us. They include not only big organisations that have always supported us, such as Rosatom and Roscosmos, but also small organisations of interest to our young scientists.

We have analysed the figures and what we see is something new, namely, that small technological companies that receive subsidies from us not only return the money, but also make profit. Young scientists are eager to work in these companies, so we see today an obvious interest in these as yet small but very tangible results.

Fundamental science continues to develop as well, and the share of young scientists is growing. It is no exaggeration to say that we have visible results today.

Vladimir Putin:
Science is growing younger.

Olga Vasilyeva:
Yes, it is growing younger, and this is great.


Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53897

Olga Vasilyeva.
Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva.
Vladimir Putin, Olga Vasilyeva.
Vladimir Putin  and Olga Vasilyeva.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin, Russian President.

Putin met with Vladimir Medinsky and Vladimir Urin

Vladimir Putin met with Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre Vladimir Urin.

The President supported the Culture Minister’s idea of extending Vladimir Urin’s powers as General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Urin, how long have you been General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, three and a half years?

General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre Vladimir Urin:

Yes, Mr. President, three and a half years.

Vladimir Putin:

The Culture Minister [Vladimir Medinsky] and I have discussed this, and we have agreed that, judging by what theatre lovers say, you have achieved a great deal.

Vladimir Urin:

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

We have agreed to talk about life at the Bolshoi Theatre and your work there, including the material side of creative work at the theatre. Tell me about your plans. Do you need any additional support?

Vladimir Urin:

Well, I can tell you that everything is going well at the Bolshoi Theatre. I am referring to the financial side of the matter. And so I have no financial requests. This is true, because I am aware of the general situation. But the theatre now has everything it needs for its operation.

We are completing the renovations, as I have told Mr. Medinsky. The third and final phase includes the renovation of workshops plus rooms for visiting performers.

Regarding our creative plans, I would say that we have entered a smooth working regime. We stage eight new performances every year.

Vladimir Putin:

This is a lot.

Vladimir Urin:

Mr. President, we have two stages. But then, you may be right, because attendance at Bolshoi Theatre performances is almost 100 percent, or more precisely 97.4 percent a year. In other words, the house is full almost every day.

We could have continued to live on the performances that were staged 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years ago, but this would have created problems in the troupe. Performers must have opportunities to perform new roles, make new discoveries. This is extremely important for creative groups. We have a large troupe, and so eight new performances a year, considering that we have two stages, is an absolutely ordinary achievement.

We give some 500 performances in Moscow, plus we have a busy touring schedule. This March, our opera troupe will perform Tchaikovsky’s Jeanne d’Arc opera concert in the Philharmonie de Paris. In late May or early June, we will go to Japan for the Russian Seasons.

Vladimir Putin:

Yes, I wanted to ask you about this. How will the Bolshoi Theatre fit into the Russian Seasons?

Vladimir Urin:

We go on these tours every other year, and people in Japan love the Bolshoi Theatre. This time we will take three performances there: two of them staged by Yury Grigorovich, who turned 90 this January, but you know this, because you sent your greetings to him. Thank you very much.

We will take Swan Lake, Giselle and The Flames of Paris choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. We will begin the tour with Swan Lake. We will give 12 performances in Japan, not just in Tokyo but also in other large cities. We will tour these cities. The bulk of our ballet troupe will go to Japan.

Yesterday I held talks with our Japanese colleagues. They told me delightful news: nearly all tickets to the bulk of our performances have been sold out. It is only February, and the tickets are already in short supply.

Vladimir Putin:

Very well.

I was also informed of your plans to take part in events related to the FIFA World Cup.

Vladimir Urin:

Yes, this is true. If everything goes as planned, on July 14, on the eve of the World Cup final, the Bolshoi Theatre will hold a gala performance to celebrate this magnificent event.

The concert will feature performances by internationally acclaimed Russian soloists, as well as our foreign colleagues who agreed to perform at this concert. Most of them already agreed to participate in the concert, and preparations for this wonderful event are underway.

Vladimir Putin:

Great. You have already mentioned, albeit briefly, the creative part of your work. But how about the financial aspect? My question is simple and pragmatic: How much do soloists and corps de ballet dancers earn?

Vladimir Urin:

Yes, I was just going to tell you. The average salary for the whole theatre is 77,000 rubles. Corps de ballet dancers make 130,000, and soloists about 240,000 rubles.

Vladimir Putin:

How about opera?

Vladimir Urin:

Opera soloists make 180,000, which is due to the fact that they have fewer performances. We have both our own and invited soloists singing in the theatre, so the figure refers only to our soloists, who make 180,000.

Orchestra musicians have a lot of work, since they perform at both opera and ballet performance. Their average salary is 130,000. We increase their wages incrementally, little by little every year to the best of our ability using money we make.

Talking about the bottom line, I can tell you that revenue from ticket sales rose from 1.4 billion rubles in 2014 to 2.2 billion 2016.

Vladimir Putin:

Not bad.

Vladimir Urin:

We have been able to achieve this result by adopting flexible pricing. Some performances are very popular, and as soon as tickets go on sale they are gone in a matter of two or three days.

There are also performances that are not as popular, but we are still able to sell out by regulating prices. Price adjustments can be substantial. Orchestra seating is the most expensive, followed by the dress circle, the upper circle is cheaper, and so on. By introducing flexible pricing we generated almost 800 million in additional revenue.

The same goes for proceeds we get from sponsors. In 2014, these proceeds stood at 400 million, and last year we practically doubled this figure, earning 800 million from sponsors. However, 2016 may not be representative of a general trend, since we received substantial contributions from sponsors for bringing La Scala to Russia, which boosted our bottom line.

Mr. President, we have ambitious projects in the area of international cooperation, and I very much hope that everything will come to pass. Serious talks with the Paris Opera regarding two joint productions are underway.

We have almost agreed on one of them, War and Peace by Prokofiev. That is, we will work on it together. The Paris Opera will come here on tour and we will go there, accordingly, in 2018.

We had serious negotiations with the Metropolitan Opera as well. We reached an agreement with Peter Gelb on a joint production of three shows. In March (I don’t want to jinx it), we will sign a protocol of intent on three joint productions. Of these three shows, two will premiere in Moscow and then in New York.

We have interesting projects with La Scala as well. We have received them, and in 2018 La Scala Theatre will receive our ballet. I’m not even talking about this year, which is also very busy. I've already mentioned the tour in Japan and a concert performance of The Maid of Orleans in Paris.

In addition to that, we will participate in the festival in Aix-en-Provence, France, which is a famous music festival. We are going to Finland with Iolanta by Tchaikovsky and Eugene Onegin. We will take Eugene Onegin to the festival in Aix-en-Provence, as well. All of that will take place this year.

We will wrap up the year with a tour to New York. In conjunction with the Paris Opera and the New York City Ballet, we will bring Jewels by Balanchine to New York. We will also bring Taming of the Shrew there, which is immensely popular in Russia. After this show ran in the cinemas, the Americans asked us to come on a tour. We agreed.

Vladimir Putin:

It's great. Mr. Medinsky, do you have anything to add to that?

Vladimir Medinsky:


Mr. Urin was one of the youngest theatre directors in the Soviet Union. I believe he became one at the age of 26.

Vladimir Urin:

I was 26 and a half.

Vladimir Medinsky:

Well, young if not the youngest. Mr. Urin will celebrate his anniversary soon. Based on the excellent creative and economic track record of the Bolshoi Theatre, we are about to approach the Government with a proposal to renew Mr. Urin’s contract as the Director-General of the Bolshoi Theatre and are asking you to support us in this regard.

Vladimir Putin:

It’s my pleasure to do so. Of course, I support this.


Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53893

Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Medinsky, Vladimir Urin in Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin with Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, left, and General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre Vladimir Urin.
Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Medinsky, Vladimir Urin.
Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Medinsky, Vladimir Urin.
Russian President, Culture Minister, General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.
Russian President, Culture Minister, General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.

Meeting with President on economic issues.

Vladimir Putin held a meeting on economic issues to discuss the current state of the Russian economy.

Taking part in the meeting were:

  • Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,
  • First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov,
  • Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov,
  • Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin,
  • Finance Minister Anton Siluanov,
  • Accounts Chamber Chairperson Tatyana Golikova,
  • Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, colleagues,

This is already the second meeting in this format since the beginning of the year. I propose that we focus today on the current state of the national economy. The trends are becoming more or less clear, and we have an overall understanding of the ongoing developments. New Year holidays have long passed, so it is time for us to gain better understanding of these trends, evaluate them and plan our work accordingly.

Overall, we are seeing positive economic momentum. Almost all key indicators for 2016 are already available, showing us that last year’s results exceeded our expectations. According to the latest figures, GDP declined by 0.2 percent, which is better than we initially expected, while industrial output increased by 1.1 percent.

Let me add that inflation hit record-low levels last year at just 5.4 percent, which is better than expected. We thought that it would not be less than 6 percent, maybe 6.1 percent, but it came in at 5.4 percent. This year, inflation continues to decelerate. In February, the inflation rate on a year-on-year basis went below the psychological threshold of 5 percent. As of February 13, it stood at 4.72 percent.

Business activity is also recovering, and the so-called business confidence index is on the rise. Of course, we need to maintain this positive momentum by ensuring a predictable economic and financial environment for our businesses.

It is now essential to find balanced solutions with a view to further curtailing inflation, developing domestic manufacturing, industrial production and agriculture, which in turn will lead to increases in real incomes. Let me emphasize that this is one of our key priorities as far as economic and social policies are concerned.

Let’s start a detailed discussion on these issues.


Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53889

Anton Siluanov.
Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov.
Andrei Belousov, Maxim Oreshkin.
Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov (right) and Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.
Elvira Nabiullina.
Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.
Vladimir Putin, Elvira Nabiullina, Antov Siluanov, Andrei Belousov, Maxim Oreshkin.
Meeting with President on economic issues.
Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.