Putin sums up results of 2016 and sets tasks for 2017

 Putin sums up results of 2016 and sets tasks for 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin is delivering his annual address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Vestnik Kavkaza is broadcasting live text of the presidential's address.

The president began his message, thanking the Russian people, because hey once again proved that they are able to respond to challenges, to defend and protect national interests, sovereignty and independence of the country's course.

"We will go about our economic objectives in the social sphere, in our foreign and domestic policies. We will pay more attention to the economy, to social issues an domestic policies. We have to solve all these tasks in difficult, unusual conditions, as it often happened in our history. But the Russian people once again have convincingly proved that they are able to respond to difficult challenges, to defend and protect the national interests, sovereignty and independent course of the country," Putin said.

"People have united - and we see it, we must thank our citizens, patriotic values have united people. The readiness to work for Russia, the sincere heartfelt care for it, that is what is in the core of this unity," Putin said during his annual address to the Russian parliament.

The policy of developing the democracy will be continued, the president notes. "The policy of developing the political system and direct democracy institutions and enhancing the competitiveness of elections is well-founded and we will certainly go ahead with it," Putin said.

He emphasized that in culture, politics, media, in public life and in the debate on economic issues nobody can prohibit to think and openly express their position.

Putin said that he is concerned that more conflicts emerge in the world, even in stable countries. For example, the EU migrant crisis.

The Russian leader noted main reason for economic deceleration lies in domestic issues. "The main reasons for deceleration of the economy are rooted primarily in our domestic problems. First of all, shortage of investment resources, modern technologies, professional staff, insufficient development of competition, flawed business environment," Putin said.

The President noted that Russia faced serious external challenges - unfavorable situation on foreign markets and sanctions.

Decline in real sector ended, growth appears, he said, adding that macroeconomic stability has been provided, sovereign reserves maintained. Crediting of economy not demonstrating strong momentum, he added. 

The Russian leader marked decisive steps of Central Bank aimed at enhancement of banking sector.

Commenting fight against corruption, Vladimir Putin said that the overwhelming majority of government officials are honest and decent persons who are working for the benefit of the country. He stressed that neither posts, nor top-level contacts, nor old-day merits can be an excuse for sticky-fingered officials. "However no one has the right to pronounce any verdicts about a man’s guilt or innocence before a court ruling," Putin stressed. 

The President also noted that Russia would stand up for its own interests, but had no intention of getting involved in any geopolitical confrontations.
 
"We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends," Putin said. He added that Russia would not tolerate any attempts to damage its interests however.

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