Putin: those who think Russia lives off Soviet legacy alone mistaken

Putin: those who think Russia lives off Soviet legacy alone mistaken

It cannot be claimed that Russia now lives off the resources and capacities left over from previous generations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual year-end press conference.

He also pointed at industry modernization, saying that three quarters of industrial equipment is no older than 12 years. Putin said that the country has built three new airports, 12 new railway stations and the number of major highways has doubled.

The head of state said that Russia’s agriculture sector is booming and the country has surpassed the U.S. and Canada to become the world's top wheat exporter.

"The Soviet Union was always buying grain, we were one of the largest buyers of grain, wheat. I would like to mention that today Russia is the largest supplier of wheat to the world market, we are number one. We are ahead of the United States and Canada," the Russian leader stressed.

Putin has also compared the volumes of cargoes transferred in the country’s ports in the Soviet and present periods. "On an aggregate basis 600 mln tonnes were transferred in all ports of the Soviet Union, whereas now it is 1.104 bln. Those facilities have been created over the past decade," he said.

"Those who believe that we live exclusively upon old resources and capacities inherited from previous generations are deeply mistaken," the head of state emphasized.

The Russian President also said that he is grateful to the older generation, which built a powerful country during the Soviet era.

"Much was done during the Soviet era, which we can be proud of, and we continue to be proud of that, that is, the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, a breakthrough in space exploration, many achievements," TASS cited him as saying.

"We must be grateful to our ancestors, our fathers, grandfathers who built such a huge and powerful country," Putin added.