Executive Intelligence Review


Putin Delivered a Forward-Looking State of the Nation Address

March 1, 2018 (EIRNS)—Russian President Putin delivered a very forward-looking State of the Nation address yesterday, speaking to a joint session of the Federal Assembly, the two houses of the national legislature. Putin covered the full range of economic, security and international issues, beginning with his economic policy which centers around improving the living conditions of the Russia population to allow it to achieve its full creative potential and thereby the potential of the Russian nation.

Among the many crucial points he made, Putin emphasized that

“the state’s role and positions in the modern world are not determined only or predominantly by natural resources or production capacities; the decisive role is played by the people, as well as conditions for every individual’s development, self-assertion and creativity. Therefore, everything hinges on efforts to preserve the people of Russia and to guarantee the prosperity of our citizens. We must achieve a decisive breakthrough in this area ... the next few years will prove decisive for the country’s future. I reiterate, these years will be decisive....”

He warned that a

“technological lag and dependence translate into reduced security and economic opportunities of the country and, ultimately, the loss of its sovereignty.... As I have said, changes concern the entire civilization, and the sheer scale of these changes calls for an equally powerful response.... We are ready for a genuine breakthrough.”

Otherwise, he continued,

“there will be no future for us, our children or our country. It is not a question of someone conquering or devastating our land.... The main threat and our main enemy is the fact that we are falling behind. If we are unable to reverse this trend, we will fall even further behind.... We need to master creative power and boost development so that no obstacles prevent us from moving forward with confidence and independently. We must take ownership of our destiny.”

He called for halving the number of poor from 20 million to 10 million over the next six years by providing decent, well-paying jobs that unleash the creative potential of the population. This means improving the quality of life through increasing health care capacity, housing, raising pensions and guaranteeing a high quality of life for pensioners, and increasing life expectancy to 80-plus years.

A key to this, Putin said, is “launching a large-scale spatial development program in Russia,” including developing cities and other communities “by at least doubling spending in this area over the next six years.” He emphasized that the development of cities must become

“the driving force for the whole country. Russia is a country with a vast territory, and its active, dynamic life cannot be concentrated in several metropolitan cities. Big cities must distribute their energy, and serve as a support for the balanced, harmonious spatial development of the whole of Russia.”

Putin offered details on an ambitious infrastructure development program over the next six years, as well as developing large Eurasian transport corridors, including a highway that will become part of the Europe-Asia Pacific corridor that is already under construction in cooperation with China and Kazakhstan. He also spoke extensively on developing Russia’s Far East. The full speech is posted in English on the Kremlin website.