On April 18, President Putin will deliver his annual speech to the Federal Assembly in the Marble Hall of the Kremlin. Both houses of the Duma will gather together on this day in order to listen to the program of Russia's development for the next year. Members of the government and other senior officials are also invited.
When Boris Yelstin made such speeches to the Federal Assembly, people arrived just to see him. However, the attitude to Putin is completely different, and representatives of the Russian political forces hope to hear “the word of truth” from the president and receive an answer to the universal question “what is to be done?” The majority of Russian citizens still confide in the Russian president, according to the polls.
Aleksey Ulukayev, the first deputy finance minister, said in his interview to Echo Moskvy radio station that “if the president formulates the questions explicitly and clearly, then officials will have less opportunity to deviate from the goal to insitute radical reforms.”
Ulukayev believes that one has to be more determined with fiscal policies, in the field of financial reserves, and other financial issues, including the issue of the foreign debt of the former Soviet Union.
Putin will not probably set the goal to achieve radical economic growth in Russia, since the base is not ready for that. The newspaper Izvestia believes that the message from the president “will be ambitious: you have to set large goals for yourself in order to achieve at least something.”
However, these are all suppositions, as only Vladimir Putin and the people who are working on the preparation of the message know the contents of the future speech. Vladimir Putin refused to comment on the basic ideas of the speech to an ITAR-TASS journalist. His answer was “I would not like to comment on it now.”
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov