Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said in an interview on Channel One on Sunday night that the government was not easy to run.
"However, the cabinet members are taking a keen interest in their work, they are eager to do something and they understand what is to be done in the first instance. A good atmosphere can be felt in the government," said Mr. Fradkov.
The premier emphasized that he felt the president's backing, which was very important.
"I can feel it. I test the correctness of what I do in such an open mode of cooperation," said Mr. Fradkov.
The premier believes it is premature to talk about the final results of the administrative reform.
"It is premature to talk about any final conclusions whatsoever as the efficiency of government decisions is clear with time and practice," said Mr. Fradkov.
He believes the first weeks of the government's activities have proven that the adopted decisions are correct as they have helped reduce duplication and define agencies' and ministries' duties more clearly.
"Being head of government, I see that the executives I deal with feel greater responsibility. And I think you can see that issues are discussed more intensively at government meetings, which are open now," said Mr. Fradkov.
Mr. Fradkov said the president's state of the nation address was actually a program for the government for the near term.
"We understand only too well that the government's all activities must aim to ensure a decent life for Russians," said the premier.
"All measures being taken in the economic sphere to ensure economic growth - observing macroeconomic parameters, using market tools, working out and implementing target federal programs, attracting investments and optimizing budgetary spending - i.e. everything we are doing today, must be tested for efficiency in achieving social objectives in this country," noted Mr. Fradkov.
This makes the government take a more profound and responsible approach to its duties, according to the premier.
"If we take a look at our job through this prism, we will see that a lot is yet to be done to make people trust us. We must prove that we understand people's problems and are able to pose correct questions and, which is more important, to resolve them," said the prime minister.
People must have an opportunity to find jobs and feel confident in their country. He therefore found it necessary to address economic modernization issues to raise productivity.
The premier said Russia had huge resources and competitive advantages and it was able to benefit from those advantages.
"We have already begun making moves in the housing, medical and education spheres. We must therefore find appropriate tools and, above all, money. This is why we need a dynamically developing economy. Stability is not enough, we are already enjoying it. We need a breathing economy. This is a precondition for resolving social problems. The nation must be engaged in this process, it must trust the government. This is our chief objective at the moment," said Mr. Fradkov.
When asked whether the president-set timeframe for achieving these objectives was realistic, the premier said real life would make the government meet the timeframe.
"The presently favorable situation on the foreign market is conducive to tackling these problems. However, we should take this short-term advantage to focus on issues of Russia's economic development. We must, above all, focus on modernizing the industries, i.e. the branches and sectors, which will bring extra revenues, encourage internal economic growth factors to secure greater resources in ensuring decent living standards of the people," said Mr. Fradkov.
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