During his today's meeting with the staff of the Bakulev cardio-vascular surgery centre, President Putin promised to settle the problem of increasing the clinic's financing.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin pointed out that "during the past two years (of his presidency) he had enough experience of such meetings and does not give empty promises, even if some people are inclined to over-dramatize the situation." Nevertheless, the president stressed that the question of increasing the financing is important, since it is connected with human lives.
Putin also noted that although in the past few years the birth rate has been going up in Russia, the population situation still causes serious concern. Incidentally, said the president, instances when the death rate exceeds the birth rate are characteristic for many post-industrial countries, regardless of their well-being and the population's living standard.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign