Dmitry Medvedev delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address Thursday, November 12. It became Medvedev’s second address as the president. In the speech, Medvedev touched upon a wide range of issues – from the consequences of the economic crisis in Russia to reforms in education and the political field, the situation in the Northern Caucasus and other questions.
The head of state put forward a number of political initiatives in his speech. The president entrusted the government with elaborating effective conditions for activities of its agencies in the Northern Caucasus. An official responsible for the state of affairs in the explosive region must appear in the Cabinet of Ministers.
“To be frank, the level of corruption and violence in the republics of the Northern Caucasus is unprecedented. Obviously, the roots of many problems lie in the problems of the economic underdevelopment, first and foremost. The majority of those living in the region have no normal living perspectives. We will be paying first priority attention to the solution of people’s socio-economic problems,” Medvedev said.
Speaking about the Russian economy, the president said that Russia was going to return to such issues as taxation and the reduction of the tax burden.
"In the 21st century, our country again requires modernization in all areas, and this will be the first time in our history when modernization will be based on the values and institutions of democracy," Medvedev said.
The goal of his administration, Medvedev stated, was to make Russia a society of "smart, free and responsible people," RIA Novosti reports.
Medvedev said the country must set up a research and technological development center similar to the Silicon Valley in the United States.
"We need to complete work on proposals to form a powerful center for research and development, which would focus on the support of all priority spheres," Interfax quoted Medvedev as saying.
"This will offer conditions to attract leading scientists, engineers, constructors, programmers, managers and financial workers," the president added.
As for the nuclear power, Medvedev said that nuclear reactors and fuel of new generation will appear in Russia before 2014.
“Reactors of new generation and nuclear fuel will appear in Russia before 2014. Nuclear developments will be actively applied in other spheres too – in medicine, first and foremost. The technologies will be used for creating new engines, which would make even interplanetary flights possible. We will take an active part in the thermonuclear synthesis project. These technologies are the future,” Medvedev said.
“Broadband internet access, digital television and 4G communication networks must be created in Russia nationwide during five years,” he said.
Medvedev stressed out that Russia must modernize its economy and end the “humiliating” dependence on energy sources.
“We haven’t freed ourselves from the primitive structure of the economy. It’s a question of our country’s survival in the modern world,” he said.
Russia has decided to enter a new technological level and will develop new medical and space technologies.
As for corruption in Russia, the president stated that corrupt officials must be jailed, although he acknowledged that it would not rule out the problem.
"You cannot root out the problem of corruption through jailings alone. But you must sling them into jail anyway," he said.
Speaking about the election system in the country, Medvedev stated that it would be better to cancel requirements for political parties to collect signatures for their election registration.
The president said that the Soviet era heritage was becoming outdated very fast.
“Though it keeps our country afloat, it is rapidly becoming outdated. It is high time for today's generations of the Russian people to express themselves and raise Russia to a new and higher level in developing civilization," the president added.