Russian State Duma deputies comment on the speech from the president
Nikolay Shaklein, a deputy of the faction Regions of Russia, deputy chairman of the Committee for State Construction:
"To be honest, I expected the president to be more precise on what was going to be done in the country and how. The president only mentioned the struggle with the world terrorism, but nothing was said about the reasons of its growth, such as corruption and plundering. The president did not give an estimation of the work of the government and the law-enforcement system. As always, we just heard promises that the economy would rise owing to the GDP growth, that the contractual basis would be introduced for the army. However, nothing was said on how these goals were going to be achieved. Putin's speech reminded me all speeches delivered by Boris Yeltsin, who had given too many promises. However, everyone has already witnessed the consequences of his reforms in the form of the economic chaos and default in 1998.
Sergey Levchenko, State Duma deputy, the chairman of the Committee for Energy, Transport and Communication:
"I have already listened to three of such speeches. I would like to point out that they are not interconnected with each other. One of them was about corruption, another one was about pensions and the last one - I do not even remember what it was about - just demagogy and nothing else. I wanted to ask, why nothing was said about agriculture, the genetic fund of our people. What is the point of presidential messages to congresses and parliaments of developed countries of the West? As I see it, they are meant to have someone responsible for unfulfilled promises. I do not see that corruption and plundering have reduced in Russia, officials have not started treating people with greater respect. I am sorry, but what is the point of such messages, if we hear just promises that do not come true. Corruption still prospers, senior officials are not responsible for anything. I think that it is too late to establish law and order during the period, when the State Duma is about to finish working.
Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy chairman of the Committee for Property, Yabloko faction:
"To my mind, there were too strong theses in the president's speech. The first one of them was about the growth of Russia's competitive ability on the world market, about the need to raise Russia's political and economic influence. Secondly, the president said that it was incorrect to oppose the growth of economy in Russia and the influence of various political and governmental structures on this growth. These two theses give hope that the president understands, what should be paid special attention to.
Anatoly Chekhoyev, Communist Party faction, deputy chairman of the Committee for CIS Affairs:
"First of all, I liked the president putting it clearly that the Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR states) were the zone of Russia's interests. I have been waiting for a long time to hear that, since the example of former USSR states shows us that their internal and foreign policies get more and more dependant on the United States. Second of all, I was surprised and happy to hear from the president that the Law About Citizenship, which had been passed by the State Duma last year, was totally outdated and not good at all.
Konstantin Zaitsev, Regions of Russia, member of the Committee for Budget and Taxes:
"The first thing that I would like to point out is the fact that our president expresses the opinion of his own, not the opinion of someone from his milieu. I especially liked his opinion about the majority that will set up the new government. This means that a political party, which gets the most votes in the State Duma - whether it is Yabloko, Unity, or the Communist Party - will form the government according to their own principles. The president will support it. This testifies to the democratic orientation of our president. Secondly, Putin's economic program will touch upon the GDP. This will create more jobs, which will result in the growth of Russia's economy and will strike a political blow on political forces, which destabilize the situation in Russia with their talks about the economic collapse and the impoverishment of the people.
Vitaly Shuba, deputy chairman of the Budget Committee:
"The president's speech was objected. I was happy to know that Vladimir Putin had a sensible approach to all issues. The president knows that the fiscal system in Russia is to be changed gradually. One should get rid of the red tape among our officials for that. I totally agree with that. I also liked the part, in which the president talked about the army, making it a professional army on a contractual basis. It was also pleasant to hear that Russia is capable of repulsing an aggression, defending its borders and producing up-to-date weapons. It is a very pleasant surprise that out president is such a democratic person, for it has been said that the government will be formed by the party, which gets most votes in the Duma.
Yaroslav Shviryayev, Regions of Russia, deputy chairman of the Committee for Industry and Construction:
"I was happy to know that the speech from the president contained ambitious statements. The increase of the GDP will allow to put an end to poverty and unemployment in Russia, to convert the Russian Army to the contractual basis. All those things are supposed to be done within ten years, and I believe that if the president said so, it would be done. One has to mention that the people who retire on a pension will have a right for free insurance, which means free medical care. This is very important for the people of limited means.