Putin Promises Economic Revival in Inauguration Speech

Russian President Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a fourth term in office on Monday, using his inaugural speech to promise an economic program that would improve living conditions across the country. He said that improving Russia’s economy would be a major goal of his next six years in office, The Associated Press reported.

After the glamorous inauguration, marking the beginning of Putin’s 18th year in office, Putin has signed a special “May decree” setting the national development targets up to 2024, the Kremlin’s press-service said.

According to the document, which outlines the country’s national goals and strategic development tasks, Russia should join the group of the world’s five largest economies by 2024. The decree sets several goals which the Russian government should achieve in the next 6 years.

One of the tasks says that “the Russian Federation should join the group of the world’s five largest economies, ensure economic growth rates above the world’s level while keeping macroeconomic stability, including inflation at no more than 4%.”

“The Russian Government in line with national goals is to develop (revise) in cooperation with government authorities of Russian constituencies and present national projects (programs) in the following areas by October 1, 2018 for consideration at the meeting of the Council under the Russian president for Strategic Development and Priority Projects: demography, healthcare, education, housing and urban environment, ecology, safe and quality motorways, labor productivity and employment support, science, digital economy, culture, small and medium enterprises and support of individual business initiative, international cooperation and export,” the Decree reads.

The government should ensure growth of the share of costs for the digital economy development in Russia’s GDP of at least 3-fold in 2024 compared to 2017, Putin said.

The targets to be achieved by the government in 2024 include increasing domestic expenditures for the development of the digital economy at the expense of all sources (by share in the country’s gross domestic product) at least 3-fold compared to 2017.

Putin also instructed to ensure “creating a stable and secure ICT infrastructure for high-speed transmission, processing and storage of large amounts of data accessible to all organizations and households.”

At the same time, state bodies, local governments and organizations in 2024 should use predominantly domestic software, the Decree said.