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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Russia needs steady development 'without leaps' - Putin

Vladimir PutinSochi, 6 September: Russia needs stable conditions for development, which would ensure forward movement without leaps, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with participants in the Valday discussion club.

"Everyone would like this movement to be more powerful, more spectacular, but our task is not to make things spectacular but to formulate the stable conditions for the country's development in order to ensure this forward movement without any leaps," he said.

"We don't need any leaps, up or down, right or left; we already had a period about 20 years ago when we made more than enough leaps in every direction," he recalled with a smile.

However, asked by the Economist Europe editor John Peet how briskly the process of modernization was going in Russia, the chairman of the government answered quite guardedly: "It is, on the whole, satisfactory".

At the same time he pointed out that one of the key indicators of a country's development was the public mood, "which is directly reflected in demography".

"Only a short while ago, Russia was believed to be unable to steer out of a demographic dead end. However, quite obvious positive changes have been going on for the last few years," Putin noted.

Thus, he said, "the birth rate has increased, the death rate is falling, we increased life expectancy in Russia by five years over a four-year period, last year was the first when our population did not decrease, and for the first time in 15 years the birth rate is rising steadily". "All this shows that, despite the crisis, the planning horizon is increasing, and people feel more stable," he stressed.

"There have been many other steps too, but if it doesn't look so spectacular, would it have been better if we showed spectacular effects?" Putin said.

"We are not working to look spectacular but to create conditions for moving forward," the prime minister stressed.

Keywords: Russian Politics, Government, Nonprofits/Valdai, Economy, Population, Russian Issues, Russia, Johnson's Russia List, Russia News

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