Monday, December 6, 2010

Dimitri Medvedev's State of the Union Speech

While poking around the PRAVDA files, MeanMesa was gratified to find an English transcript of the State of the Union speech recently delivered by Russian Federation President, Dimitri Medvedev.

Just as is the case in the United States, this State of the Union address (perhaps better classed as "State of the Federation..."), the President addressed topics considered to be the most important for Russian Federation citizens.  Naturally, he spoke of economic issues (the Federation's economy is actually quite healthy) along with  military and foreign policy decisions (the necessity of initiating new arms build up if the START cannot be rescued from the GOP extortionists in the US), but the bulk of his speech was centered directly on his intentions to increase his government's commitment to Russian children.

Economic conditions in the Russian Federation reflect  significant improvements from the "basket case" status left over when the old Soviet Union finally collapsed.  As a relatively mature social government -- granted, one which still faces some serious problems -- the Federation is now able economically to begin to address matters in its long term future.

While Senate thugs in the United States continue to scream in their relentless tantrum about how many Americans "should" be cascading into poverty, our friends across the Strait are thinking about tomorrow's Russians.  

The "big picture" view of all of this presents an unsettling similarity to the strident Christian Kings in Europe as they, inebriated by the terror of the religionists of the time into developmental paralysis, as they continued to demonize the urban Ottoman's to their South.  While the Turks were codifying algebra, Europe's Christians were transfixed with the "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" question.

In a certain sense, we Americans may be too similar to those hypnotized, old European critics sitting in their cold stone halls amid the chickens and the syphilis, incessantly repeating the "talking points" of the day concerning their righteous superiority over their Islamic neighbors.


Medvedev: Future Generations are the Top Priority

December 1, 2010 

Excerpts - Read the whole speech article source

On November 30, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made his annual address to the Federal Assembly. According to the established tradition, the President has touched upon all aspects important for the country and its citizens: the state of the economy, reforms in the army and the Interior Ministry, improvement in the political system and enhancement of the quality of life. However, this time, the largest part of the President's speech was devoted to the issues of public policy in the area of childhood.

The President started his third address (Medvedev addressed the Federal Assembly for the first time on November 5, 2008) with a discussion of economic indicators. Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia now is moving from crisis response measures to a balanced budget policy. He acknowledged that the budget deficit remains high. Yet, "for it not to become an obstacle to the development, we will be working on reducing it," said Medvedev, adding that such commitments were assumed by all leading countries of the world. Inflation in Russia, according to the President, should be reduced to four or five percent per year in the next three years.

The leitmotif of the address of the head of state to the Federal Assembly this time was the demographic policy and child care. Having determined that child care is of paramount importance for the country, he proposed to develop a modern and effective policy in this area that would allow overcoming the demographic crisis.

"A society in which the children's rights are protected and their dignity is respected is not only kinder and more humane. These societies are developing better and faster, have a supportive and consistent perspective. I believe that an effective public policy regarding childhood is of vital importance. We need a modern policy which considers the interest of national development," said Dmitry Medvedev.

The President stressed that this was the reason he decided to give this subject the most attention in this address. Modernization, said Dmitry Medvedev, is implemented specifically for future generations. "We should not be ashamed of the country we will give to our children and grandchildren. Yet, of no less importance is the question in whose hands will the fate of Russia fall. 26 million children and adolescents are living in our country, they should fully develop, be healthy and happy to become its worthy citizens. This is number one task for all of us," he stressed.

"We must not have unattended children in Russia," said Medvedev on Tuesday. "In our country, unfortunately, 130,000 children are left without family care, they have neither parents nor guardians, they are denied the most important thing - family warmth," the President said, addressing the Federal Assembly.

To protect children, the Russian President proposed a number of measures. Among them, for example, is the law stipulating criminal liability for selling alcohol to minors, which, according to the President, will be adopted in Russia in the near future. The President proposed to exempt from taxation all the money allocated by charitable organizations for child support. According to him, he expects that the State Duma will adopt a respective law in the near future.

Medvedev also demanded to solve the situation with a shortage of kindergartens in the regions of Russia. All regions, at the request of the head of state, must build new or reconstruct old kindergarten facilities.

Speaking of children and demographic situation in Russia, the President also said that when the third child is born in a family, such families must be provided with free land for building houses. "As far as I know, in the Ivanovo region it was decided to provide free land for construction of residential buildings or cottages to the families who decide to have the third child," said the head of state. According to him, "it is a very proper measure which should serve as an example for other areas." "I consider it appropriate to make this practice widespread," stressed the President. As an encouragement, monthly payments for each child beginning with the third one will be raised to 3,000 rubles ($100).

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