Dmitry Medvedev sums up his first year as Prime Minister

1. Tough job

Medvedev admitted that
his first year in office has been quite hard. “The government is a machine that
works 24/7: it processes and issues enormous quantities of regulatory
documents; it manages the economy and addresses the everyday problems of the
entire country.”

2. Economic dip around
the corner?

Dmitry Medvedev

Medvedev said that an
economic slump is just a matter of time; even so, the country should strive to
avert a real rather than just technical recession. “I’m positive that there
will be no crisis like the one we had in 2008-2009. There’s no need to stock up
on canned meat, soap, matches and salt. Yet there’s no doubt that we are in a
very tight international economic situation.”

3. Supporting
scientists, engineers

“We have worked out a
way to support university graduates pursuing a career in science. The program
provides substantial grants but we also need to offer housing. We need a
special public mortgage program and have universities or the Academy of
Sciences earmark money for this. The same holds true for engineers.”

4. Austerity

“Each state agency must
give up at least 5 percent of the budget-financed purchases they need in order to
function. On a nationwide scale, billions of rubles will be saved. This is a
crucial austerity measure.”

5. Back to daylight
savings time?

Medvedev is concerned
that half population of Russia will misinterpret the decision to change to winter
time. “Discussions are still underway. Studies have shown that around 50 percent of
the people wish to return to the old system, whereas 50 percent want to retain the new

6. Immigration

Medvedev said Russia
cannot do without immigrants in the near future and a better system should be
developed to manage this.

“I recently visited an immigration center in Nizhny
Novgorod and was surprised at how many people from developed countries come to
work in Russia: hundreds of thousands of people from Germany, the Netherlands
and the UK. These are not tourists, but people seeking work visas and
employment in Russia. This means that our country attracts even those who have
decent wages in their home countries.”

7. Investing sovereign
wealth fund abroad

“Our country is highly dependent
on oil and gas, so we invest in highly reliable instruments that are well
protected and are not subject to volatility risks.”

8. WTO

“The advantages of the
WTO are not that they will treat you to a piece of cake on a plate but that
that we abide by universal trade laws and our products will meet the
requirements currently effective in the WTO member-states: not yet but in a
year or two, or three, or five. And we will be able to manage the costs.”

9. No cabinet reshuffle

Asked whether there were
any ministers he was ready to part with, the Prime Minister said: “Ones I’m
ready to sacrifice? There are none… The government is a team. I nominated them
all and the President supported them all. I’m responsible for them. If I
believe that a person is a good worker, I will stand by them.”

10. Ban on foreign
assets for government officials


Medvedev sums up results of Russia’s foreign and domestic policy

Prime Minister says Russian economy is doing just fine

“If you live in and
manage Russia, you should be responsible for the economy and understand that
your money depends on the way you manage it […] Our goal is not to oust
well-off people from the government (including regional and municipal
authorities) or parliament. We welcome successful people as ministers and MPs,
not people who have hidden something and are saying: everything’s fine, thank
you, we earn just a few coppers.”

11. No shame in being
called ‘Dimon’

‘Dimon’ (pronounced
dee-MON) is a pet name for ‘Dmitry.’ Many Russian-language users of the
internet have referred to Medvedev that way in forums and other venues. “They
refer to ministers, prime ministers and presidents by their first names in many
countries. It might be different at certain protocol events but almost anyone
can call them by their first names. In Russia, we have different traditions,

12. Like father, like son

Dmitry Medvedev’s son,
Ilya, recently began studying international law at Moscow’s prestigious MGIMO
university. “For obvious reasons, children of top-ranking officials have to
deal with some special difficulties. But it is very important for me that my
son feels like a regular guy. He’s a normal student.”

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