MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Question: Mr Medvedev, my first question is: how and why the decision was made to resign?
Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon!
I now where to start. In General, the Government should always be treated absolutely calm, this is not unusual. It happens all over the world, happening in our country. Maybe in recent years it was not very often, nevertheless it is absolutely a normal event. Moreover, generally, when the Government is formed, I will tell directly, it is always the President and the Prime Minister, no matter who was President or Prime Minister, to discuss not only the issues of appointments to the Cabinet, but also the potential resignation, it is perfectly normal.
As for why, I make two points. First and foremost, as I said. When we met with the President after the Message, on January 15 of the current year, we talked about the fact that the Message is marked as a large-scale task of upgrading the political system, even the change in the balance of powers in the country (in terms of both Government and Parliament, and partly of the President, judiciary) that in order to make all these decisions, the President must be absolutely free to discuss them, and accept without regard to any other factors. Including the Government.
And second. The government which I headed, and this is the second Government that I led, in total duration of these two governments in our country amounted to almost eight years. This is a great time. In the recent history of Russia that was the first time. I did some digging, so to speak, in the history of the Soviet period, and even of the tsarist period, but, frankly, so long these questions, no one did. Except for some, it may be, shapes. Therefore, it is clear that most of the work that has been done and the first Government and second Government, she still was very long, and it’s hard work related to decisions on particularly difficult issues. It is also necessary to take into account.
Question: But are You satisfied with the work of the Government? What worked, what didn’t?
Dmitry Medvedev: I would say as someone who was responsible for the work of the Government for almost eight years, I am overall pleased with how things went and how was the Supreme Executive authority. Of course, the final evaluation always give people, but from the point of view of work organization and the tasks that we decided it was extremely important and difficult time.
Let’s see. The first Government began in the period when Russia, like the rest of the world was hit by the second wave of the crisis. Plummeting energy prices. And this is for our country, something to hide, a key factor. This, of course, immediately hit the budgets for many programs. Further – more. After the annexation of Crimea, the return of the Crimea to our country, followed by sanctions. This, of course, quite painful also hit the economy, and we had not only to organize the work in a very complex sanctions, and even a crisis, but, in fact, engage in a critical subject that never before has the Government not done – import substitution. Because a number of products were cut off from our country. On the other hand, we bet to replace many kinds of goods, food on our shelves, in stores and just create a new Russian products and goods. It was also very serious and great job.
In addition, we, of course, was in these very difficult circumstances – sanctions plus the crisis – to keep macroeconomic stability. Usually talk about it as about General issues. But this is not common things. This rise in prices. I will remind that in the beginning, inflation increased to 13-15%. It hits the wallet of the people. Now we have inflation (this is the result of Government and Central Bank, incidentally, the President specifically said in the Message) is 3%. This is the lowest inflation in the history of our country. It is, accordingly, social well-being of people. And these efforts at macroeconomic stabilization I also can’t rule out one of those important things dealt with by the Government, which was formed in 2012 and in 2018.
Finally, a large program. They were adopted by presidential decree in 2012. Then national projects, which appeared in 2018. This is the most important government targets, which was the target of the first Government under my leadership, and second Government under my leadership. So overall I’m pleased with the work. We discussed this with the President of the country. And want, keeping in mind all the decisions, but this opportunity once again to thank all my colleagues in this very difficult situation within the country (referring to the international aspects of it) had this very, very difficult job. Of course, there were difficulties. So. Was and unsolved problems. And of course, now they will have to do. I mean, what we almost did not grow in real disposable income. This, of course, the result of the General economic situation, but these need to be addressed. Everybody’s talking about it, the President said in the Message. And this is probably the key challenge for the new Government. It was very difficult, painful but necessary decisions. I mean pension reform.
Question: Now You have a new post. Many thought that the appointment the first time was unexpected. Is it really so? And in General the position of Deputy President of the Security Council in what? What will You do?
Dmitry Medvedev: no, nothing unexpected in the post is not. In addition, this position…
Question: it was not.
Dmitry Medvedev: …it was not. But such ideas actually existed. And when the President was asked to become Deputy Chairman of the security Council of the Russian Federation and the Chairman of the Constitution is the President, I, naturally, agreed. Because it is important and necessary, I believe, the work of the security Council of the country. The Security Council is what? The Security Council is preparing the most important decisions in the sphere of security, the sovereignty of the country for the President. And engaged in the most important programs the most important activities which the security and sovereignty provide. It is not only the defenses, although this is, of course, and defenses. It is not only the protection of sovereignty but also a number of important decisions that relate to the protection of human rights, to environmental issues, addressing issues of industrial, economic security, provision, incidentally, economic security in the conditions when, for example, pressured by the same sanctions. And international issues which the Security Council deals with. And the experience I have gained working these almost eight years in Government, and before that as head of the Security Council as the President, probably, is also useful.
Question: I understand that the appointment to the new post does not mean withdrawal from active politics, the “United Russia”. You remain the head of the party? What will happen to the party?
Dmitry Medvedev: If we talk about specific new work, then this post does not contradict that engage in political activities, including activities for the party leadership. I remain Chairman of the party “United Russia”. This is our leading political force, it is the ruling party. It is a huge responsibility to our people, to the country for the development of the country. Naturally, the party solves the same tasks, and that, in fact, stand in front of the whole country. Now the major challenges are improving the welfare of people, the decision of those problems which is based on national projects. The party and its grassroots links (I mean in the primary organizations), and, of course, at the leadership level tries to help in the implementation of these tasks. And solves certain issues related to the development of specific regions, specific cities, and so on. You need to prepare for elections that will be this year, September 13. And of course, the potential for elections to the State Duma, which will be next year.
Question: How has changed Your life after retirement? What are your future plans? Now vacation?
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes no. It has changed to the following: I just arrived a couple of days skiing, taking advantage of the holidays. Now I ride a couple of days back and going to work. So in that sense, not much change, I will continue to work.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure will not be perfect.