[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Putin address to nation: Excerpts
President Vladimir Putin
Putin stressed the problem of Russia's declining population

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his seventh state of the nation address to parliament from the Kremlin on Wednesday.

Here are excerpts from his speech, which was broadcast live on national television.


No amount of migration will solve our demographic problems unless we create the appropriate conditions and incentives to increase the birth rate here, at home, in our own country; unless we adopt efficient programmes to support mothers, children and families...

Having started the implementation of the biggest social projects of recent years, we have laid a good foundation for resolving demographic problems, among other things.

Yet this too is inadmissibly little. And you know why: the situation in this area is critical.


Modern Russia needs unhindered access to the international market for all its products.

For us this is a question of more rational participation in the international division of labour. It is a question of obtaining the full benefits from integration into the world economy...

Talks on Russia's admission to the WTO must not become a bargaining tool on issues that have nothing to do with that organisation's activities.


We should not repeat the mistakes made by the Soviet Union, the mistakes of the Cold War era - either in politics or in the defence strategy.

We should not tackle the tasks of military build-up at the expense of the tasks of economic development and welfare. This is a blind alley leading to a depletion of the country's resources. It is a dead end.


These threats are less predictable than before, and the full extent of the threat they pose has yet to be fully understood...

Against the background of the acute threat posed by international terrorism, the key issues of disarmament have virtually fallen off the global agenda.

It is premature to speak of the end of the arms race.


The great hopes of millions of people were bound up in the reforms of the early 1990s. But neither the authorities nor business justified those hopes.

More than that, some members of those two spheres, disregarding the law and common decency, embarked on a personal enrichment that was unprecedented in the history of our country - at the expense of the majority of citizens.

As we work on the great national programme, which is designed to ensure the primary benefits for the masses, we have trodden on some toes. And we will continue to tread on them.


In my state of the nation address in 2003 I set the task of ensuring the convertibility of the rouble. Certain plans were drawn up. I must say that they are being fulfilled.

I now propose to speed up the repeal of the remaining restrictions and to have this work completed by 1 July this year.


Let me stress that in the conditions of globalisation, in a situation in which a new international architecture is taking shape, the role played by the UN is growing fundamentally.

It is the most representative and universal world forum, and continues to be a structure that underpins the world order as it is today.

It is clear that the foundations of this worldwide organisation were laid in an altogether different era. There is no doubt that it needs reforming.


Along with the air defence penetration systems that we already have, new types of weaponry will allow us to maintain what is undoubtedly one of the most significant guarantees of world stability, namely, the preservation of the strategic balance of forces.


There is still no guarantee that weapons, including nuclear ones, will not be deployed in space. There is the potential threat of the creation and proliferation of low-yield nuclear charges.

And apart from that, the media and expert circles are already discussing the possibility of using intercontinental ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads.

The launch of such a missile could provoke the wrong reaction by a nuclear power - and that could include a full-scale retaliatory strike with strategic nuclear forces.


In conditions of harsh international competition, the country's economic development must be determined mainly through its scientific and technological advantages.

But unfortunately the greater part of technological equipment used right now in Russian industry lags behind advanced levels by not just a year but decades, while the efficiency of energy use, even with reference to climate conditions, is many times lower in our country than in those of Russia's direct competitors on world markets.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Press weighs key Putin address
11 May 06 |  Europe
Russia 'needs more immigration'
24 Feb 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Russia
26 Apr 06 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific