Vladimir Putin has presented an historical first performance report by a prime minister before the Duma. The New York Times examines the emphasis upon spending outlined in the speech, with a priority on social support and tax breaks for businesses. The Prime Minister is confident that ‘the country will beyond all doubt keep its position as one of the largest economies of the world’. ‘Don’t attack bankers‘, were his words of advice to Russian lawmakers, according to Bloomberg. He also commented, ‘the threat of the collapse of the banking system has receded’. Highlights of the speech are to be found on Reuters.
The government’s revised anti-crisismeasures have been posted on Putin’s website, but they appear to be only slight different from the original ones, published on March 19, reports the MoscowTimes. Following the order to reveal earnings, Putin and Medvedev have declaredtheir wealth. The US is struggling to achieve an agreement on the North Korea missile launch, as Russia and China show caution. In a meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas,Medvedev has pledged that Russia will proceed with plans to offer aid to the Middle East. Pressure upon President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia is growing, but any attempts to oust him could be jeopardized by internal disputes, says the Moscow Times,which also has a comment on anti-Saakashvili youth groupactivism. Exit polls suggest that the reigning Communist Party have won the Moldovan election. Russia has no military ambitions in the Arctic, the Russian ambassador to Canada has reportedly said.
Mary Dejevsky in the Independent comments upon the problems faced by Russian citizens looking for visas to the UK. The slogan ‘Putler Kaput’ seen upon protest bannersin the city of Vladivostok, where many demonstrations have taken place,has been banned from public meetings, says RFERL. Discontent isgrowing in Kazakhstan as people find the properties that they have bought remain unfinished as construction companies face bankruptcy. The Moscow Times reports upon the financial powerhouse that is the Russian Orthodox Church.
PHOTO: Vladimir Putin adresses parliament, on April 6, 2009. (AFP)