Message of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of May 10, 2006
In his next annual message to the Federal Assembly, the President described approaches to defining the place of Russia in the world division of labour, in modern international relations. The President analysed in detail the demographic issue and development of the Armed Forces.
The task of rouble convertibility put forward since 2003 must be expedited by revocation of remaining restrictions from July 1 of the current year. To make the rouble a more universal means of international payments, it is suggested to arrange on the territory of Russia exchange trade for oil, gas, other commodities with payments made in roubles.
To facilitate introduction of home-made products to international markets, the issue of a more rational participation in international division of labour was raised and the issue of obtaining full benefits from integration in the world economy. To this end, negotiations are continued to join WTO on conditions that would take account of economic interest of Russia.
Having characterised the situation in the demographic sphere as critical, the President suggested a program of stimulation of birth rate, namely, the measures of support of young families, support of women making up their minds to have a child that include an increase of the child care allowance paid out until 1.5 years of age: from Rbl 700 to Rbl 1,500, and up to Rbl 3,000 for the second child on the monthly basis. Introduction of compensation of expenses for child pre-school education up to 70% of the average amount of payment for the pre-school institutions. Increase up to Rbl 2,500 of earnings for adoptive parents. Increase of the cost of birth certificates - in pre-natal centres from Rbl 2,000 to Rbl 3,000, and in the maternity hospital, from Rbl 5,000 to Rbl 7,000. A measure of material support is suggested to women having born a second child - at least Rbl 250,000 with an annual indexing.
The President also emphasised especially the issue of modernisation of the Russian Army, manning compliance with the goal of creation of a professional and mobile army to bring it to 1 million persons. The reduction is expected to occur at the expense of the reduction of the bureaucratic apparatus. Combat units will not be reduced.
It is expected to make the Army a professional one for more than two thirds by 2008, reduce the period of draft service to 12 months. General-purpose forces by 2011 will include 600 units of permanent readiness. Their number will be significantly increased in the fighter plane units, army aviation, air defence forces, communication units, radio electronic reconnaissance and warfare units.
By 2010, it is expected to solve completely the issue of permanent dwelling space for servicemen, and by 2012, the issue of service dwelling space for servicemen.