We are meeting at a difficult time, when our Armed Forces are
conducting a special military operation in Ukraine and
me remind you that at its very beginning, in the early morning of
I publicly and openly stated the reasons and the main
goal of Russia's actions.
It is to help our people in the Donbass, who for almost eight years
have been subjected to the most barbaric methods - blockade,
large-scale punitive actions, terrorist attacks and constant
artillery shelling - a real genocide.
And for what?
they sought elementary human rights - to live by the laws and
traditions of their ancestors, to speak their native language, to
raise their children the way they wanted.
At the same time, the authorities in Kyiv have not only ignored and
sabotaged the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures to
peacefully resolve the crisis over all these years, but at the end
of last year they refused to implement it in public.
They have also begun the practical implementation of plans to join
NATO. Moreover, the Kyiv authorities also announced their intention
to build their own nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery.
This was a real threat.
Already in the foreseeable future, with
foreign technical assistance, the pro-Nazi regime in Kiev could get
its hands on weapons of mass destruction, and its target would, of
course, be Russia.
There was also a network of dozens of laboratories in Ukraine where
military biological programs, including experiments with samples of
coronavirus, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever, and other deadly
conducted under the direction and financial support of
Traces of these secret programs are now being
strenuously covered up.
But we have every reason to believe that
components of biological weapons were in fact created in the
immediate vicinity of Russia, on Ukrainian territory.
Our repeated warnings that this development posed a direct threat to
Russia's security were rejected by Ukraine and its US and NATO
patrons with ostentatious and cynical disregard.
Thus, all diplomatic options have been completely exhausted. We were
simply left with no options to resolve peacefully the problems that
arose through no fault of our own.
And so we were simply forced to
launch a special military operation.
The appearance of Russian troops near Kiev and other cities in
Ukraine is not connected with the intention to occupy this country.
We do not have such a goal, and I also explicitly stated this in my
address on February 24.
As for the combat tactics that have been developed by the Russian
Ministry of Defence and our General Staff, they have fully justified
themselves. And our guys - soldiers and officers - are showing
courage and heroism, doing everything in their power to avoid
casualties among the civilian population of Ukrainian cities.
I want to say this for the first time: at the very beginning of the
operation in Donbas, the Kiev authorities were asked through various
channels, in order to avoid senseless bloodshed, not to engage in
combat operations, but simply to withdraw their troops from Donbas.
They did not want to. Well, that is their decision. The realization
of what is happening in the real situation, on the ground, will come
The operation is progressing successfully, in strict accordance with
I would like to note that Ukraine, encouraged by the United States
and a number of Western countries, was purposefully preparing for a
violent scenario, a bloodbath and ethnic cleansing in Donbass.
massive offensive on the Donbass and then on Crimea was only a
matter of time. And our Armed Forces thwarted these plans.
Kiev was not only preparing for war, for aggression against Russia,
against Donbass - they were waging it. Attempts to organize sabotage
and a terrorist underground in Crimea did not stop. In recent years,
fighting continued in Donbas, shelling of peaceful settlements.
During this time almost 14 thousand civilians have been killed,
On March 14, as you know, there was a rocket attack on the center of
Donetsk. It was an outright bloody attack that killed more than 20
people. And this kind of shelling has been going on for the last few
They hit indiscriminately, in squares, with the fanaticism and
frenzy of the doomed - like the Nazis, who in the last days of the
Third Reich tried to take as many innocent victims with them to the
grave as possible.
But what is striking in its extreme cynicism is not only Kiev's
unapologetic lies and claims that it was Russia (they thought of
that too!) that allegedly launched a missile at Donetsk, but also
that the so-called civilized Western world, the European and
American press did not even notice the Donetsk tragedy, as if it
In the same hypocritical way, they turned a blind eye during the
last eight years, when mothers in Donbass buried their children.
When old people were killed.
This is just some kind of moral
degradation, a complete dehumanization.
Only your patronage to our store is what keeps this beacon of truth
lit in the controlled-narrative darkness.
The many years of mockery of the people of Donbass could no longer
be tolerated. And to put an end to the genocide, Russia recognized
the people's republics of Donbass and concluded treaties of
friendship and mutual assistance with them.
On the basis of these
agreements, the republics turned to our country for military
assistance in repelling the aggression. And we provided this
assistance - we simply could not, had no right to do otherwise.
But what I want to emphasize and ask you to pay attention to: if our
troops had acted only on the territory of the people's republics,
helped them liberate their land, this would not have been the final
solution, would not have led to peace and would not have eliminated
the threat fundamentally - to our country, already to Russia.
contrary, there would have been a new front line around Donbass and
along its borders, and shelling and provocations would have
In other words, the armed conflict would drag on
endlessly, fueled by the revanchist hysteria of the Kiev regime, and
NATO's military infrastructure in Ukraine would deploy even faster
and more aggressively:
we would be faced with the fact that the
Alliance's offensive weapons are already at our borders.
I repeat - we would have had no other option for self-defense, for
Russia's security, except a special military operation. And all the
tasks we have set ourselves will certainly be accomplished.
reliably ensure the security of Russia and our people and we will
never allow Ukraine to serve as a springboard for aggressive actions
against our country.
These are issues that are fundamental for Russia and our future
- the neutral status of Ukraine, demilitarization and
denationalization - we were ready and willing to discuss during the
Our country has done everything to organize and
conduct these negotiations, understanding that every opportunity
must be used to save people and their lives.
But again and again we are convinced that the Kiev regime, which has
been tasked by its Western masters to create an aggressive
anti-Russia, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine.
The fact that people are dying, the fact that hundreds of thousands,
millions have become refugees, the fact that there is a real
humanitarian disaster in the cities held by neo-Nazis and their
armed criminals released from prisons - everything is indifferent.
It is also obvious to us that Western patrons are simply pushing the
Kiev authorities to continue the bloodshed. They are being supplied
with more and more weapons, intelligence, and other assistance,
including military advisers and mercenaries.
They have also chosen as a weapon economic, financial, trade and
other sanctions against Russia, which are now hitting the Europeans
and Americans themselves, by the way, through rising prices of
gasoline, energy, food, through the loss of jobs associated with the
And you must not, as they say, put the blame on our
I want the ordinary citizens of Western countries to hear me as
well: they are now trying to persuade you that all your difficulties
are the result of some hostile actions of Russia, that your own
purse should be used to pay for the fight against the mythical
All of this is a lie.
The truth is that the current problems faced by millions of people
in the West are the result of years of action, error,
short-sightedness, and ambition on the part of the ruling elites of
These elites are not thinking about how to improve the
lives of their citizens in Western countries. They are obsessed with
their own self-interest and super-profits.
This is evidenced by data from international organizations, which
clearly show that social problems, even in the leading Western
countries, have only worsened in recent years, that inequality, the
gap between rich and poor, and racial and national conflicts are on
The myth of a Western welfare society, of the so-called
golden billion, is crumbling.
I repeat, today the entire planet has to pay the price for the
West's ambitions, for its attempts to maintain its elusive dominance
by any means.
The imposition of sanctions is a logical continuation, a
concentrated expression of the irresponsible, short-sighted policy
of the governments and central banks of the United States and EU
It is they who in recent years have with their own hands
unleashed a spiral of global inflation, their actions have led to an
increase in global poverty and in inequality, to new flows of
refugees around the world.
And the question arises:
Who will now be
responsible for the millions of starving deaths in the world's
poorest countries due to growing food shortages?
Again, this is a serious blow to the entire global economy and
trade, to the credibility of the U.S. dollar as the main reserve
Thus, illegitimate actions to freeze part of the currency reserves
of the Bank of Russia draw a line under the reliability of the
so-called first-class assets.
In fact, both the U.S. and the EU have
declared a real default on their obligations to Russia.
knows that financial reserves can be simply stolen.
this, many countries may begin in the near future - I am sure this
will happen - to convert their paper and digital savings into real
reserves in the form of commodities, land, food, gold, other real
assets, which will only increase the deficit in these markets.
I would add that the seizure of foreign assets and accounts of
Russian companies and individuals is also a lesson for national
business, that there is nothing more reliable than investing in
one's own country. I told this myself more than once.
We appreciate the position of those foreign companies that, despite
the unscrupulous pressure from the United States and their vassals,
continue to work in our country.
In the future, they will surely get
additional opportunities for development.
We also know those who cowardly betrayed their partners, forgot
about their responsibility to their employees and clients in Russia,
and rushed to earn illusory dividends on their participation in the
At the same time, unlike Western countries,
we will respect property rights.
What do I want to emphasize?
We need to clearly understand that a
new package of sanctions and restrictions against us would have
followed in any scenario. I want to stress this.
operation in Ukraine is just a pretext for the West to impose new
sanctions. Yes, of course, they are concentrated now.
referendum in Crimea, which took place, incidentally, on March 16,
2014, exactly eight years ago, in the course of which the residents
of Crimea and Sevastopol made their free choice to join their
historic homeland, was the same [reason] for them, for Westerners.
Let me repeat:
we are only talking about occasions.
But the policy
of containing and weakening Russia, including through economic
isolation and blockade, is a conscious, long-term strategy.
leaders themselves are no longer hiding the fact that sanctions are
not aimed at individuals or companies; their goal is to hit our
entire domestic economy, our social and humanitarian sphere, every
family, every citizen of Russia.
In fact, such steps aimed at worsening the lives of millions of
people have all the hallmarks of aggression, a war by economic,
political and informational means.
It is total and unconcealed, and,
I repeat, the so-called Western political elite are not even shy
about speaking about it in plain words.
All the verbal tinsel about political correctness, inviolability of
private property, freedom of speech - all of this disappeared
overnight. Even the Olympic principles were trampled.
They were not
shy about settling scores with the Paralympians either - that's how
"sports outside politics" is.
In many Western countries, people just for the fact that they come
from Russia are being persecuted today: they refuse medical care,
expel children from schools, put their parents out of work, ban
Russian music, culture and literature.
In attempting to "abolish"
Russia, the West stripped itself of all masks of decency, began to
act in a boorish manner, and demonstrated its true nature.
analogies are just begging to be drawn with the anti-Semitic pogroms
carried out by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s and later by their
henchmen from many European countries who joined Hitler's aggression
against our country during the Great Patriotic War.
Against Russia deployed a massive attack in cyberspace.
unprecedented information campaign in which the global social
networks and all western mass media which objectivity and
independence have appeared simply a myth is unleashed. Access to
information is restricted, people are flooded with a huge number of
fakes, propaganda fakes, in other words, fakes.
It has gone so far
that one of the American social networks has directly stated that
publications calling for the murder of Russian citizens are
We understand what resources this empire of lies has, but it is
still powerless against truth and justice. Russia will consistently
make its position known to the world.
Our position is honest and
open, and more and more people hear it, understand it and share it.
I want to say very frankly: there are hostile geopolitical goals
behind the hypocritical talks and current actions of the so-called
They do not need, simply do not need, a strong and
sovereign Russia; they will not forgive us for our independent
course or for defending our national interests.
We remember how they supported separatism, terrorism, encouraging
terrorists and bandits in the North Caucasus.
As they did in the
1990s and early 2000s, they want to repeat their attempt to finish
us off, to crush us off, to drive us beyond Mozhai, as they say, to
turn us into a "national enemy".
We remember how they supported separatism, terrorism, encouraging
terrorists and bandits in the North Caucasus.
As they did in the
1990s and early 2000s, they want to repeat their attempt to crush
us, to crush us again, to drive us beyond Mozhai, to turn us into a
weak, dependent country, to break our territorial integrity, to
dismember Russia in the best way for them.
It didn't work then, it
won't work now.
Yes, of course, they will try to bet on the so-called fifth column,
on the national traitors, on those who make money here, in our
country, and live there, and "live" not even in the geographical
sense of the word, but according to their thoughts, their slave
I don't condemn those who have a villa in Miami or on the French
Riviera, who can't do without foie gras, oysters or so-called gender
That is absolutely not the problem, but, I repeat, the
problem is that many of these people are mentally there, not here,
not with our people, not with Russia.
This is, in their opinion
their opinion! - a sign of belonging to a higher caste, to a higher
race. Such people are ready to sell their mother, just to be allowed
to sit in the hallway of this highest caste.
They want to be like
her, imitating her in every possible way.
But they forget or do not
understand at all that this so-called higher caste even needs them,
but as expendable material to use them to cause maximum damage to
The collective West is trying to split our society by speculating on
combat losses, on the socio-economic consequences of sanctions, to
provoke civil confrontation in Russia, and, using its fifth column,
is striving to achieve its goal.
And the goal is the same, I have
already said about it - the destruction of Russia.
But any nation, and especially the Russian people, can always
distinguish the true patriots from the scum and traitors, and simply
spit them out, like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths,
spit them out on the panel.
I am convinced that this natural and
necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our
country, our solidarity, unity and readiness to meet any challenge.
The so-called collective West and its fifth column are used to
measuring everything and everyone by themselves. They think that
everything can be bought and sold, so they think that we will break
down and retreat. But they do not know our history and our people
Yes, many countries in the world have long ago reconciled themselves
to living with their backs bowed and subserviently accepting all the
decisions of their sovereign, looking at him subserviently in the
Many countries live this way. Unfortunately, in Europe as well.
But Russia will never be in such a pathetic and humiliated state,
and the fight we are waging is a fight for our sovereignty, for the
future of our country and our children. We will fight for the right
to be and remain Russia.
Our example is the courage and
steadfastness of our soldiers and officers, the faithful defenders
of the Fatherland.
It is obvious that the current events draw a line under the global
domination of Western countries both in politics and economy.
Moreover, they call into question the economic model that in recent
decades has been imposed on developing countries and the whole world
Let me stress:
the sanctions obsession of the U.S. and its
supporters is not shared by the countries where more than half of
the world's population lives.
It is these states that represent the
fastest growing, most promising part of the global economy. Russia
is one of them.
Yes, it is not easy for us right now. Russian financial companies,
large enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses are facing
The banking system was the first to be hit by the sanctions, but
Russian banks have managed to cope with this challenge. Working
literally around the clock, they continue to make payments and
settlements for citizens and ensure the activities of businesses.
The second wave of sanctions was designed to provoke panic in the
trade sector. According to estimates, over the past three weeks
additional demand for goods exceeded one trillion rubles.
domestic producers, suppliers, transport and logistics companies
have done everything to avoid a large-scale shortage in retail
I would like to express my gratitude to the Russian business
community, the labor collectives of companies, banks and
organizations that not only provide an effective response to the
sanctions challenges, but also lay the foundation for further
sustainable development of our economy.
And separately, I would like
to acknowledge the Government, the Bank of Russia, the heads of the
constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and regional and
In the current challenging environment, you are
responsibly addressing the challenges you face
Obviously, they have not succeeded in organizing an economic
blitzkrieg against Russia, demoralizing our society, and taking us
by force, so we are likely to see attempts to increase the pressure
on our country. But we will overcome these difficulties too.
Russian economy will definitely adapt to the new realities.
strengthen our technological and scientific sovereignty, we will
direct additional resources towards supporting agriculture, the
manufacturing industry, infrastructure, and housing construction,
and we will continue to develop foreign trade relations, counting on
fast-growing, dynamic international markets.
Undoubtedly, the new realities will require deep structural changes
in our economy, and I will not hide it, they will not be easy, they
will lead to a temporary increase in inflation and unemployment.
Our task in this situation is to minimize such risks. Not only to
strictly fulfill all social obligations of the state, but also to
launch new, more effective mechanisms to support citizens and their
The focus of attention is protection of maternity, childhood, and
support of families with children.
From April 1, it has already been
decided - as you know - to introduce payments for children aged 8 to
16, inclusive, who are brought up in families with low incomes.
amount will be half to one subsistence minimum for each child of
that age. Now it is on average up to 12,300 rubles across the
country. Thus, we will have a unified system of support from the
moment when the expectant mother is still expecting a child, and
until the child reaches the age of 17.
I charge the government to ensure that this system works in such a
way that it promptly takes into account changes in the financial
situation of families.
That is, if parents have experienced job loss
or other difficult life circumstances, the family should begin to
receive help from the state as quickly as possible.
I also ask the Government to quickly analyze the effectiveness of
support measures for people who have lost their jobs. It is clear
that these measures must be expanded, including through the
mechanism of the social contract.
I understand that people's incomes are seriously affected by rising
prices, so we will soon take a decision to increase all social
payments, including allowances and pensions, raise the minimum wage
and the subsistence level, and increase wages in the public sector.
I ask the Government to calculate the exact parameters of such an
And I emphasize:
even in the current difficult situation at the end
of the year, we need to achieve a reduction in the level of poverty
This is a quite feasible task even today.
I ask the
Government and the regions to focus on achieving this task. And I
would like to add that it is not only of an economic nature, as we
all understand, but is also a matter of social justice.
Right now, a great deal depends on the initiative of the heads of
the regions, on their willingness to take responsibility. Today, I
signed a decree giving additional powers to regional heads - they
will be able to make flexible and prompt decisions to support our
citizens, our economy, and the social sphere based on the real
situation on the ground.
I would like to remind you that this is the
logic that allows us to take into account the situation in every
region, every town, every village - and this is not the same
everywhere - and this is how we have built our counter-coronavirus
I am instructing all branches of the federal government in the
regions to coordinate their work with the regional authorities in
the next six months, and for governors to create operational
headquarters to ensure economic development, and to personally lead
What should be the priority here?
The key role in overcoming the current problems must be played by
private business, which is able in a short time to restructure
logistics, find new suppliers, and increase production of products
which are in demand.
On how quickly private business will find the
necessary solutions and make them, depends the preservation of
employment, income and wages of citizens, and generally ensuring the
stable, rhythmic operation of the economy.
Therefore, we must
respond to external pressure with maximum entrepreneurial freedom
and support for business initiatives.
I ask the Government, law enforcement agencies and supervisory
authorities to continue their work to remove unjustified
administrative and regulatory barriers.
All the more so, we cannot
distract business and regional authorities from solving the most
pressing, urgent problems by burdening them with all kinds of
inspections and control measures.
One of the key problems for businesses now is the shortage of
working capital, the inaccessibility and high cost of credit, but
the Central Bank was forced to take appropriate measures.
regard, I instruct to implement the following steps.
First. Enterprises that fulfill the orders of the authorities and
companies with state participation should receive money for
delivered goods and services as quickly as possible and put them
back into business.
In this regard, I propose to increase the amount
of advance payments under government contracts.
Advance should be
not less than half of the total amount of the contract, and the term
of payment for goods and services supplied should be reduced to
seven working days.
A similar decision must also be taken at the
level of federal subjects, municipalities and companies with state
Second. We must expand the opportunities for entrepreneurs to raise
additional resources from development institutes.
We are talking
about expanding the work of the Project Finance Factory (it works
here, and works well; practice has shown it to be in demand), about
providing resources for business investment plans through the
Industrial Development Fund (one of the really good tools), the Bank
for Small and Medium Business, and, in addition, through regional
support institutions, including guarantee funds.
I instruct the
Government to allocate additional funds to the constituent entities
of the Federation for such regional instruments.
I would like to draw the attention of the Government and our
colleagues in the regions to the following:
the most important task
is to ensure the availability of goods on the consumer market, first
and foremost, I mean essential goods, medicines, and medical
It is necessary to promptly solve logistics and other
objective problems that lead to price spikes.
At the same time we
must eliminate manual intervention in the regulation of prices. It
is an increase in supply that should lead to a reduction and
stabilization of prices.
Separately, I want to address our exporters.
In a situation when
there are difficulties with supplies to foreign markets, we must not
cut production, but, on the contrary, send additional volumes of
goods to the domestic market.
This should objectively lead to lower
prices inside the country, including prices for gasoline, diesel,
bitumen, metals, and other export goods.
I ask the Government and
the Federal Antimonopoly Service, as well as the regional
authorities, to constantly monitor the situation on these markets.
Next. Given the new challenges Russia is facing, we must maintain
and expand our long-term development agenda, including the
continuation of all planned projects at both the federal and
We must make full use of our budget system's
potential as an incentive tool.
Federal financing for projects and construction projects will be
provided in full, as agreed.
Moreover, even back in December, we
decided to provide additional funding if the cost of construction
has increased objectively.
I think it is important to note that in the current situation, there
will be no problems with funding from the federal budget.
economy today generates a sufficient and good amount of revenue, and
this means that we will not need to resort to emission.
the Central Bank will not need to print money.
We have revenues - market-based, healthy revenues. The problem now is not money.
have the resources, I'll say it again.
The key difficulties are
related to the supply of components, equipment, construction
materials, and the organization of the contractors' work.
the timing and methods of implementation of specific projects and
their stages may change, and this will require coordinated work
between the authorities and business representatives, and the forced
implementation of import substitution projects - this is what is
It is important to simplify the order of interaction between the
regions and federal authorities, to give the subjects of the
Federation more freedom in maneuvering with resources, as well as
opportunities to launch new constructions and programs.
For example, the regions have already been allocated additional
funds for road construction.
I am asking the Government to work on
the issue of increasing funding for other infrastructure facilities
that can already be put to work this year, as well as on increasing
purchases from Russian companies, including for the renovation of
public transport, for example.
It is clear that the budgets of Russia's regions are now under a
serious additional burden, so, as we agreed, we are additionally
indexing fiscal capacity equalization subsidies.
We will also be
using other measures to support regional finances, namely, all
budgetary loan repayments scheduled for this year will be deferred
and shifted to the right, so to speak, while commercial loan
repayments, where necessary, will be replaced with budgetary loans.
I ask the Government to study this issue in detail, and to delve
into each specific case. Only this individual work will lead to the
In addition, the Ministry of Finance will provide an unconditional
credit line to each region of the Russian Federation. It will amount
to ten percent of the total volume of revenues with a maturity date
not earlier than the end of this year.
We will maintain the volume of infrastructure budget loans.
instructing the Government to organize flexible management of this
program, taking into account all the difficulties associated with
the implementation of projects - I have already talked about them
Regions must be able to quickly make decisions on changing
the portfolio and content of projects, and focus on those that can
be implemented with maximum efficiency under current conditions.
necessary, we will consider a possible increase in the volume of
infrastructure loans. It is possible, it can be done.
On the whole,
we will closely monitor the situation with regional finances and
take additional decisions to support them, if necessary.
I want to stress that direct communication between all levels of
power and a clear-cut algorithm are crucial now. The State Council
and its specialist commissions have already proven their
I ask the State Governance Committee headed by Sergei Sobyanin to work together with our Government colleagues to identify
problematic issues on the regional agenda, develop the best
solutions and apply them to all of Russia's regions.
We have had
good experience in dealing with the epidemic.
Our economy, the state budget and private business have all the
resources we need to tackle long-term challenges. All the strategic,
national goals we have set for the period until 2030 must be
The current challenges and the opportunities they present
should only mobilize us, and that is what we should set ourselves up
for, aiming to achieve tangible results in the interests of our
It is clear that our programs will need to be fine-tuned, and the
initiatives of the business community, scientists, and public
associations are needed here.
In this regard, I ask the regions to
get actively involved in organizing the Agency for Strategic
Initiatives' Strong Ideas for New Times forum, where every citizen
of Russia will be able to present their proposals and concrete
projects aimed at developing their city, region, and country as a
I will repeat:
the current situation is certainly a test for all of
I'm sure we will pass it with dignity; with hard work, joint
work and mutual support we will overcome all the difficulties and
become even stronger, as we have always been in the history of
This is the kind of work I want to set you up