In the spotlight: what topics can be raised in Putin’s message

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The course of the special military operation will be one of the main topics of Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly on February 21, the Kremlin said. However, they noted that the Russian leader will not bypass economic and social issues. The politicians interviewed by Izvestia are waiting for separate instructions on measures to support the mobilized and their families, as well as on the development of new territories. In addition, the deputies expect to hear proposals for solving demographic problems and eliminating the shortage of personnel in a number of industries.

“Our whole life now revolves around the topic of SVO”

The whole country is in anticipation of one of the main political events of the year: in Moscow, the central streets are partially blocked, TV channels are preparing for broadcast, and representatives of the ruling elite are taking PCR tests. On February 21, Vladimir Putin will deliver a message to the Federal Assembly at Gostiny Dvor in the center of Moscow. This will be the 28th address of the head of state to the parliament in the history of Russia. In this case, the focus, of course, will be a special military operation.

– This (Russia’s special operation to protect Donbass. – Izvestia), I think the main thing is that everyone is waiting, and most importantly, what the president will concentrate on in one way or another. Our whole life, it now revolves around the topic of NWO. Of course, we should expect the president to pay a lot of attention to her,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

According to the presidential press secretary, a significant part of the speech will be devoted to the international situation, but traditional areas such as the economy and the social sphere will not be left aside.

The start of the performance is scheduled for noon, while Dmitry Peskov called the fact that the federal TV channels allocated only one hour in the broadcast schedule for broadcasting a formality.

This will be the first message for the four new territories of Russia. Important innovations also affected the composition of the participants of the event: this year the Kremlin refrained from inviting media from unfriendly countries, inviting their journalists to watch a live broadcast. However, this will not reduce the number of guests – participants in a special military operation will become a new category of guests invited to Gostiny Dvor. In addition, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, heads of regions, as well as deputies and senators will be present in the hall, although at least 15 of them will not get to the site due to positive COVID tests, as parliamentarian Denis Parfenov said earlier.

The expert community draws attention to the fact that none of the previous speeches fell on such a difficult period in the life of the country.

– The message will partly help to relieve tension and social anxiety. Of course, the president will give an assessment of the current situation,” said political scientist, head of the “Political Expert Group” Konstantin Kalachev. – In my opinion, the best measure today for the affected economy is the removal of regular and administrative barriers for businesses, including small and medium ones. We need a “de-bureaucratization” of the economy. There remains a serious problem connected with poverty, with the demographic crisis. There are topics that the president always touches on. Among them are measures to support motherhood and childhood. Perhaps there will also be initiatives regarding maternity capital.

Separately, we should expect proposals for support measures not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term, he stressed. At the same time, the political scientist added: Vladimir Putin’s speech will be directed not only to Russian citizens and government officials, but also to the international community. Notably, US National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby did not rule out that US President Joe Biden might address Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the people of Russia as part of his visit to Poland. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken added that on February 21, the American leader will deliver a “very significant speech” to the heads of state on NATO’s eastern flank.

urgent questions

The main recipients of the presidential speech – deputies and senators – shared with Izvestia their expectations from the upcoming message. So, in the block of socio-economic issues there will be a place for the topic of healthcare, said Sergey Leonov, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on health protection.

– I expect certain decisions that will come from the president regarding the shortage of personnel in the healthcare sector. Namely, the distribution of graduates of medical universities and colleges studying for budget money for three years in a particular locality, in a particular hospital as needed, he explained. – I also count on an increase in funding for the health care system of central district hospitals in rural areas, so that the budget of the MHI fund is distributed in the most balanced way between large centers, such as Moscow, and small regions, because now, unfortunately, there is a “skew”.

Olga Korobova, a member of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, believes that a special vector will be set to support military personnel in the zone of the special military operation, as well as assistance to their families. In addition, the deputy expects to expand existing measures for families with children, as well as new ways to support young families. Vladimir Putin will not bypass the topic of preserving the cultural and historical heritage of Russia, “now undergoing massive” attacks “from the opposing forces,” added Dmitry Vasilenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture. Today, this requires special attention, protection and the adoption of prompt and effective measures, the senator stressed.

Parliamentarians are also preparing for instructions on the development of four new entities, said Konstantin Dolgov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on economic policy. According to him, politicians are waiting for clarifications on the integration of new territories into a single political, economic and social space of Russia.

– In his message, the president, as always, will pay special attention to issues related to the international situation, given that we are now fighting the collective West in Ukraine. Emphasis will be placed by the president in this vein. At the same time, we are actively building and establishing additional cooperation and ties with a large number of countries in the world. I think this topic will be included in the message,” said Konstantin Dolgov.

Acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin, answering a question from Izvestia on February 10 during a press conference, said: the new regions expect to read “at least between the lines” the next steps regarding the course of the special operation. “All that interests Donbass is, of course, a victorious world. If we do not completely win and put something aside for later, it will not be entirely fair in relation to our children and grandchildren, ”he concluded.

Head of the State Duma Committee on Youth Policy Artem Metelev expects to hear about new measures to support young Russians. The president, according to the deputy, can touch upon the issues of self-realization of young people in Russia: promoting their projects, raising the prestige of service in law enforcement structures. “We need to return the people who left Russia, and perhaps the president will turn to them. Many left for various reasons: some were emotional, others simply extended their vacation due to uncertainty during the mobilization period. Yes, this does not justify people, but it is also not necessary to stigmatize them. I hope to hear from the president his position in relation to those who left,” he said.

However, not only parliamentarians are in anticipation. Thus, business representatives are waiting for the message of a new course towards the liberalization of entrepreneurship. Business Ombudsman Boris Titov believes that today it is important not only to maintain the basic conditions for it, but also to remove all new regulatory barriers. As such measures, he proposed to extend the moratorium on business inspections on an indefinite basis.

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