Medvedev promises a better future in national address

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev opened his state-of-nation address Tuesday by vowing to modernise the economy and stabilise the rise in prices.

Medvedev told the two chambers of parliament that the three years of his presidency had "confirmed Russia's status as a modern world power that achieves successes through modernisation."

"I have instructed the government that at least have of the planned expenditures... have to be spent on the priorities of modernisation," Medvedev said.

"But modernisation is not a goal in and of itself -- it is an instrument" that should help create a better future, he added.

"We should not be embarrassed for the nation that we hand over to our children and grandchildren," Medvedev said in comments broadcast live across the nation.

Vowing to bring down inflation and achieve stronger growth, Medvedev said his government had helped the nation recover from the worst consequences of the 2009 global financial crisis.

"We have managed to stabilise the economy," said Medvedev, predicting four-percent growth for the year.

Medvedev said that Russia currently had five million unemployed workers, two million fewer than at the peak of the crisis.

"This is a significant achievement," Medvedev said.

And he promised to bring down inflation, which is expected to reach about nine percent in 2010, to under five percent within the next three years.

"We will not allow a jump in inflation," Medvedev said.

© 2010 AFP

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