Russia Has Everything it Needs to Be Successful - Isolation Will Eventually Lead to Self-Sufficiency
On April 26, President Putin visited St. Petersburg, where he had a busy agenda.
Pavel Zarubin is reporting on this.
«It comes from the future» — that's what anyone would say about such a device until today. The future has become a reality with the Solntsemobile (sunmobile): it needs no gasoline or diesel fuel, and runs 500 km on solar energy alone. It was developed by post-graduate students.
«Yes, it runs. The ignition system is on this panel here. The maximum speed is 120 km/h. We are planning to take it to the world championship in the USA».
«Only if they let you participate, my boy».
President Putin: «We'll have our own competition”.
The President signed the Solntsemobile with the words „Good luck!“ It will go to Sochi's race tracks in a few days. In St. Petersburg, at a meeting with the rectors of Russia's leading universities, Putin unexpectedly reported that it's the young engineers who developed the newest weapon system which was first shown during the presidential address.
President Putin: „So, we were awarding the State Prize, and, to my surprise, I see that the recipients were young guys. I asked them, 'Where did you all come from?' They said, 'When they started issuing grants, after graduating college, our classmates got together and formed a team.' Well, 7 years later they created the most powerful, the most state-of-the-art strike combat system in the world“.
Russia needs to be the leader in other areas too — in Medicine, IT, and Robotics; a technological breakthrough is necessary to achieve this, as Putin emphasized again. To lag behind today means to be behind forever. The world is rapidly changing, every day there is a new invention capable of turning our day-to-day lives upside down.
Viktor Sadovnichiy, Director of the Moscow State University: „What do we teach? What do we teach for? What is a teacher's role these days? We live in a unique era in human history. Mathematicians use the term 'the singularity' to describe this era“.
President Putin: „The more I work, the more interesting technical terms I learn. I like the term 'singularity,' I should use it, it'll make me appear smarter. Anyway, as far as I understand, it implies an increase in uncertainty. Right?
“I got one right. Yes, there are more and more factors of uncertainty, but this should not frighten us; if we want to see the ultimate goal, we have to rise up to the proper level from which this goal is visible. If the future is in genomics, computation, artificial intelligence, and robotics, we need to think it through: How do we prepare such a specialist, a specialist that would know all this and that would be capable of putting this knowledge into practice. We need to understand that yesterday’s specialists and even today’s specialists are obsolete. In my message, I spoke about the need for a breakthrough. If we don't make this breakthrough, and this is the key here; we'll fall hopelessly behind. We'll really fall behind, you see? This may lead to some harsh consequences. For a while, we will still sit on what I mentioned in the second part of my message; we might feel pretty good about ourselves for two or three more decades. But, we, or people like you, at least, have to think beyond the horizon».
Moreover, Russia has everything for success. The funds for science and education have increased fourfold in recent years, according to Putin. Also, more funds will be brought in from big firms which used to prefer buying everything abroad, but now many foreign markets are closed. As was exemplified by sanctions in agriculture, at first, it's difficult due to rising prices, but later, a positive result becomes obvious.
President Putin: «We should thank our citizens, who accepted an increase in food prices with understanding. Nevertheless, we have supported our agriculture and the situation is being normalized; the prices eventually stabilized over 2-3 years. For the most part, people reacted to this with understanding. Those who live in villages are happy and only dream that there will be no revocation on our part».
This conversation took place the day after the meeting with the rectors. Federal representatives, senators, and officers of regional parliaments also came to St. Petersburg to discuss how to implement the executive order. Without correct and clear laws, a breakthrough is hardly possible.
Valentina Matvienko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council: «In order to ensure competitiveness and not at the expense of quality, it is necessary to consider the accumulated international experience in this field. I think this is a case when it's possible to create a special organizational mechanism in the form of a specialized interdepartmental working group that will be assigned clear tasks. We will, perhaps, need to keep them in a separate building for half a year and only let them out when all the tasks have been done. Otherwise…
President Putin: „I am writing your proposal down“.
Valentina Matvienko: „Otherwise, I'm afraid that this process will take a long time“.
According to Putin, on the way to ambitious goals, we need to recognize and fix our previous mistakes. For example, in villages, where local authorities have closed feldsher-midwife stations, it is difficult for rural residents to think about a breakthrough when the basics aren't being provided.
President Putin: „The reduction of FAPs occurred because it was easiest to close them in villages. They reported closures and that's all, but no one thought about the fact that people had to go a hundred kilometers somewhere else.That's bad“.
In his address, Putin demanded that everything be restored. The Ministry of Health heard him.
Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation: „We will establish FAPs even in villages with 100-300 residents in cases where the nearest hospital is over 6 km away“.
It is clear that many decisions of local officials stem from the lack of funds, but it can hardly be considered a justification for such absurd results, which was largely the case with soaring property taxes.
President Putin: „Compare the market price and the inflated one, which is completely unbearable for citizens: it's completely pointless because we will either 'rob' our citizens or get nothing at all, because there is nothing to pay“.
Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma: „It is necessary to amend municipal codes and federal laws. If we postpone addressing this matter, the problems people are experiencing won't just remain, they'll get much worse“.
In solving the issues, legislators will need to work closely with the new Russian government. President Putin will create the Council of Ministers after the inauguration, which will be held on May 7.
Pavel Zarubin, Aleksandr Medvedev, Oleg Makarov, Nikita Korunov, Oleg Shabyrin, Petr Ravnov, Vesti