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Putin: Russia Expects Full Economic Recovery Next Year

Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labor Organization, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, June 15, 2011.

Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, says his country is still struggling with the debilitating effects of the global economic crisis, but expects Russia's economy to fully recover by next year. Putin presented his views on the economy, labor and social rights at the 100th session of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conference. He is the first head of the Russian government to address the ILO Conference.

Putin, says Russia has managed to retrieve about two-thirds of its lost economy. But, he acknowledges his country has not yet reached pre-crisis levels and has much to do before the economy fully recovers.

Putin says he expects this to happen by next year. He added that Russia currently is working on post-crisis development strategies.

"We have put forth an ambitious goal in the next decade to make Russia one of the five largest economies of the world," Putin said. "And, as for GDP per capita, to increase this figure from $19,700 to more than $35,000 per capita, per person. But, to do this, we need to increase the productivity two times …and in non-raw material, high-tech sphere three or four fold."

For the economy to move ahead, Prime Minister Putin says it is critical to eliminate inefficient jobs. He says his government plans to create 25 million high tech, highly paid modern jobs and to modernize and streamline existing jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

He admits the scale of this enterprise is huge and daunting. He notes 70 million people work in Russia. That means every third job in the nation has to be modernized.

Putin says Russia will not shirk its social responsibilities. He says it is essential to protect the poorest and most vulnerable members of society in the drive to improve the business environment and to increase profits.

"We will not retreat from our social commitments," added Putin. "We will not increase the already existing 40-hour working week. We will not compromise on safety and environmental standards. In dynamic and economic growth innovations and modernizations are not important themselves. They need to create new opportunities for people, to increase salaries …and improve the quality of life."

The Russian prime minister says people should be the focus and the center of this development strategy. He says their fundamental rights and freedoms must not be violated in the search for economic growth.

He says one of the basic lessons drawn from the global economic crisis is the responsibilities States have in protecting the rights and the welfare of their citizens. Putin calls this a social mission and appeals to all States, businesses, international, political and financial organizations to live up to these responsibilities.