Russia, Forward!

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From the article of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, September 10, 2009

In some months Russia will enter a new decade of the new century. Certainly, boundaries of time and good round figures are rather of symbolic than practical importance. But they give rise to comprehend the past. To assess the present. And to think about the future. About what each of us is to be faced with. Our children, our country...

We, the modern generation of the Russian people, have come into a fortune. Deserved, won, earned by tenacious efforts of our predecessors. Sometimes at the cost of severe trials and really heavy sacrifice. We have a huge territory, enormous natural resources, solid industrial potential, and an impressive list of outstanding achievements in the field of science, technology, education, art, glorious history of the Army and Navy, nuclear weapon. An authority of the power that played a considerable, and in some periods also a key role in the historical events.

How shall we use this heritage? How shall we multiply it? What will Russia be for my son, for children and grandchildren of my fellow citizens? What will its place be, which also means a place of our descendants, successors, future generations of Russians, among other nations – in the world division of labor, in the system of international relations, in the world culture? What must be done that quality of life of Russian citizens should steadily rise both today and in the future? That our society should become richer, more independent, humane, and attractive? That it should be able to provide for all comers better education, interesting job, good income, comfort environment for private life and creative activity?..

Within next decades Russia must become a country, whose wellbeing is provided not so much by raw material as intellectual resources: “smart” economy creating unique knowledge, export of high technologies and products of innovative activities. I have recently identified five strategic vectors of our country’s economic modernization. Firstly, we will become one of the leading countries by efficiency of energy production, transportation and use. We will work out and bring to domestic and foreign markets new kinds of fuel. Secondly, we will preserve and raise nuclear energy technologies to a new quality level. Thirdly, Russian specialists will improve information technologies, achieve a serious influence on processes of global accessible information networks development, using supercomputers and other necessary resource base. Fourthly, we will have our own ground and space infrastructure of communication of any kind of information; our satellites will “see” the whole world, help our citizens and people of all countries to communicate, travel, do research, farm and industrial production. Fifthly, Russia will take leading positions in production of specific medical equipment, supermodern diagnostic tools, and medicines for treatment of viral, cardiovascular, oncological and neurologic diseases.

Following these five strategies of leadership in the sphere of high technologies, we will also pay constant attention to the development of the most important conventional industries. First of all those of agro-industrial complex. One in three of us lives in a rural area. Accessibility of modern social services for rural community, its income growth, improvement of the conditions of their work and everyday life will be always our priority...

These goals are realistic. The tasks assigned for their achievement are difficult but solvable. Detailed, step-by-step plans of progression in the mentioned directions are being already elaborated. We will encourage and stimulate the scientific and technical work. First of all we will support young scientists and inventors. Secondary and high schools will train a fair number of specialists for sunrise industries. Scientific institutions will concentrate major efforts on realization of breakthrough projects. Legislature establishment will make all decisions for a comprehensive support of the spirit of innovation in all spheres of social life, creation of a market of ideas, inventions, discoveries, new technologies. Public and private companies will receive every possible support in all undertakings for creation of demand for products of innovative activities. Foreign companies and scientific organizations will be provided with the most auspicious conditions for construction in Russia of research and design centers. We will invite for work the best scientists and engineers from different countries of the world. And above all, we will explain our youth that the most important competitive advantages are knowledge others do not have, intellectual superiority, ability to create things necessary for people. As A.S.Pushkin wrote: “There is superior boldness: Boldness of invention, creation, where an ambitious plan is enveloped by a creative idea”. An inventor, innovator, scientist, teacher, entrepreneur implementing new technologies will become the most respected people in the society. They will receive from it all that is necessary for fruitful activity.

Certainly, the innovative economy will not appear at once. It is a part of culture based on humanitarian values. On the aspiration for transformation of the world for the sake of better quality of life, for man’s deliverance from poverty, diseases, fear, injustice. People of talent striving for renovation, able to create new and better things, will not come flying from other planet. They are already here, among us. Results of international intellectual competitions, patenting abroad of inventions made in Russia, and the real hunt for our best specialists, conducted by biggest companies and universities of the world are unambiguous evidence of it. We – the state, community and family – should learn to find, raise, bring up and take care of such people.

I consider the technological development as a priority social and state task also because the scientific-and-technological advance is inseparably linked with progress of political systems. It is recognized that democracy arose in ancient Greece, but then democracy was not for everybody. Liberty was minority privilege. The full-fledged democracy that approved universal suffrage and juridical equality of all citizens before the law, democracy for everybody appeared rather recently, only eighty or one hundred years ago. Democracy became mass, when production of the most necessary commodities and services became mass. When the level of technological development of the Western civilization provided a universal access to elementary amenities, systems of education, medical care, information exchange. Every new invention improving the quality of life gives an additional level of liberty for a man. It creates conditions for his existence more comfortable and social relations more just. The “clever”, more intellectual, effective our economy the higher standard of weld-being of our citizens. The freer, more justice, humane our political system, the society in whole...

In the future Russia will be an active and respected participant of the world commonwealth of free nations. Strong enough to have a considerable influence on elaboration of decisions having global consequences. Not to allow someone’s unilateral actions to cause damage to national interests and adversely affect on our internal affairs. To reduce the level of income of Russians, harm their security.

For that end we have already today together with other countries try to achieve reforming supranational political and economic institutions. The goal of such an improvement is the development of international relations, consideration for as many other peoples and countries as possible. The establishment of such rules of cooperation and settlement of arguments that should be based on modern ideas about equality and justice...