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Russia remains social state but notions of this change - Medvedev

November 24, 2011, 18:37 UTC+3

“Russia is a social state; this norm is laid down in the constitution,” the president noted

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PETROZAVODSK, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has been, is and will remain a social state, but the notions of this change, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with regional journalists in Petrozavodsk.

Medvedev has not agreed with the suppositions that the latest changes in the areas of public health and labor legislation bespeak of Russia’s departure from the status of a social state.

“Russia is a social state; this norm is laid down in the constitution,” the president noted. “However, the meaning we impart to the notion of a social state is changing, and the notions of the 1950s differ considerably from present ones,” he said.

The changes in the country “do not indicate that social approaches are dismantled,” the president stressed. He said the bill on medical services for the population he had signed recently was “a necessary one, as there is a need for contemporary legislation where there was a vacuum in law in the past.” But “there remains the general rule – medical aid is absolutely free and is given in the framework of the medical standard of basic services, and this is a broad range,” the president said.

He said no decisions “either formal or informal” to raise the pensionable age had been made in Russia. It is possible to act in this respect only “through discussing this theme with people”, but it is necessary to consider the fact that the lifespan in Russia grows.

Medvedev also pointed out that “nobody is going to lengthen the working week.” “Tariffs are a more complicated theme, as they grows,” the president acknowledged. “The state is obliged to see to it that the overall growth of tariffs should remain within the limits of expected inflation,” Medvedev noted. “This rule should be strictly observed,” he said.

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