MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin is expected to read out the annual state-of-the-nation address to members of both houses of the Federal Assembly where he will detail his vision of the guidelines for the country's development for the coming year and for the future.
Thursday's address will be the 22nd one in Russia's latest history and the twelfth for Putin.
By tradition, the official function will begin at 12:00 Moscow Standard Time in the St. George's hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Apart from the Duma deputies and the senators, members of the government, chairpersons of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, the Prosecutor General, the heads of the Central Election Commission, the Accounting Chamber and the Public Chamber, regional governors, top clerics of major religious denominations, and mass media executives have been invited to attend.
Putin's speech will be broadcast live by state televisions channels and public radios.
The Russian Constitutions spells out the President's duty to give assessment to the situation in the country and to determine the guidelines for domestic and foreign policy?
As the head of state, Putin pays extensive attention to drafting the annual addresses. He works through its text and develops its main points and ideas.
According the the presidential Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were the main days devoted to the address, although this work did not prevent Putin from making a trip to Crimea late at night on Wednesday.
Positioning of accents in the address depends on the President's wish, the chief of the Kremlin administration staff, Sergey Ivanov said, adding that the President does it after reading the blueprints of the document and introducing initial amendments.
"Most often than not, he does introduces the changes with his own hands in the literal sense," Ivanov said.
In the meantime, Putin himself has said in the past the annual address is a result of collective efforts. "It can't be done at a high professional level without the government of the Central Bank," he said.
By tradition, the Kremlin does not reveal the contents of the address before the president reads it out. This time was not an exception.
"Did we ever tell you (about the topics covered by the address)?" Dmitry Peskov said in surprise when reporters asked him to lift the veil on the contents of the document. "Why do you hope we’ll do it this time?"
Along with it, he refuted some of the media surmising about the focal points of the address. For instance, he answered in the negative to a question of whether the problems of security would make up the main theme of the President’s speech and whether the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline would be raised in the wake of current developments around Turkey.
"Certainly this isn’t a topic for inclusion in the state-of-the-nation address if you mean just one concrete project," Peskov said.
Members of parliament as the addressees of Thursday’s presidential speech have been expressing their expectations, in the meantime.
For instance, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin believes Putin will make "a balanced address". He believes Putin will come up with proposals on the external challenges fighting with terrorism, in the first place - and solution of domestic tasks, like the intensification of economic growth, support to businesses, protection of people’s rights and freedoms, and social security.
Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house, believes the President will raise the issue of the 2016 parliamentary election among the domestic and foreign policy priorities.
Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation said, on his part, he hoped the President would speak about education. "There can be no defense and security without quality science and education," he said.