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Putin to hold first session with government this year - Kremlin

January 13, 2016, 1:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The main topic on the agenda is developing the national system of professional qualifications

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© Alexei Druzhinin/press-service of the Russian president/TASS

MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold the first session with government members this year, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.

"The main topic on the agenda is developing the national system of professional qualifications," the Kremlin said adding that "it is also planned to discuss several pressing issues."

Back in 2013 Putin ordered the government and the Agency of Strategic Initiatives to establish a network of independent certification centers to verify the professional level of specialists. At a session devoted to developing professional standards, the president noted that highest qualification requirements should be introduced first of all for government officials. However, Putin called for thinking not only about the standards themselves but also on how to use them to assess real qualifications of an employee.

Putin said that "the indispensable part of the newly-created system should be the mechanism for verifying qualifications of workers by means of a professional examination" conducted by independent certification centers. In general, developing new professional standards became the part of the May orders that Putin put forward back in May 2012, right after he assumed office.

The head of state regularly holds session with the government, usually twice per month. The last meeting took place on 24 December 2015. The president then thanked the government for its effective work in the outgoing year and reminded that the main task is to return Russia’s economy back to the track of sustainable growth rates. He stressed that low prices for fuel and main Russian exports may persist. Putin said it is necessary to achieve results in the existing conditions by using current difficulties as stimulus for boosting effectiveness of the economy and social sphere.

Since the start of this year, oil prices have significantly dropped again. Price for Brent oil has fallen from $37 to $30.9 per barrel against the backdrop of growing oil reserves in US and weakening Chinese economy. The Russian budget was calculated on the basis of price for Urals oil that is traded in discount to Brent oil and thus costs even less than $29 per barrel now. The budget for 2016 was approved on the basis of oil prices of $50 for Urals.

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