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Putin to deliver state of the nation address on Thursday

December 04, 2014, 9:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia's president is to address the Federal Assembly, the both chambers of Russia’s parliament, at 12.00 Moscow time
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Mikhail Klimentiyev

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will deliver an annual state of the nation address on Thursday, December 4, the presidential press service said.

Putin is to address the Federal Assembly, the both chambers of Russia’s parliament, at 12.00 Moscow time.

At least 1,000 lawmakers of the Federation Council (upper chamber) and the State Duma (lower chamber), the government, the chairmen of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, governors, regional lawmakers, heads of traditional confessions, public figures and heads of the largest media holdings will gather in St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The president delivers his address at a joint session of the both parliamentary houses — the only format when the State Duma and Federation Council meet concurrently.

The Kremlin accredited 495 journalists from Russian and foreign newspapers, magazines, Internet media, television and radio broadcasting companies. Rossiya and Channel One will broadcast it live from St George Hall. TASS will provide online broadcasting of the president’s address on its website

The state of the nation address is a basic document, which outlines the president’s positions on major directions of the Russian policies not only for the coming year, but also for future.

“Beginning from 1994, the president delivers the state of the nation address to members of the Federation Council and deputies of the State Duma, where he presents his analysis of the situations in various spheres of public life, his views on the major directions of the country’s policies. The priorities in the state of the nation address are major benchmarks for the Federal Assembly and the government,” the Kremlin’s site reads. “The positions, the president outlines in the home polices are followed by the parliament and the government as they are working on legislation plans.”

In Russia’s contemporary history, it will be the 21st presidential state of the nation address and the 11th address for Putin. This year’s address will be different from the previous ones: this time it will include also the budget address, which formally was published separately.

The president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told TASS the budget address “contained many provisions common to those in the state of the nation address, it represented a part of tasks the president outlined for the near future.” Thus, the decision was not to deliver two separate task documents.

The president outlines his position on main directions of Russia’s development for a year and for the future. As a rule, Putin starts his address with an idea that runs through the whole text. Thus, last year it was the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

Traditionally, the larger part tackles home affairs and probably Putin will mainly focus on this aspect in the context of the current situation although the international agenda remains in the spotlight as well.

The work on addresses takes quite a time. Most divisions of the Kremlin’s administration are working on their blocks of questions, and direct their suggestions to the president. Besides, the country’s leader consults political unions — not only the parties represented in the parliament, but also the so-called small parties. Lately, presidential addresses comprised ideas suggested by the All-Russia People’s Front. In November, Putin took part in the Front’s forum, where the participants raised many domestic problems — from healthcare to corruption.

The president is working by himself on the final version of the text.

Contents of the state of the nation address are not revealed before the presentation. However, this time, Putin in an interview with TASS named one of the items — the maternity capital. “I shall speak about it in the state of the nation address,” he said adding “the program (of paying maternity capital to women who bear second and further children) is over in a year, and everyone should be aware of it.” “Sure, we should be thinking about mechanisms to support demography,” the president said.

The president’s obligation to present the Address is fixed in the country’s Constitution. The date is not fixed and depends on the president’s schedule and readiness of the document.

President Boris Yeltsin was the first to address the both chambers of the Russian parliament in February 1994. Putin delivered addresses in spring or summer in his first two terms in office but later President Dmitry Medvedev shifted the event to occur in November and December.

Putin has always addressed the Federal Assembly in December in his current term in office.

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