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Russian PM says cabinet moving in right direction

May 23, 2015, 12:49 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

"I think we are moving toward the goals and tasks we have chosen for ourselves," Dmitry Medvedev said

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© Екатерина Штукина/пресс-служба правительства РФ/ТАСС

VLADIVOSTOK, May 23. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti v Subbotu program host Sergey Brilyov that he believes the government that has worked for three years is moving in the right direction.

"On the whole, I believe that it was a difficult, very interesting, very tense period in the activity of the government, in the activity of the entire government team, including myself," Medvedev said.

"I think we are moving toward the goals and tasks we have chosen for ourselves," he said.

Medvedev said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s May 2012 decrees are the key guidelines.

"They define the country’s development goals for a rather long term, which, let’s say frankly, are rather ambitious ones," he said. "The government has adopted the key areas of activities, adopted a wide range of state programs in order to implement these decrees and their documents," the premier said.

"Whether we manage to do that well or poorly, but let’s say straight: we have made considerable progress for these three years," Medvedev said.

Russia to protect its interests, recover debts from Ukraine

Russian banks will file lawsuits to recover debts from Ukraine, and the government in this issue will follow a strict line to protect national interests, Medvedev said in an interview while commenting on Ukraine’s decision to announce a moratorium on payment of foreign debt.

The prime minister called that decision of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) "very controversial."

"On one hand they are speaking about private borrowings, but at the same time give a hint they would not settle debts of Yanukovich’s government; this is similar to the refusal of [Russian] Bolsheviks to settle debts of the tsarist government," Medvedev said.

"If this happens as they say, it would be Ukraine’s default, no doubt, thus it would affect of course their arrangements with the International Monetary Fund," he said. "Our position will be most strict here and we shall protect our national interests."

The prime minister said the recovering will be also of the so-called private debts - lent by banks, including those with the government’s participation.

"We shall be recovering them," he said. "The banks will be using all the instruments they have, including, of course, judicial procedures."

"In fact, from a legal point of view, in this case, the very decision taken by the Verkhovna Rada, in my opinion, is sufficient already for us to demand recovery of those debts."

Medvedev confirmed Russia did not intend to restructure Ukraine’s debts. Besides, the Russian Federation will voice its position to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"I do not doubt decisions of the kind will affect in the long run positions of other creditors and positions of other members of the International Monetary Fund," he said.

He stressed Russia had not been demanding till recently settlement of the debt, though it had every right for it.

"Right, we did tell the Ukrainian counterparts, our neighbours, that we do realise how complicated and tough things are," he said. "Well, we behaved, so to say, generously, trying not to interfere with the Ukrainian economy, which is slumping even without it."

"But at the same time, we should receive what is owed to us," Medvedev said.

Russian government is a team ready to work next three years

The Russian government, which has marked this week its third anniversary of work, is a team, which is ready to continue working, Medvedev said.

"The present government is ready to work," he said. "I would like to stress that over the recent years the government has developed into a team, a group of people working to achieve the targets very important to this country, where the key target is as simple as that: our people should be living well, like do people in developed modern countries, and this is the direction of our efforts."

The prime minister said "the government does not appear from nowhere - it is a decision of the president; and while the president trusts this work to the government, it continues working.".

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