President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends,
Today, at our traditional meeting on the eve of the New Year we will analyse issues related to the implementation of youth policy. As you can see, there are representatives of these movements with us. I had an opportunity to see an exhibit in the Manezh that they prepared. It is very interesting, and I will say a few words about it.
However, I would like to begin with what we know well, something that may be obvious. The topic we will discuss today is certainly of strategic importance because young people who represent our rising generations are starting out in life. In 20, or in some cases, even in 10 years’ time, they will be doing what we are doing today, things we are putting our effort in – implementing the national development goals we identify.
Their talents and achievements in many diverse areas will directly influence the development of Russia, and their aspirations and ideas, their understanding of the Fatherland and the importance of its millennium-long history, its values and traditions and their devotion to the homeland will, of course, determine its future.
Therefore, our key task is to ensure the deep and substantive continuity of generations. In this sense, the courage, energy and a striving for transformation, which the youth have, will work for Russia, and make a contribution to the strengthening of our home country.
There are about 40 million young people in our country. Naturally, they are called on to go forward and make breakthroughs that seemed impossible before. We just talked about this, and one person here expressed an absolutely correct idea – that it is typical for young people to not repeat or even improve something but to look for a new road and follow it. This is exactly so. We must do all we can to help them follow this road, to create conditions for the full realisation of their potential. We must help them find themselves and find a vocation that will allow them to realise themselves and to be in demand.
Today we will discuss what has already been done and what still lies ahead, what additional measures we should take to support self-realisation among Russia’s young citizens.
As I have said, before our meeting I looked over some very interesting projects at the Manezh, and I must say that the young people I talked to have a common outlook, what we call in such cases an active stance in life. They are always ready to help those who really need support, resolve the problems in their cities and villages, be sensitive to nature and promote sports and creative initiatives.
These attitudes prove that we still manage to carry out many plans in our youth policy. I said “still” because we do not manage to carry out everything. But this is why we have gathered here today – to discuss what should be done to implement our plans as fully as possible.
I would like to make special mention of the volunteers who support our military and their families, who are helping civilians in the special military operation zone at the call of the heart in the direct sense of this word, sometimes even risking their health and lives.
I must note that participation in volunteer projects has become a normal part of life for many people. Of course, it is necessary to support this noble effort. Thus, we need to create conditions that allow college and university students to combine their studies with practical training at volunteer centres, charity foundations, and socially-oriented NGOs, to gain experience in civil responsibility and solidarity.
In the past few years, much has been done to create new social lifts. In this context, I would like to mention a platform that I hope is already well-known in the country, Russia – Land of Opportunity. Its projects and competitions open serious horizons for unlocking the professional potential of young people. This platform is very popular with them; I have learned that some 18 million people are participating. If we assume we have 40 million young people, it appears that 18 million is almost half. This is very impressive, regardless of where these people live – in a big city or a regional centre.
I will emphasise that in general, a comprehensive system for the support of youth must be available all over the country. All young people should be able to use it freely, to have an opportunity to receive high quality, comprehensive education, find an interesting job and feel the state’s concern when their children are born and when they purchase their housing.
It is very important that today young people of all ages are in the focus of attention. Thus, recently the first congress of the Russian Children's Movement was held, attended by representatives of all Russian regions. They also outlined the movement’s values, such as friendship, patriotism, justice, mutual assistance, and chose a worthy name for their organisation: Movement of the First. Of course, I would like to wish them good luck, and I ask the heads of Russian regions and my colleagues present here to provide the new association with comprehensive support.
Considering age rather than area of activity, work on the youth track requires integration and active participation of many authorities. In this regard, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs is carrying out the so-called administrative linking of these activities. A number of ministries have already designated persons responsible for the youth sector with the status of deputy ministers. This model is being successfully implemented at the level of the largest domestic companies, and they are also involved in this work. In 40 regions there are independent units that coordinate youth policy. I expect that this network will cover all 89 regions by 2024.
Of course, as we work with youth, we need to eliminate formalism and bureaucracy. We need to listen carefully to the requests of the youth, considering that the youth of Russia is multinational and represents different faiths, so we need to act subtly and very delicately.
This year, the Region for the Young programme was launched to accelerate advancements in youth policy locally. In the next three years, the Russian regions will receive 15 billion rubles on a competitive basis. These funds should serve to fundamentally redefine the very essence of youth policy and maximise the circle of young people involved in creative and socially-oriented activities.
Let me emphasise that the content of youth projects is of particular importance today. Due to the well-known events of a geopolitical nature, young people came under a flurry of information attacks and found themselves in a very vulnerable position. This informational confrontation has always been going on, but it is especially harsh now.
Our task is to give young Russians a solid foundation in the form of credible knowledge, and to do this, we must develop and introduce a separate course on the history and foundations of Russian statehood in the educational processes.
Educational projects are especially important now. Of course, there are tools for this, such as themed classes in schools, in extracurricular education or in military-patriotic and history clubs.
The project under the patronage of Russian universities, University Sessions, has also proven to be successful. With its help – I hope that it has also reached those young people who are here with us today in the hall – people from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have come into contact with the traditions and culture of different regions of Russia and made a lot of new friends. And such formats, of course, should be expanded.
I would like to note that the flagship education projects, which have been successfully carried out by the revived Znaniye Society for two years now, play a special role today. This organisation has done good work following a new model: new, modern formats of lectures, workshops, and education marathons have become really popular among the youth.
I want to congratulate everyone involved in this, because in today’s conditions, in the world of the internet, this is very difficult to do, but, apparently, we hit the bull’s eye, because there is a lot of information on the internet, but not much of it is reliable enough. And so, when information is presented by truly recognised professionals, it enjoys credibility, and this is of great importance.
I hope that in the course of this work and its continuation, young men and young ladies will also learn about our legendary fellow countrymen: engineers, designers, and scientists, such as Korolev, Kurchatov, Vavilov and many, many others, whose discoveries and inventions put our country in a leading position in the most important areas of progress for a great many years.
Examples of such active patriotism should become an inspiring force for the younger generation, attract children with knowledge, and inspire them to study subjects like physics, chemistry, biology in depth from an early age, and, that way raise a new impressive generation of scientific leaders who will successfully ensure the technological sovereignty of Russia.
And I would like to elaborate on support and promotion opportunities for personnel, those specialists who work with young people locally. When performing such important work, they should feel the attention and support of the federal and regional authorities. Colleagues, I would like you to focus on this. The conditions of their work and the resources they are provided with must correspond to the high importance of the jobs they do.
Before getting down to the discussion, I would like to wish all of the State Council members, staff members, and all regional teams a Happy New Year.
Next, we will hear from Dmitry Artyukhov, chairman of the State Council Commission on Youth Policy.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, we have a draft list of instructions that specifies everything the State Council Commission and the Government have been involved in and also what they believe we need to activate.
Of course, the key issue here is developing and approving a strategy for carrying out the youth policy in the Russian Federation. Next, there are issues of creating an effective environment for the self-fulfillment of young people, as well as wage levels, organising the work of the related specialists and so on.
Hopefully, you have read this draft list of instructions. Do you have any comments? As I understand, if [Finance Minister] Mr Siluanov has not raised his hand, he agrees to everything. (Laughter.)
What would I like to say in conclusion? We used to meet for a half business/half party dinner at the end of the year, but I believe you understand that this year we will not do that. Still, I want to thank all of you for your work throughout this year and extend my season’s greetings to you and your families.
I also want to thank our guests. I do not think they took an interest in everything we were talking about in our current work. However, it might be useful because it has at least allowed them to gain insight into our world and have a look at what we are doing and how we do it. Hopefully, they will use this later in their work.
The issue we have addressed today is not just a worthy effort, it is also very important. I said this in the beginning of my opening remarks. Apparently, nothing can be added to this.
I would like to thank the State Council working group, and I hope the proposals that have been put forward will be carried out through our joint efforts.
Thank you all very much for our joint work today.