Putin vows to boost Russian economy


Associated Press

MOSCOW

Vladimir Putin on Monday launched his fourth term as president with an ambitious call to vault Russia into the top five global economies by developing its technological products and agricultural exports.

Putin, who has sought to restore Russia’s military and diplomatic prominence on the world stage, focused almost entirely on domestic issues in his speech after taking the oath of office in a vast, vaulted Kremlin hall glittering with gold leaf.

Improving the economy after a recession partly linked to international sanctions will be a primary goal of his next six-year term, Putin said.

“Russia should be modern and dynamic, it should be ready to accept the call of the times,” he said in his inauguration speech to thousands of guests standing in three halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

Putin later issued an extensive decree calling for “acceleration of the technological development of the Russian Federation” and “creation of a high-performance export-oriented sector in the basic sectors of the economy, primarily in manufacturing and the agro-industrial sector.”

The 65-year-old former KGB agent, who has led Russia for all of the 21st century either as president or prime minister, has been criticized for inadequate efforts to diversify the economy from its dependence on oil and gas exports or develop the manufacturing sector.

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