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Russian president gives annual address to nation (2)


20:31, December 22, 2011

He also called for further restrictions on deals between government and commercial bodies where the company bosses are relatives of state officials.

On economy, Medvedev warned that a global economic depression could last for several years and Russia should make more efforts to improve its competitiveness.

"We really are facing hard times. The global economic depression could last several years, while competition for the minds, the ideas, the resources will only get stiffer, and we are in the epicenter of this race," he said.

He predicted that Russia will have relatively low inflation of approximately 6 percent this year, and the country needs to preserve economic stability by keeping its budget deficit and public debt low.

On foreign affairs, Medvedev stressed Russia is open to constructive dialogues with its Western partners on missile defense issues and expects reciprocal steps from them.

Some 600 people, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, listened to the annual address in Kremlin palace.

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