Putin for affordable and stable food prices

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Moscow, May 20 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for making food prices in the country affordable and stable by boosting the agro-industrial sector while the prices soared to new heights worldwide.

''Our key tasks are to ensure sustainable development of rural territories, improve the quality of life in the countryside, increase the effectiveness of the agro-industrial sector and boost the competitiveness of domestic products,'' he said at a meeting on agricultural policy in Yessentuki, Stavropol territory, yesterday.

''This will protect us from sharp fluctuations on the world markets,'' he was quoted as saying by Itar Tass.

''Our policy should, on the one hand, guarantee affordable and stable food prices for people, and on the other hand, cerate stimuli for the development of effective agrarian production,'' remarked the Russian Prime Minister, who stepped down as Russian President on May 7 paving the way for accession of his longtime associate and protege, Mr Demitry Medvedev who won a resounding presidential election of March 2, 2008 with about 70 per cent of popular support.

''A dramatic growth of prices on world food markets has seriously affected the situation in Russia. Pensioners, families with many children, and other disadvantaged groups of the population for whom food makes up most of the expenses were hit the most,'' Mr Putin claimed.

''We should give the closest attention to the development of our agro-industrial sector and the strengthening of the domestic food market to make it more stable,'' Mr Putin added, who is being charged by critics with holding on to power by becoming the Prime Minister.

''Russia has a unique agrarian potential that allows it not only to provide for its own needs but also to be a major player on the world food market,'' informed the Russian leader, who played a defining role in the resurgence of the erstwhile superpower.

Mr Putin was credited in the media with having restored order to the country after the chaos of the Yeltsin years. During his eight years in the Presidents office, the economy bounced back from crisis seeing GDP increase six-fold about 72 per cent in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).


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