Russian President Vladimir Putin is confident that the country is able to solve all the existing problems, contrary to the expectations of its opponents.
"There are many questions, but I want to emphasize this - we have all the capabilities for solutions, no matter how strange it may seem to some external onlookers, to those who have expected to see everything collapse here," Putin said at a meeting with regional leaders elected in September.
"On the contrary, the economy is gaining momentum. The industry works as efficiently as it has not worked for a long time, agriculture is setting ever new records and construction is developing at a pace that was unseen in Soviet times," Putin said. "We have everything to effectively follow the chosen path and to strengthen the country."
He drew the attention of regional leaders "to the trust that was displayed by the people" towards the elections.
"Indeed, both the turnout and the level of support were indicative that people trust us all, you specifically. They trust with their lives and with their destiny to a large extent," Putin said.
Among the problems that still need to be solved, he mentioned slum clearance, the construction of kindergartens and schools and the shortage of medical personnel.
"Problems are many: there where housing is in disastrous condition, where people should have a chance to get out of slums at last, where there are still not enough pre-school childcare facilities, where people still have to send their children to schools that work three shifts a day, where there are not enough ambulances, where labor market issues have not yet been resolved, and where there are still demography-related problems," Putin pointed out.
He believes that the country's development will largely depend on the efficiency of local authorities. Putin wished the regional leaders success in their work.