Putin plans boost to birth rate.

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Putin plans boost to birth rate.

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced plans to arrest the declining birth rate in Russia and to extend life expectancy.

The government is set to spend the equivalent of 36 billion euros to boost the birth rate by up to 30 percent by 2015.

That was one of a raft of policies outlined in a wide ranging speech lasting two hours by Russia’s premier to the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

He said the country was emerging powerfully from the global financial crisis and warned the economy must diversify away from energy and mineral exports and reduce its economic dependence on the outside world.

“The country needs a decade of strong, calm development. Without different kinds of swings, poorly thought out experiments based on, at times, unjustified liberalism or on the other hand social demagoguery,” he said.

As Moscow prepares for a presidential election next year Putin did not say whether he and Dmitry Medvedev had agreed which of them would run.

Analysts see Putin’s emphasis on his governments economic achievements in his speech as the prime minister underlining his credentials.