Russian President Vladimir Putin has made his first state of the nation speech since his return as top man in the Kremlin.
Speaking to the Federal Assembly of both houses of parliament, he placed stress on replenishing population and revitalising traditional values.
He also delivered a warning to opposition politicians he considers take inspiration from other countries.
Putin said: “Direct or indirect foreign meddling in our internal political processes is unacceptable. Individuals who receive money from abroad for their political activity and therefore serve foreign national interests cannot be politicians in the Russian Federation.”
Activists complained of Putin’s crackdown on civil society when they protested his return to the presidency after four years as prime minister.
Putin did not make specific reference to the protests but said:
“A civilised dialogue is possible only with those political forces which propose, argument and formulate their demands in a civilised way, and which make their demands within the framework of the law. Changes and modernisation of the political system are natural and even necessary, nevertheless to pay for the thirst for change through the destruction of our state is unacceptable.”
With capital pouring out of Russia, Putin also ordered an end to exporting bases of the Russian economy – Russian firms registering abroad.
Putin also called for limiting foreign bank accounts and shares held by officials.
“I am asking you to support the project of law on the limitations for politicians and civil servants… This requirement has to apply to every person who takes key decisions, to state and government officials, to people working in the presidential administration, to their close relatives and to the members of the Federation Council and State Duma.”
Putin said Russian families should have three children on average. After a shrinkage of five million since 1991, the population began growing this year. A report by rating agency Standard & Poor estimated a population drop of 24 million by 2050.
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