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19:20 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Russia

Budget Covers Putin’s Election Promises - Minister

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The election promises that President Vladimir Putin ordered carried out when he returned to the presidency in May are priorities in the 2013-2015 budget, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

The election promises that President Vladimir Putin ordered carried out when he returned to the presidency in May are priorities in the 2013-2015 budget, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

“Implementing the presidential decrees are priorities for us. They are at the top of the agenda for all ministries and agencies. And we are now shifting around the budget to find resources for them,” Siluanov said.

A total of 1.145 trillion rubles ($37 billion) are earmarked in the 2013-2015 draft budget to carry out the measures contained in decrees that Putin issued during his first days in office.

On Tuesday, Putin criticized the spending allocations for 2013, saying they did not cover reforms to the pension system or provide enough money to carry out his decrees in full.

The decrees cover development of the Far East and Siberia, better conditions for teachers and a host of other measures.

The draft budget allocates $9 billion to those measures in 2013, $12 billion in 2014 and $16 billion in 2015, Siluanov said.

Siluanov said that the overall spending figures contained in the draft budget would not be amended before it is submitted to the State Duma.

“The overall thrust of the budget is not changing,” he said.

The government is scheduled to discuss the draft budget at a meeting on Thursday.

Siluanov also insisted that the current draft budget can finance any of the pension reform options under consideration.

“We submitted two draft laws: the Pension Fund’s budget and the federal budget, which covers the entire pension liability,” he said.

“Any of the [pension] options can be implemented within the framework of the three-year budget.”