Russian President Vladimir Putin has commenced his campaign for the 2018 elections with a vow to modernize the country.
“Russia is a country with a 1,000-year history, but we mustn’t treat her like our grandmother, just giving her pills to relieve her pain,” he said in a televised speech on Saturday. “We must make Russia young, aimed into the future,” he added.
Putin further vowed to boost resources of the country’s healthcare and education system, and also pledged to battle corruption. “To achieve this, we must solve the tasks we are talking about now. We should make drastic changes in healthcare, education and infrastructure.”
“The other key objective of making the economy innovative by developing digitalization and biotechnology cannot be achieved without healthcare and education,” he added. “Sick and uneducated people will be incapable of doing so as everything is interwoven in the contemporary world,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Russia’s ruling party United Russia also expressed support for the “ultimate victory” of Putin at the presidential election in March.
Party leader and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said United Russia was Putin’s party, and his main political resource.
“We will give you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, all possible support, now and in the future,” said Medvedev.
Since 2000, Putin has been in power either as president or prime minister. If he wins a fourth presidential vote, he will be entitled to serve another six years until 2024.
With an approval rating of well over 80 percent, the 65-year-old is set to easily win in the March 18 vote.