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As many as 10 million to 11 million young people will become economically active over the next decade, about 8 million to 9 million of them with university degrees. In this context, 25 million new innovation-based, high-tech jobs for educated Russians is not just phrase-mongering. It is a vital necessity, a required minimum that should be achieved. This national priority should become the focus of state policy and business strategy. We will fail if we rely exclusively on government decisions and on a limited circle of investors and state companies.

New stage of global development

The global crisis that erupted in 2008 has affected everyone and has forced us to reassess many things. Global economic processes and the military political situation have become increasingly unpredictable and should be dealt with through the confident and responsible cooperation of states, primarily the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and the G-8 and G-20 countries. We must keep working to overcome mutual suspicion, ideological prejudices and shortsighted self-interest.

Given this environment, Russia can and must play a role predicated upon its civilization model, its great history, geography and cultural “genome” that organically combines the fundamental principles of European civilization and many centuries of cooperation with the East, where new centers of economic and political influence are rapidly emerging.

I see our goal in years to come as sweeping away all that stands in the way of our national development, completing the establishment in Russia of a political system, a structure of social guarantees and safeguards for the public, and an economic model that together form a single, living, ever-changing organism of state that is, at the same time, resilient, stable and healthy.

We have a new generation of creative and conscientious people who have a vision of the future. They are already taking the lead in industries, businesses, government bodies and the country as a whole, and will continue to do so.

How we respond to the challenges of the day, use this chance to become stronger and reinforce our status in this rapidly changing world is up to us.

Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia, is a candidate for the 2012 presidential election. This article contains excerpts from the official translation of an article that originally appeared in Izvestia. The complete translation of the article is available here.