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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Medvedev Demands Startup Cash

RIA-NovostiPresident Dmitry Medvedev painting a traditional clay toy during a visit to the city of Kirov on Thursday.
President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday gave the Cabinet five days to pass a resolution that would allow people to receive a year's worth of unemployment benefits up front in order to start their own businesses.

The measure, which has been tied in the government since the beginning of the year, would allow certain citizens to receive a maximum of 60,000 rubles ($1,865) to open a small business. The idea garnered widespread support from the Health and Social Development Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry as well as a host of regional administrations.

"Everyone supports it, but there is no document," Medvedev complained at a meeting in Kirov on economic development.

Critics say 60,000 rubles -- a sum that not everyone is eligible to receive -- is far too modest an amount to use to start a business.

But Kirov Region Governor Nikita Belykh, also at the meeting, said there are hundreds or even thousands of people who would be helped to their feet by such aid.

Medvedev also criticized government officials for their slowness in making decisions. "I can't disagree. Decisions are carried out monstrously slowly. Many decisions that are made take months to be implemented," he said.