Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that responding to Georgia’s actions in 2008 and raising the retirement age were the toughest decisions of his career, as he himself said in an interview with Russian TV channels on Thursday.
"Decisions that create serious problems for the country and its people are the toughest to make. At some point, I had to make a decision to respond to Georgia’s aggression. I was a young head of state back then and it was very hard for me to do because I had to make such a decision just two months after taking office. However, subsequent developments proved that it was the only right decision," Medvedev pointed out, TASS reports.
He went on to say that it had been difficult for the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin to raise the retirement age. "It was one of the toughest decisions. Frankly speaking, no one wanted to make it, which is understandable, but it had to be done in order to boost our economy so that people could have appropriate living conditions," the prime minister explained.
In August 2008, Georgia began military activities against South Ossetia, prompting Moscow to send troops to the region to defend civilians, many of whom held Russian citizenship, along with Russian peacekeepers. As a result of a five-day war, Georgian troops were driven out of South Ossetia. On August 26, 2008, the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia’s new pension legislation raises the retirement age for men from 60 to 65, and for women from 55 to 60.