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What did Putin say at his annual press conference in 4 hours and 30 minutes?

Kremlin: The United States helps Ukraine expand its offensive military capabilities

On December 17, Putin answered questions at the annual press conference. /Picture from the official website of the Kremlin

At the end of each year, Russian President Putin spends hours answering some of the most important questions.

This tradition began in 2001, except for the Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012, Putin holds an annual press conference at the end of each year. 

In 2001, the press conference lasted the shortest, lasting 1 hour and 35 minutes; in 2008, the press conference lasted the longest, at 4 hours and 40 minutes. Last year’s press conference lasted 4 hours and 18 minutes.

This year, Putin spent 4 hours and 30 minutes answering public concerns.

According to Russia’s Tass News Agency, due to the epidemic, this year’s Putin’s annual press conference was held online instead. Putin answered 60 questions raised by the media and the Russian people via video link at his presidential residence.

What are the highlights worth paying attention to at the four and a half-hour press conference?

Putin has not been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus

The coronavirus epidemic is a major focus of this year’s press conference. Speaking of the epidemic, Putin said that Russia has done a good job in fighting the epidemic. At present, what the world needs to do is not to trace who is responsible for the origin of the novel coronavirus, but to fight the epidemic together.

He also stressed that Russia’s coronavirus vaccine has reached 97% effectiveness and called on people to be vaccinated. Asked if he himself was vaccinated, Putin said he had not been vaccinated because according to professional guidance, he is not in the recommended age range (Russian Sputnik V vaccine is recommended for people aged 18-60, but Putin is 68 years old), but he will be vaccinated as soon as possible after eligibility. .

It has not been decided whether to run again in 2024.

Putin said at a press conference that he had not yet decided whether to run for the 2024 presidential election.” I have not decided whether to participate in the 2024 election myself. The stable development of the country is crucial. Formally, the people allow me to participate, but whether to do so needs to be seen again.

Putin was elected President of Russia from 2000 to 2008, and then retired from 2008 to 2012 because the Russian Constitution stipulates that the president can only serve two consecutive terms at a time. In 2012, Putin was re-elected president and re-elected in 2018. According to the regulations, Putin’s term of office will end in 2024.

In July this year, Russia passed a constitutional amendment in a referendum, and the experience of being president before the new constitution came into effect could be “zero”. This also means that Putin can participate in the 2024 presidential election. If he is re-elected, he can be re-elected until 2036.

On December 17, Putin answered questions at the annual press conference. /Picture from the official website of the Kremlin

hope Biden can solve some Russian and American problems.

Putin was one of the latest national leaders in the world to congratulate Biden on his election as President of the United States. Putin did not send blessings until December 14 when the U.S. electoral college voted to confirm Biden’s election.

At a press conference on the afternoon of the 17th, Putin responded for the first time to the Russian-US relations under Biden, saying he hoped that some problems between Russia and the United States could be resolved after Biden took office. He (Biden) has experience in both domestic and foreign affairs and hopes that all, or at least some, problems, between Russia and the United States, can be resolved during the new administration.”

Trump does not need to “find a job” in Russia.

Asked why Russian hackers “did not help Trump re-election”, Putin again refuted such claims, saying that “Russian hackers did not help the still-in-Office President of the United States to be elected, nor interfere in the country’s internal affairs”, which was only “in order to undermine Russian-American relations”.

Putin also spoke of Trump, saying “Trump doesn’t have to find a job [in Russia] and about half of the American voters have supported him… As far as I know, he is not going to withdraw from American politics.”

If you really want to, you will “complete” the task of poisoning Navalline.

At the press conference that day, reporters also mentioned that Navaline, the leader of the Russian opposition, was suspected of poisoning in August this year. Several media, including the United Kingdom and the United States, recently released an investigation report, saying that Navalline had been tracked by agents of the Russian Security Agency for a long time, and that his poisoning was related to Russian security agencies.

In response, Putin said, “This patient in the Berlin hospital (Navalline) has the support of American intelligence agencies. This is strange. Russian intelligence agencies should really pay attention to him. But that’s not the reason to poison him. Why would anyone want to do it?” Putin also said that if someone really wants to poison Navalline, they will “complete” the task.

Compared with the West, Russia is kind and innocent.

Putin also directly said at the press conference that compared with Western countries, Russia is indeed “good and innocent”.

BBC reporter asked whether many people think that Russia and Western countries are in a “new cold war”, whether Russia should bear certain responsibility, or whether Russia is “good and innocent”. Putin responded, “Yes, compared with you, we are kind and innocent.” Putin mentioned that the Western countries promised not to expand NATO eastward, but failed to do so.

This year is also a year of ups and downs.

At the beginning of this year’s press conference, a reporter asked Putin, is this year bad, or has it also some positive aspects? Putin responded, “Just like life, this year has ups and downs.”

Putin mentioned that the main problem this year is the coronavirus epidemic, which affects all aspects of everyone’s lives. But, “Just like the weather, is it good or bad? The weather is still the same. Putin then mentioned issues such as Russia’s economy, people’s livelihood and employment, saying that Russia’s GDP fell by 3.6% this year, but the decline was lower than that of many European and American countries.

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