Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed economic issues and foreign relations at the tenth annual press conference for Russian and international journalists on December 18. During the news conference, Putin has been answering 53 questions, asked by 38 Russian and foreign journalists, for more than 3 hours.
Annual press conferences with the Russian president are held every December, the sessions normally last up to several hours. During these sessions, the President answers questions from journalists and reflects on the outgoing year. There are no restrictions on the questions journalists can ask the Russian president and no time limits.
Putin thanks journalists for participating in the news conference and wishes everyone a happy New Year
Putin on the reasons for the current economic situation, on his possible plans to participate in next presidential election
Putin: I think it is too early to make any decision on running for the presidential office or not. The head of the state is always responsible for what happens in the country.
On the whole, the government and other authorities are doing well in addressing the issues we are facing. We are going through a difficult period. Maybe we should have taken decisions faster. Central Bank's strategy is adequate. The economy will definitely adapt to new conditions, when the price of energy sourses is lower. Our economy will diversify. Russia's economy will continue to grow. We can be sure, that we will overcome the difficulties. We will be stronger in the international arena and the global economy. Inevitably the prices for energy sources will increase. We definitely have to provide for the wellfare of the people.
Russian Finance Ministry Begins Sale of Reserve Currency to Save Ruble
As the ruble is drastically undervalued, the Russian Finance Ministry has started selling its currency reserves to rectify the situation.
Putin: Volume trade between Russia and Iran has decreased a little, we discussed this issue with Iranian president. We are taking steps to improve the volumes and the structure of trade relations with Iran. Iran is an oil- and gas producing country. Iranian economy is as well dependent on oil prices. Oil prices are no falling. We cannot tell for sure what the real reasons are. We are looking for opportunities to diversify our cooperation with Iran. We have some success and some failures. Oil contracts should be beneficial for all sides, I mean businesses.
We will work with our partners in Iran to solve the nuclear issue. We are very close to solving the issue.
My visit to Tehran is quite possible. We are discussing that via diplomatic channels. I will continue contacts with the Iranian president.
There is no external pressure. We have signed a new contract. We have built a nuclear power plant and we have done that.
Iran Confirms Oil-for-Grain Swap Deal With Russia
Iran has confirmed its barter agreement with Russia on the supply of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian goods and equipment.
Putin: We should not think about ratings. We should do what we have to do. If you think about your rating, your rating will immediately fall. I hope to preserve this style of work in the future.
Over 80% of Russians Back Putin Despite Economic Turmoil: Poll
Despite the volatile economy and sanctions, Russians' support of President Putin has considerably surged since 2012. Two-thirds believe Russia is moving “in the right direction” in international relations.
Putin on relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, Abkhazia, South Ossetia
Putin: The matter is similar to southeastern Ukraine: we should talk to people living there. I urged Saakashvili not to start hostilities. I understand the pain of the Georgian people. It is a bleeding wound. We recognized the independence of those republics. First, direct contact should be established. There should be dialogue. We should start the process, but I don't know where it will lead us. There is an ongoing internal power struggle in Georgia.
Putin: Russia Ready to Further Liberalize Market for Georgian Goods
During his annual press conference Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to further liberalize its market for Georgian goods.
Putin: The SCO was established as a structure aimed at resolving border issues after the dissolution of the USSR. Fortunately, all the issues were successfully resolved. This structure has transcended its borders into new domains. This organization is in demand. There is an interest in working together. India, Pakistan and a number of other countries expressed their desire to join the SCO. We are considering their bids.
China is our main trade partner. We take steps in the direction of diversifying and intensifying trade with China. We expand the share of high technologies. We are participating in joint projects in the spheres of aviation, outer space and other promising dimensions. We have many coinciding interests in the international arena. We closely cooperate within the UN and UN Security Council with the aim to stabilize situation in the world.
Let me start with Northern Cyprus. We are trying to stic kto a balanced position. We want the issue to be resolved.
We have good relations with Greece and Turkey. We want people to come to an agreement on their own. No external arrangements should be imposed.
France and Germany used to fight and yet they have managed to foster good relations. Russia and Turkey have to follow such examples. Without Turkey and Turkey's assistance some regional issues cannot be resolved.
Russia-Turkey Cooperation to Intensify Despite Western Sanctions: Official
Ahmet Berat Conkar, member of the Turkish Justice and Development Party stated that Ankara is looking forward to expanding cooperation with Russia despite Western sanctions imposed against Moscow.
Putin: Yes, I have love. Everything is just fine, don't worry. I have friendly relations with Ludmila. Everything is fine with my children, although I don't see them often.
Putin: Life Means Nothing Without Love
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that love lies at heart of any of people's behaviors. According to the president, it is a complicated phenomenon, it is love to the family, to the children or to the motherland.
Putin: Clearing of the domestic market for Russian producers gives opportunities for Russian farmers.
We need to promote our own products. We cannot chase away competitors from the market. But what we will do, we will help Russian producers conquer the place under the sun.
Putin on the economies of the Eurasian Economic Union's members
Kazakhstan is facing the same economic issues due to the current oil prices. It is easier to work together in economic sphere, we can create a single space. Throughout the existence of the Customs Union, our turnover has increased 50-fold.
Putin: As for our drills and development of our military forces, Russia to a certain extent contributed to the tension. But only in a sense that we have been protecting our interests in a tougher way. We are not aggressive. US military bases are all over the world. And you are saying that WE are aggressive? Pentagon's budget is 10 times higher than Russia's. Is it us who are moving our military structure closer to borders of other countries? What we hear is just, "Mind your own business." Who resigned from the ABM treaty unilaterraly? The United States. And it creates new threats for us. Who resigned from the ABM treaty unilaterraly? The United States. And it creates new threats for us. We believe that we are right regarding the Ukrainian crisis.
Putin: Global Security System Damaged by Western Cold War Mentality, Needs Reform
The global security system has been weakened by the Western 'Cold War' mentality and its efficiency can be restored only if world powers work together in a transparent way, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
Putin: The question is not in returning money to Russia, it is in legalization. Amnesty is not a fiscal measure. I will personally monitor the mechanism and make sure there will be no violations. I suppose there should be no criteria and no filters. I believe that we should enable legalization of property that has been hidden within Russia.
Putin Suggests Total Amnesty for Offshore Capital Returning to Russia
In his annual address to Federal Assembly, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin proposed several measures of boosting Russia’s business activity, non-resourse exports and improvement in investment.
Question from Reuters reporter on Putin's personal responsibility for the chosen political course, on the so-called 'color' revolution possibility in Russia
Putin: Stability of the Russian state is based on the support of the Russian people. It cannot be based on anything else. People feel with their hearts and souls that we are acting in the interests of the majority of Russian citizens.
I have repeatedly said that there had been a coup in Ukraine and it had been a mistake. There was an agreement signed by the opposition and Kiev authorties, FMs from Germany, Poland and France were supposed to guarantee that those agreements would be implemented. Our Western collegues have started with cookies on the Maidan square and continued with promises to Ukraine. If a government of national unity was formed in Ukraine after February agreements, there would be no civil war in Ukraine.
Russia's elite are workers and peasants. All people in Russia are equal before the law. The main defender of the citizens of the Russian citizens can only be the Russian state.
Putin on sports, Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi
Putin: As for the Sochi Olympics, everything we wanted to achieve, we acomplished. We won the Olympics and we are thankful to athletes and parathletes, who are the true heroes of that event. Of course, we are happy with the results of the Olympics. Olympic objects are used, for instance a Formula 1 race. The citizens of Russia have a new recreational center. We will host other sports events there.
Russian journalist at #PutinPresser: "Mood in #Russia significantly depends on your mood, Vladimir Vladimirovich."
The World Cup is a costly events. But if we want Russian people to be healthy and live longer, then we must have sports infrastructure. We need new gyms. We must create the culture of physical education. Healthcare system and transport infrastructure will develop as well.
People around the world react to #PutinPresser: We want the actual words, not the media ramble
Twitter user John Mcmaster makes a good point:
Why do news channels think we want to hear them ramble instead of a 'actual' words of a world lead #Putin Let #PutinPresser speak for itself
Putin: Mikhail Khodorkovsky asked for pardon and sent documents, saying he was not going to take part in politics. But that choice is up to him. I have taken this decision because his mother had health issues. I still believe it was the right thing to do.
Дал попрощаться с мамой. Это правда. Семью не дал трогать - правда. Поэтому политический оппонент, а не враг. Пусть радикалы меня и ругают.
Khodorkovsky - on Putin: "He gave me a chance to say goodbye to my mother. That is true. He didn't let anyone touch my family - true. That's why he is a political opponent, not an enemy. Radical oppositioners may criticize me if they wish."
Khodorkovsky to European Parliament: Anti-Russian Sanctions 'Huge Mistake'
Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky has addressed the European Parliament, calling anti-Russia sanctions a huge political mistake and describing them as useless.
Putin: All my actions are aimed at consoliadting our society. This year was a year of culture. We celebrated the anniversary of Mikhail Lermontov, our famous poet. He was in opposition to the government, but I consider him a patriot. The difference between opposition and the "fifth column" is very difficult to perceive from the outside... "Fifth column" is a mere tool in achieving goals of other states.
Putin now quoting Lermontov, making cinema references, taking about fifth column. He's into classic Putin cruise mode after shaky start...
Putin: As far as our contract with China is concerned, it is profitable, preferences were provided both by China and by Russia. The gas price formula does not differ much from the one we use with Europe. This contract will allow Russia to concentrate great resources, create a gas pipeline, to link the western and eastern gas pipline and redistribute gas flow. It's a great construction site. The economy will benefit from it.
Turkey needs energy resources. Our Turkish partners ask whether we can increase supplies there. We intend to do that. The thing is that there are no gas supplies that are cheaper than Russia's gas supplies.
Putin: Gas Contract With China Beneficial for Both Sides
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that gas contract with China will benefit both countries.
Putin on the situation in Ukraine's southeast, Russian humanitarian convoy for Donbas
We believe that crisis will have to be resolved sooner or later. It has to be resolved through political means, not just pressure. Both sides have to strive to achieve it. Anyway, we are going to help people. Kiev needs to respect people living in Ukraine's east.
Economic ties have to be restored and reestablished. We were asked to put pressure on Donbas. But the coal from Donbas is not bought by Kiev because all banks have been shut down.
I do not see any other way but the peaceful settlement of the crisis. I believe that Poroshenko is focused on peacefull settlement of Ukrainian crisis. I have no doubts about that. I was one of those, who initiated the meeting in Minsk. Poroshenko wants to achieve the resolution of the crisis.
Prisoners of war should be exchanged right now.People should return to their families before the New Year and Christmas. There should be a positive dynamics in implementing the Minsk agreements. Kiev authorities have to keep their promises. For instance, the law on amnesty, which has not been adopted yet. We have to understand one thing, if Ukraine wants to preserve its territorial integrity, they have to respect everyone, who lives in the country.
Tenth Russian Humanitarian Aid Convoy for E Ukraine Slated for December 18
The tenth humanitarian convoy for Eastern Ukraine will take the road on Thursday, the Russian Emergencies Ministry has announced. Among other items, the convoy will deliver New Year presents for Donbas children.
Putin mentions a bear, who guards Taiga. He first mentioned this analogy during the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.
Putin: Probably, the bear should relax and give it's honey? Maybe then they will leave the bear in peace. But they want to chain the bear. If we manage our own territories, it is unjust to them. We protect our sovereignty and our independence. Over 25-30 percent of the problems we face are the result of the sanctions.
Putin Slams West for Refusing to Accept Legitimacy of Crimea's Reunification With Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin has commented on the West’s position on Crimea’s reunification by likening it to the Latin proverb, “What is permissible for Jove is not permissible for an ox.”
Putin asks a journalist from Ukraine to ask a question
Putin: The journalists, who died in Ukraine, did not take part in any military action. Ukrainian pilot Savchenko tried in Russia over her suspected role in the killing of Russian journalists in Ukraine. She will be released if she is not guilty in the murder. Otherwise, she will serve her sentence if found guilty.
All the people who by their own will want to fulfil their duty in eastern Ukraine are not mercenaries, for they are not paid for their actions. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is a punitive operation launched by Kiev. Instead of establishing a political dialogue, Kiev sent army to Ukraine's southeast.
Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new 'wall' is being constructed, a wall of mutual criticism. Do you think will we live in a divided world?
Putin: Our partners decided that they were winners and they did not stop. They did not stop building new walls despite all our attempts to cooperate in Europe and the world. The best way is to start a single space of security, economic liberty.
Putin: Questions remain on whether the government reacted to challenges timely
Putin: What we have to do is work. The current conditions are pushing us to further continue reforms. External conditions only have to make us work more. We have to create healthy business environment. We also have to work on our industrial sector.
Will Russia be able to use the current crisis to restructure its economy?
Putin: We have to implement the right macro economic policy. For many years we have been trying to improve the business climate in Russia. I hope that the current situation will help us to diversify Russian economy.
Medvedev: Diversification of Russian Economy to Take Over 10 Years
Russian Prime Minister Medvedev has commented on Russian budget, Western sanctions imposed against Russia, the cancellation of the South Stream project and the ruble rate during a live televised interview Wednesday.
Putin spokesperson says this year he would like to begin with the Kremlin pool journalists
Will Russia go through an economic crisis in the coming years?
Putin: The most unfavorable scenario in Russia's economy will last for approximately two years. But the situation might improve faster. There are a lot of factors. I would not refer to the current situation as a crisis. I believe that some actions of the Russian government and Russia's Central Bank could have been made quicker. Vladimir Putin is optimistic on Russia's economic development. Russian government should not forget about its responsibilities, work with exporters. Joint measures of the Russia's Central Bank and Russian government are needed to improve the economic situation.
Of course the situation has been provoked by external factors. But we believe a lot has not been done by us. External economic factors, especially the price for oil and gas, are of importance. The government and the Central Bank are undertaking measures in the correct direction. We need to undertake economic measures that had been sucessfully taken in 2008. I want to emphasize that the exit from the current economic situation in Russia is inevitable. Global economy will grow and our economy will overcome the current situation in approximately two years. We will be able to do a lot in diversifying our economy. Russia will fulfil existing social obligations.
Putin Hopes Ruble to Keep Strengthening
During his annual press conference Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes hopes tendency for foreign currencies slump, ruble strengthening to continue.
Journalists have prepared to the meeting with the president.
Journalists have made posters and brought teddy bears, so Putin could see them and point them out for them to ask questions. While waiting for the conference to start, the journalists are chit-chatting among themselves. Journalist Maria Panuishina is wearing a military hat in order to make herself noticed by Putin. “We thought about this idea with the entire editorial office,” Panuishina said. A correspondent of TV-channel “Volgograd-1” Nadezhda Peshehonova brought a big, red heart with her. She plans to ask a question regarding a ban of advertisement on commercial channels.
Crimean journalists participate in Russian president's annual news conference for the first time this year
At the World Trade Center Moscow, journalists are waiting for Vladimir Putin to start a press-conference at 12 p.m. local time. The president will be answering to a number of burning points.
Vladimir Putin will discuss economy, international relations at a big end-of-year press conference on December 18
According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, economic issues are expected to be the major point of the upcoming discussion. "It is obvious that economy will probably be the first question to be raised. The sitiation with economy, ruble, measures to be taken by the Russian authorities," Peskov said. He also added that international relations would also be on agenda.
Over 1,200 international journalists are expected to attend the event this year
A total of 500 reporters showed up for the first meeting of this kind back in 2001, which is indicative of the importance that the conference has taken on over the past decade.
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