Speaking about the Yellow Vest protests in France, Putin said it was wrong to assess the French government's actions, adding that it was necessary to ensure the French people’s rights to express their views, but within the framework of the law.
“The developments in France are certainly linked to the rise in diesel prices... but mostly it’s been triggered by the release of indignation by a large portion of the population… around 70 percent of the population, as I understand, supports that [the protest]. The French government wanted to raise prices on purpose, what they wanted to do is to redistribute resources and to channel the money that they would have earned from the increase into developing renewables. But people do not like such change”.
When comparing the hike in petrol prices in France and Russia, Putin said that while France had done it deliberately, the Russian government tried to fight the increase.
"The events in France are, naturally, linked to the petrol, diesel price hike, but that was more likely a trigger for the general dissatisfaction of a large part of society to then spill out," Putin said at an annual press conference.