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    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during annual news conference in Moscow, Russia December 20, 2018

    Russian President Putin to Give Annual Address to Federal Assembly

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    This will be the first address to the nation and both houses of Russian parliament - the Federation Council and State Duma – since the reelection of Vladimir Putin as the Russian president in March 2018.

    Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed last Monday that work on the address has entered its final stages. The address will be broadcast by the main state channels online on 20 February starting at 12:00 Moscow time (9:00 GMT).

    The Kremlin didn’t announce the topics to be touched upon in the speech; however, senators and lawmakers expect this annual address to focus on social policy. This includes issues such as overcoming poverty, increasing life expectancy, increasing citizens' well-being, evaluating government work and fighting corruption, creating the conditions for economic development as well as a discussion of the international agenda.

    Other topics that could be brought up are Russia’s foreign policy, including the sanctions on Russia and the state of Russian military defence amid the withdrawal from the INF Treaty. Earlier in February, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced that the United States had suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty and triggered the six-month withdrawal process. The following day, President Putin said that Moscow had suspended its participation in the treaty in response to the actions of the United States.

    READ MORE: Putin REVEALS What He May Do After His Presidential Term Expires

    The Russian President annually addresses the Federal Assembly with a message on the situation in the country and on the main directions of domestic and foreign policy. This is a political and legal document expressing the vision of Russia's strategic directions for the near future, which usually includes both political and economic provisions, as well as specific proposals on the legislative work of both houses of parliament. Senators, lawmakers, members of the Russian government as well as the heads of the country's Constitutional and Supreme courts are traditionally present at the event.

    The latest address made by President Putin on 1 March 2018 lasted for a record-breaking two hours and was dedicated to the development of the Russian economy and the country’s defence capabilities, outlining Russia's domestic and foreign policy priorities.

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    address, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), speech, National Assembly, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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