19:35 GMT16 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will focus on systematic measures to support post-pandemic development in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on 21 April, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

    According to Peskov, Russia is still trying to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, and it is unclear how long this period will last. He stressed that it is necessary to get out of the crisis and "compensate for the downfall that took place".

    "We need not just to compensate, but to move toward development. Obviously, in any case, this will be discussed in the address. Some kind of systemic support measures. The president talks about this traditionally. I think that we cannot rule out that he will speak about it this year as well", Peskov said as aired by the broadcaster Rossiya 1.

    The spokesman added that Putin's address will be "post-COVID" since the country is now going through an "unprecedented period".

    The Kremlin spokesman added that the president writes addresses to parliament himself and quite often makes changes to the text at the 11th hour. He sometimes does not have the time to print out the document and uses a handwritten manuscript instead. Since the final version is different from the draft, some of the president's announcements come as a surprise to lawmakers, Peskov added.

    According to the coronavirus response centre, Russia has registered a total of 4,641,390 cases and 102,986 deaths. The nation presently has three coronavirus vaccines: Sputnik V (the first officially certified vaccine against COVID-19 in the world, developed by the Gamaleya Institute), EpiVacCorona, developed by the Novosibirsk research centre Vector, and CoviVac, made by the Chumakov Research Institute.

    coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, Vladimir Putin
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