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Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference on December As in recent years, most of the questions consisted of requests, expressions of gratitude, and very local issues that had little to do with the political agenda. However scripted the questions and answers might appear the degree of control over this event should not be overstated either , the president has to react to a wide variety of subjects, including unpleasant ones.
Former Miss Moscow reveals first official photos of marriage to former Malaysian king
The latest press conference, therefore, allows us to draw several conclusions significant for both Russian and international audiences. Putin made it clear that the Russian leadership has not set itself the task of getting sanctions lifted.
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The Russian president is convinced that foreign pressure will only mount, whatever gestures or concessions Russia makes. Putin said accusations that Russian agents poisoned former military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the UK are an attack aimed at containing Russia as a competitor, and that the West sees any move by the Kremlin as an excuse to increase pressure.
It serves as a pretext for attacking Russia yet again.
The second conclusion is that Russia is preparing for the inevitable deterioration of the balance of nuclear forces and the growing risk of a nuclear war. Putin assured his people that Russia has the means to respond to these threats. The third domestic policy conclusion is that the Kremlin is not planning to launch any significant economic reforms.
The social consequences of tax reforms—including hikes in fuel prices, VAT, and utilities payments—are clearly being underestimated. The fourth conclusion is that the Russian president clearly assigns enormous importance to national projects designed to improve areas including infrastructure, education, and healthcare, and believes they can be implemented.
Yet few government officials and experts believe that the national projects can in fact be successfully realized.
What Russia’s Recent Elections Mean for Opposition’s Future
There is an astonishing disconnect between the president and the state bureaucracy that is supposed to carry out his orders. By Cormac Byrne. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
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