Olympics, Aleppo, Lewd Officials: focus of Putin’s annual press conference


December 23rd, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
– RT Russia – translated by J. Flores –

“Commenting on Washington’s accusations against Moscow in the organization of alleged cyber attacks on the United States, the Russian leader said that in fact no one knows who exactly were the hackers who staged attacks. According to him, the losing party in the elections – Democrats – are simply looking for an excuse.”

This year’s annual press conference of Vladimir Putin was held in Moscow’s World Trade Center. 

For nearly four hours, the President answered dozens of questions from Russian and foreign journalists. Among the topics covered – “immodest” officials, tainted alcohol, the liberation of Aleppo, the doping scandal, the murder of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, and elections in the United States. 

On the Russian economy

The President noted that the country’s macroeconomic indicators have improved, while in November even observed GDP growth, despite the fact that in general it will be a slight decline this year.

“This year will be a slight decline, but not 3.7% (as in 2015. – ed ), it will be somewhere around 0.6%”, – Putin said.

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Inflation in 2016 will be at 5.5%, which, according to the head of state, is a record low. However, the budget deficit will amount to 3.7% this year, which is 1.1% more than in the past.

Putin also stressed that Russia managed to keep its reserves, and the dynamics of reduction of capital outflows from the country very positive.

Touching on the issue of high-tech products, Vladimir Putin said that a few years ago the export of IT-technologies was virtually zero, and now Russia is supplying the world solutions in this area to the tune of $ 7 billion a year.

As for the rise in oil prices, the Russian leader said that in budgetary matters the government adheres to the conservative settings of $ 40 per barrel. The increase in the price of oil even at $ 10 would mean an additional income of $ 1.75 trillion rubles in the budget of the country.

In addition, the President noted the continued positive trend in demographics – the natural population growth has been maintained.

About corruption and officials

Speaking of the corruption scandal in the Ministry of Economic Development and the arrest of the former head of department Alexei Ulyukayev, the President noted that closely following all the resonant cases.

“Where this will evolve, we look at the results of the trial. Prior to this, to make some preliminary conclusions would be inappropriate and harmful “, – added the head of state.

Toward the end of his speech, the Russian leader also advised officials to conduct themselves properly, they are in a society, and are to be “modest.”

“I hope they will hear. This also applies to premiums and income. Even if it is possible within the law, it is necessary to understand in what country we live in, and not to upset people, “- said Putin.

On the military power of Russia

At a press conference, Vladimir Putin once again reminded people that at the moment Russia is stronger than any potential aggressor, despite the fact that, for example, the United States has more arms.

“I said that the Russian Federation today is stronger than any potential, note, aggressor. It is very important. I do not say this accidentally Who is a potential aggressor? It is he who has the potential to attack the Russian Federation. We are stronger than any potential aggressor. I can now repeat it “- said Putin.

About Ukraine

Russian President also expressed confidence that relations with Ukraine will be normalized.

He called for further work on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis in the Normandy format and stressed that Russia was not the initiator of the events occurred in the Ukraine.

On elections in the US

According to Putin, on the basis of Russian and US peoples’ mutual affection for each other, it will be possible to build a strong relationship.

“I see signs that they have the same ideas about the structure of the world, about the values ​​with us. This is a good premise to build a good relationship”, Putin said.

However, he disagreed with Obama’s view that the United States’ Ronald Reagan “would be turning in his grave,” the 40th president after winning the election of Donald Trump.

“Reagan would be glad that the representatives of his party won, and be glad for the elected president, who felt the mood of society and worked in this paradigm, and based on that took it all the way”,  Putin said.

Commenting on Washington’s accusations against Moscow in the organization of alleged cyber attacks on the United States, the Russian leader said that in fact no one knows who exactly were the hackers who staged attacks. According to him, the losing party in the elections – Democrats – are simply looking for an excuse.

On doping

Speaking of the doping scandal in sports, the President noted that in general, there is a problem, but regarding any government program supporting doping in Russia, has to be ruled out.

“We, like in any other country, have a problem with doping. We must work closely with the International Olympic Committee and WADA. RF IC investigates everything which is related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and, of course, will bring it to its logical conclusion “, the President said.

In addition, he noted that so-called whistle-blowers WADA “flee” abroad. “Certainly, there is a political component. But in sports, like in culture, it is necessary to be completely clear of politics. Sport should unite, not divide people, “, said Putin.

On the murder of the Russian ambassador in Turkey

According to the Russian leader, the killing Andrei Karlov caused him to think about who ordered the attack on the Russian bomber in Syria, and that it could be given without the approval of the Turkish leadership.

“Before, I was skeptical of these words,” said Putin.

On the liberation of Aleppo 

Vladimir Putin has called the evacuation of Aleppo the largest humanitarian action in modern history. According to him, a huge role in this was played by the authorities of Turkey and Iran. 

“Many thousands have been evacuated … it is the largest international humanitarian action to date. This could not happen without the active work of the Turkish, Iranian and Russian leaders. And, of course, the efforts of the Syrian authorities, “, he said.

On sanctions

Answering the question of a German journalist, ”is not it time to think about the restoration of relations with Germany?”, Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia was not the initiator of the deterioration of relations.

According to him, Russia will lift retaliatory restrictive measures only after the West lifts sanctions first.

Putin: “Because of the sanctions, we can not join forces with Europe in the fight against terrorism.”

About tampered alcohol

The Head of State described the terrible tragedy of poisoning dozens of people Irkutsk.

“There are no words. A terrible disgrace that the bodies that were supposed to keep track of this, did not prevent this “, – added the President.

He also supported the issues related to the increase in excise duties, but called it “too late.”

“Now about alcohol poisoning. This is really a problem. You need a set of measures, it is carried out. This measure may not be prohibitive, although some issues should lie in this sphere “, – added the President.

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